Participants: Kevin Hart, Tom Shepherd
Series Code: MBOTB
Program Code: MBOTB00008A
00:21 Welcome to Books of the Book.
00:23 If God were to grant you one wish, any thing you wanted,
00:26 what would it be?
00:28 A new car, a new house, a happy marriage,
00:31 money beyond your wildest dreams?
00:34 Today we are going to look at two individuals in the
00:36 Bible who asked Jesus for one wish.
00:38 But did they really know what they were asking Him for?
00:41 I'm happy to have with me today Professor Tom Shepherd
00:44 from Andrews University.
00:46 He teaches New Testament Interpretation,
00:48 Welcome Professor thank you, good to be with you.
00:50 Kevin: so what are we going to be looking at today?
00:52 Well we are continuing our discussion of the book
00:56 chapter 8, 9, and 10 of the gospel of Mark.
01:00 Where there is a special section on discipleship
01:02 that we have been looking at.
01:03 Right now in chapters 9 and 10 we have seen that
01:07 there is a journey description,
01:09 a passion prediction, some misunderstanding,
01:11 and then at teaching about discipleship.
01:13 We are now in that section in Chapter 9 were we are
01:16 looking at the teaching about discipleship.
01:19 So we want to look at Mark 9 and we are going to
01:23 read a fairly long section here.
01:25 Verses 33-50, so if we take Mark chapter 9:33-50,
01:32 I'll read the verses 33-41 and you read verses 42
01:38 to the end of the chapter.
01:40 "They came to Capernaum: and when he was in the house
01:43 he began to question them,
01:45 what were you discussing on the way?
01:46 But they kept silent: for on the way they had discussed
01:50 with one another which of them was the greatest.
01:52 Sitting down he called the twelve and said to them,
01:55 if anyone wants to be first he shall be last
01:58 of all and servant of all.
01:59 Taking a child, he set him before them,
02:02 and when taking him in his arms, he said to them,
02:04 whoever receives one child like this in my name receives me:
02:08 and whoever receives me, does not receive me,
02:11 but him who sent me.
02:12 John said to him, teacher, we saw someone casting out
02:16 demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because
02:19 he was not following us:
02:21 but Jesus said, do not hinder him, for there is no
02:26 one who will perform a miracle in my name, and be able
02:28 soon afterward to speak evil of me.
02:30 For he who is not against us is for us.
02:34 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because
02:37 of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you
02:41 he will not lose his reward.
02:43 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones
02:47 that believe in me, it is better for him that a
02:49 millstone were hanged about his neck,
02:51 and he were cast into the sea.
02:53 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off:
02:55 it is better for thee to enter into life maimed,
02:58 than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire
03:01 that shall never be quenched:
03:03 where THEIR WORM DIETH NOT AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
03:07 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off:
03:10 it is better for thee to enter halt into life,
03:12 then having two feet to be cast into hell,
03:15 into the fire that never shall be quenched:
03:17 where THEIR WORM DIETH NOT AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED:
03:21 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out:
03:24 it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom
03:27 of God with one eye, then having two eyes to be
03:29 cast into hell fire:
03:31 Where THEIR WORM DIETH NOT AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
03:35 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every
03:39 sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
03:41 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltiness,
03:45 wherewith will be season it? Have salt in yourselves,
03:48 and have peace one with another. "
03:51 Kevin: Alright so what is the central teaching within
03:55 these verses, because this is pretty jam-packed passage.
03:58 Tom: yeah it is a long passage and it might seem at
04:02 first as though it kind of wanders around a bit.
04:04 Kevin: and it's intense.
04:06 Tom: yeah it is very intense with the kind
04:08 of statements that it makes.
04:09 First of all we saw that the main teaching that
04:11 we saw this last time we studied together,
04:13 is in verse 35 that says, "if anyone wants to be
04:18 first he shall be last of all and servant of all. "
04:21 That is very similar to what we saw in Chapter 8
04:24 and in Jesus follows from this with a set of three
04:28 subsidiary teachings.
04:30 What is about receiving a child, we might say,
04:33 receiving somebody who is new in the faith.
04:35 The next is about relation to people who are
04:38 outside of your primary group.
04:39 Then the last is a group of teachings about causes
04:44 to sin and what you should do about those.
04:47 We want to take a few moments, we can't go into great
04:50 detail perhaps but we want to take a few moments to
04:52 think about these.
04:54 We are ready looked at the issue about the child and
04:56 receiving the child.
04:57 Now we look at the section where he talks about
05:00 how to do with outsiders.
