Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lent Day 25: Mark 9:38-50

Are you salty? The disciples still show that they misunderstand Jesus' mission by tattling about a person who was casting out demons but not doing so as part of their group. Jesus seem to suggest as long as a persons' actions are inline with His, other things will fall into place.
Jesus goes on to teach about the rigors of being a disciple in the Kingdom. This passage is connected to yesterday's passage by Jesus' reference to "little ones" and Jesus concluding words at the end of the chapter. Jesus' words about salt here, interestingly, apply to all. "Everyone will be salted with fire." Fire usually has the connotation of judgment (and is in the context of the quote from Isaiah 66:24: an image of eternal torment is the worm that does not die). Thus judgment happens in this life as those things that keep us from God are done away with. Salt, a preserver, seems to be discipleship that is willing to let go of status, habits, and anything else that keep us from full life in the Kingdom of God. Thus salt brings peace not only to yourself, but to those around you experiencing your saltiness.
How can we be like the disciples attitudes toward other groups that are not exactly not like us?
What do you think Jesus is getting at when He is speaking about the causes for stumbling both for us and how we might do so for others? When has your hand, foot, or eye tempted you to lose your faith? What does that say about discipleship? What are some things that cause you to stumble that you could give up during the rest of Lent?
What can you do to be more salty and help bring peace to yourself and those around you?

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