Sermon Summary from Last Sunday
Mark 9:30–50 (ESV) • Pastor Christ Liu
This past week’s verses didn’t really have one central theme, so I basically broke them down into the four events that occurred and talked/explained each section.
In verses 30-32, Jesus shared with His disciples that He was going to have to die and be resurrected from the dead. This was not the first time He mentioned this. The last time He did, Peter tried to tell Jesus that He didn’t have to die, but Jesus rebuked him. So this time, the disciples were afraid to ask or talk about it even though they didn’t understand. However, if we looked at the book of Acts, after Jesus had died and was resurrected from the dead, we see that the disciples finally did “get it” and their lives were transformed. For us as believers, we know the full story of Jesus’ death and resurrection and we know that He is the Son of God, so we should be like the disciples in Acts who are bold in sharing the Good News with those around us.
In verses 33-37, we have an episode where the disciples were discussing who was going to be the greatest amongst themselves. We see that they still didn’t fully understand what Jesus’ earthly mission was all about. It wasn’t about gaining power and prestige, but it was about loving and serving one another humbly. It was about accepting those on the outside and on the margins. In the same way, we too need to serve one another humbly. We need to look outside our own circle of friends and comfort and reach out to those who are on the “outside.”
In verses 38-41, John raises a concern about another person who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name. The underlying complaint was that this person wasn’t commissioned by Jesus like the 12 disciples were. They were upset that this person was able to do the same things they were able to do even though he wasn’t one of the 12. Jesus, however, didn’t condemn this other person, but actually supported him. For us today, I think we can sometimes have problems with other believers who might think differently than us or have other viewpoints that we don’t agree with. However, instead of fighting with them, we need to learn to support one another and serve together. As long as the other person is doing God’s work, they don’t have to do things exactly the same way that we do it. God can use anyone, so let’s work together.
Finally, in verses 42-50, Jesus talks about the seriousness of being a disciple. He actually gets a little graphic in his teachings, but basically there are two things that we need take seriously. First, we cannot lead others astray or cause others to sin… especially those who are young in their faith. Secondly, we need to cut off sin at it’s root. We cannot continue to sin and think that it is not a problem. These are two things that a disciple need to take seriously.