05:02 It starts with John's question in verse 38, "teacher,
05:04 we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we
05:07 tried to prevent him because he was not following us:"
05:10 So a very practical kind of question.
05:13 If you are doing a work for God and you see somebody
05:17 else that is seen to be doing some kind of work for
05:20 God there, should you stop them?
05:23 Because after all, they are not part of your group.
05:26 Jesus answer is no, don't stop them.
05:31 Kevin: pretty important question when it comes to
05:33 relating to others outside of our faith - yeah!
05:34 Tom: when you have people of different churches or
05:37 different organizations or even different religions,
05:39 how should you relate to them?
05:41 Jesus' statement here is rather open, you know
05:44 it is not like stop them, prevent them, he's,
05:48 let them be, let them be.
05:50 God is the one that they have to face and deal with.
05:53 He says, kind of practically, if they have cast out
05:58 demons in my name, and done a miracle in my name,
06:00 they can't say bad things about me very soon.
06:02 So you don't have to worry about people.
06:06 God has given you a mission, fulfill the mission
06:08 that God has given to you, and let God take care
06:10 of those who are on the outside.
06:13 So very practical and very beautiful kind of lesson.
06:18 Kevin: a lesson worth applying to our lives
06:20 because so often we are so worried about what
06:21 everybody else is doing and not really paying attention
06:23 to what we are doing ourselves.
06:25 Tom: so that is the second of the two, and now the last
06:29 one is the longest one that causes us to sin which goes
06:33 all the way from verses 42 down to verse 50.
06:37 Kevin: I have to ask you, why was Jesus so drastic in
06:40 this statement, because He didn't really tackled
06:42 this in a casual manner.
06:44 The statements He made were pretty, as I used
06:46 the word before, intense.
06:48 Tom: yeah they are very intense.
06:49 He uses such terms like, if your hand causes
06:54 you to sin, cut it off.
06:56 Kevin: get rid of it.
06:57 Tom: if your eye causes you problem pluck it out.
06:59 Kevin: throughout history there have been people that
07:02 have taken that literally.
07:03 Those who believe take the Bible for what it says at
07:06 face value and boom.
07:07 Tom: right and that's what they do.
07:09 And it doesn't stop the language with just those kind
07:13 words because he says things like if you don't do this
07:18 your going to hell and you're going to burn there in
07:21 the unquenchable fire where the worm doesn't die.
07:23 So language is very stark through out this section.
07:28 First let's notice that the way He ties this all
07:32 together is with key words, or sometimes people
07:35 call them catchwords.
07:37 There are three words that become sort of
07:40 like pearls on a string that he puts on there
07:43 to hold everything together.
07:45 He sort of moves from one to the next,
07:47 to the next, to the next.
07:48 The next word is causes to sin.
07:52 He talks about things that cause people to sin.
07:55 Then he talks about fire, fire seems to bridge
07:59 between the causes to sin and the next one,
08:01 but very last one which is the idea of salt.
08:04 So we want to look at those different ideas,
08:06 like I say we can't take too long on them,
08:09 but they go on together.
08:11 Now the first concept that he talks about,
08:13 remember he talked about the importance of you being
08:17 last of all and servant of all.
08:20 So when he talks about causes to sin it is
08:22 somebody who is not serving others.
08:26 They are not doing what they are supposed to do
08:28 as a disciple, they are not being servant of all.
08:31 They are causing trouble to people,
08:33 instead of blessing them.
08:34 If your life is not a blessing to other people
08:37 then you are not following Christ.
08:40 You are doing the wrong kind of things.
08:42 There is a story in the Old Testament about a
08:45 king who dies and there is this verse that says,
08:48 and no one was sorry when he died.
08:50 Kevin: he must've been a good king.
08:53 Tom: yeah, no one was sorry when he died.
08:57 So I don't think you are I want people,
09:00 if time should last, to say that about us.
09:02 If nobody cries at our funeral, it's a pretty sad thing.
09:06 Pretty sad, pretty sad, so here is the causes to sin.
09:09 Jesus is very, very strong in His statement in verse 42,
09:13 "whoever causes one of these little ones who believes
09:17 in me to stumble it would be better for him if with a heavy
09:21 millstone hung around his neck he would be
09:23 cast into the sea. "
09:25 That is stark language.
09:27 Jesus is very concerned for the weak, very
09:31 concerned for those who are new to the faith,
09:34 those who are just starting off.
09:37 Those who are more mature in the faith must be very
09:41 careful how they treat those newcomers.
09:43 They must be watching out for them and it should
09:46 not be the other way around.
09:47 You hear stories sometimes when new people came
09:50 into the church and who do they have problems with?
09:53 They have problems with the old members.
09:56 Now I've been in the church for quite some time,
09:58 my friends I want to talk to those who been in the
10:00 church for quite some years.
10:02 You and I have some responsibility,
10:03 and that is to be kind and gracious and understanding
10:07 to those who are new in the faith.
10:09 Because they do not know as much and you have been
10:12 there for a long time.
10:13 They do not have to bend do you, you need to bend to
10:16 them and help them.
10:18 Otherwise Jesus said, you better if we took you out
10:20 and put a big old stone around your neck and threw
10:23 you into Lake Michigan, or some other deep waters
10:26 and let you drown.
10:27 Oh you say that would be terrible,
10:28 yes He is talking in hyperbole.
10:30 Hyperbole is where you go way overboard
10:34 to make an important point.
10:36 It would be terrible to take and put a millstone around
10:38 somebody's neck, a terrible way to die of drowning.
10:40 But it's even worse, it's even worse when you mistreat
10:46 someone who is new to the faith, that is the point he
10:49 wants to make you see.
10:50 Kevin: when you hear about those that get very
10:54 comfortable in church sometimes, we get so comfortable often that
10:58 the actual pew we sit in we always feel like
11:01 we have a right to it.
11:03 I hear many stories about a newcomer walk into church
11:06 and sit down in my spot and so often many people are
11:11 driven away just by that simple, why are
11:13 you sitting in my spot?
11:15 It's the Lord's house do we own those pews?
11:17 Tom: we do not.
11:19 It one of the best things when I used to teach world
11:22 religion at Union College, I would have the students go
11:25 to the religious services of some other faith.
11:31 They could go to a Jewish synagogue, they could go to
11:34 Catholic church, they can go to a Buddhist temple.
11:37 But I wanted them to have the experience of going
11:40 to somebody else's religious service, and it really
11:44 teaches you something because when you go to a religious
11:47 service that you have never been any can be very scary.
11:51 You go in there, what do they do, when do we kneel?
11:54 When do we stand, what are they saying and
11:56 what does it mean?
11:57 It could be very confusing.
11:59 We should be very sensitive to newcomers and be kind to
12:02 them, that is what Jesus has taught us, He said, we
12:04 should be servant of all.
12:06 Think of yourself, I get in the morning and look in
12:08 the mirror, I should say, I'm a servant
12:09 who can I serve today? Who can I bless today?
12:12 What a wonderful teaching on discipleship.
12:14 Alright we come to the next one and that is where
12:18 he starts talking about the ideas of causes to sin.
12:25 Causes to sin and he talked about the little one and
12:29 making him stumble and goes on, we've already talked
12:32 about one, and he goes on and he talks about the hand
12:35 and the foot and the eye.
12:37 The hand, the foot and the eye.
12:39 The hand has to do with - what you do.
12:43 And the foot - where you go - where you go.
12:46 In the eye - the way you see things - what you see.
12:48 So he says if there is something in your life that
12:51 you are doing that is leading you the wrong way to
12:57 cause you to stumble into sin, he said he would be
13:00 better for you to cut off your hand then to do that.
13:03 Now I happen to be a Cellist, took up the cello
13:07 after my daughter took up the violin and
13:09 I just love playing the cello.
13:11 Cellist use both hands, okay if I was in an accident
13:15 and I lost one of my hands he would be such a sad thing
13:18 that I would lose my hand and could not play my cello.
13:21 Jesus said, you know what if you are doing something
13:23 that causes somebody to stumble it would be better
13:27 to cut off your hand and not be able to play
13:29 the cello the rest of your life then to do those
13:31 things that are sinful.
13:33 Same thing with the foot where you go in the same
13:35 thing with what you see.
13:37 Those things, you know there are things on TV,
13:41 there are things that are on the Internet that we
13:43 shouldn't be watching, we shouldn't be looking at
13:45 because they are causing problems in our life.
13:48 We need to set those aside.
13:49 Kevin: so cut off the thing that is causing us to
13:52 stumble, not the literal body member.
13:55 Tom: yes he is not, it's hyperbole, he's talking
13:57 in such a way that he says it would be better
14:00 to do this then to sin.
14:02 Kevin: right to make the impression upon the mind
14:03 Tom: how terrible the sin is and we need to change that.
14:07 You know I think is to be a good time to stop and just
14:09 take a break group quick.
14:10 We need to do that, and I say that because what we are
14:13 about to get into is some pretty intense stuff - Yep!
14:16 And some things within the church have created a lot of
14:19 sparks and beliefs systems and doctrines and so forth.
14:23 So stay with us, we will be back shortly and don't
14:26 forget you're watching Books of the Book.