The Principles Of God’s Servant
Book of Mark Chapter 9:30-50
Jesus is making His way through Galilee and toward Jerusalem. We can just imagine that picture of the cross was burning in His humanity but He could not neglect the training of those that would begin the New Testament Church.
We sometimes forget the human side of Jesus and the mental anguish He suffered, know what lay in His future in that body of flesh.
The Lord had made this plan before He had begun His creation and "His hour" was fast approaching!
The timing of Jesus’s death on the cross was divinely predestined:
Joh 7:30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, "because his hour was not yet come".
And His hour would soon come:
Joh 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, "when Jesus knew that his hour was come" that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
We will notice that from this time forward, there will be more emphasis on His death and His resurrection.
So, Jesus needs more time alone with His disciples, and away from the multitudes!
*****Mar 9:30 And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.
Mar 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
According to Luke, when Jesus had cast out that demon that had possessed that boy from last week, everyone was amazed at the mighty power of God:
Luk 9:42 And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.
Luk 9:43 And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,
Jesus informed His disciples that it would take this same power of God, to allow mankind to do with Him as they wished!
It would take this same power to allow man to kill Him!
And it would take this same power for Him to rise from that grave!
And Jesus told His disciples this:
Luk 9:44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
The Lord would allow these things to happen in order to fulfill the plan of God for our salvation:
Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Remember 3 of these 12 had witnessed the absolute power of God not only in His miracles but also in His "transfiguration" on Mount Hermon.
So His disciples struggled with trying to understand what Jesus was saying.
They could understand this sort of power!
They could not understand the absolute power of God!
*****Mar 9:32 But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.
They did not understand the The Lord Jesus Christ had all the power of a righteous God!.
They were afraid to ask, just how could these things be true!
And Matthew adds that they were exceeding sorry that these things must happen because to them Jesus was still their Friend!
Mat 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
The disciples could not understand how Jesus could be the Messiah and all these things happen to Him.
These disciples could not understand how the death of the Messiah could solve any problem that they or their nation had.
We must clearly understand that when we study the Word of God there are going to many things that we just will not understand.
God has made salvation simple, but in order to understand the Word of God, sometimes we may need to grow for awhile before God will show us everything He means.
God does not want us to be "babes in Christ" all our days!
But, unlike these disciples, we should never be afraid to ask!
Jesus had already place a lot of emphasis on prayer and He says this:
Jas 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, "yet ye have not, because ye ask not".
We must always understand whatever we are thinking about God already knows.
*****Mar 9:33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
We can see that Jesus made a stop back in the house of Peter and Andrew and He ask them all, why they were in such a dispute with each other along the way.
One of the greatest hindrances to the Church is the fact that we are always disputing with each other.
Let’s think back to what Jesus had said to Peter:
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
They had all been witnesses to these things Jesus had said to Peter.
It is for sure that none of them understood what "building the church" meant, but they had realized that though Jesus was talking to Peter, Peter was not the foundation of the church.
They were not disputing about this and they had not placed Peter above themselves as some religions have done.. They were not disputing about who would be next behind Peter!
The church was to built upon the Messiah, the Christ.
These disciples still had in their thoughts that the Messiah could not die and Jesus would set up His kingdom on Earth very soon.
What were their thoughts of the Messiah?
Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; "thou art the King of Israel".
If there were to be a Kingdom on this Earth, and Jesus had chosen these 12 men, then surely there would be some sort of ranking for each of them.
This was their concern at this time!
This is what they were in great dispute about!
Jesus was not caught off guard because Jesus already knew all these things:
Joh 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
*****Mar 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
Some may have thought that Peter had been singled out.
Others may have thought that Peter, James, and John had been singled out.
Others may have thought that none of these things mattered, as the Lord had chosen all 12 for some purpose.
So, it was time to put an end to this dispute.
And they approached Jesus with these words:
Mat 18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
It can be said that this thought has entered the mind of most every child of God.
Pride is a terrible enemy that most of us share!
We need to see these things through the eyes of a child.
And Jesus answered.
*****Mar 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
What is greatness "in the eyes of the world" we live in?
1) There are some people who are just born to become great.
2) There are some people who have greatness thrust upon them by other great people.
3) There are those that achieve greatness by their own actions.
How does God see greatness?
If any man desires to be the greatest, they shall be last of all!
These 12 chosen disciples of the Lord were not so much seeking greatness according to the world, "they were seeking greatness in their own ranks".
Their desire was to know which one of them deserved to be first in the eyes of the Lord.
Jesus could have just told them His answer, but Jesus knew we all needed this lesson!
What is the cure for sinful pride?
What did Jesus do?
*****Mar 9:36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
Jesus picked up a child, probably belonging to one of these 12, a child that they could relate to in their own love as a parents, and sat this child first in the midst of them and then after a period of time, He took this child into His arms.
We can learn many lessons by watching young children!
By setting this child in the midst of these 12 men, Jesus was saying watch this child.
By then taking this child in His arms, Jesus was showing His absolute love for all His children.
Jesus does not rate His believers!
Faith, or the lack of faith can hinder rewards to some more than others as we have just seen.
But God loves all His children the same!
Then Jesus said:
Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
This conversion must be thorough, and it must come from the heart!
We must be converted, away from carnal ambitions, to the freedom from such feelings, as a child, who is not concerned with ambition at an early age.
Children live in the present and have no concern for the future for they know there is some one else watching over them.
Someone else would feed them.
Someone else would bath them.
Someone else would provide all their needs.
All a child has to do is enjoy life and learn from that One that is watching over them.
Jesus had already taught them this lesson:
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
To a child, the pleasures of life are simple, even a cup of cold water brings pleasure enough for a while:
Mat 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Most every child looks forward to growing up into a complete life and we all must learn that a complete life can come only through Jesus Christ:
Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Little children are not puffed up with conceit for others.
Little children do not despise other children, they look on each other as equals.
Little children to not seek vain glory.
Little children do not envy.
Little children are always ready to submit.
Then Jesus begins His lesson on "pride":
Mat 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
The humbleness of children must be retained as we grow in Christ Jesus.
The trustfulness of children must be retained as we grow in Christ Jesus.
Those that have the most power must be the best servant.
Those that have the most love will rise most in honor before the Lord.
Jesus Christ must be our example and this lesson is for us all!
Luke wrote it like this:
Luk 9:48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
Remember Jesus, the Lamb of God, began this journey to secure our salvation, as a baby born to the Virgin Mary.
We cannot begin our Christian walk unless we begin as a child and grow through the developing stages as children grow!
Then Jesus said:
Mat 18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Remember Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, descended to this Earth in the form of a babe "wrapped in swaddling clothes", He was not in His kingly robes!
We must first accept "this Babe" as the truth!
*****Mar 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
We must remember Jesus knew that these 12 men were in a great dispute over greatness.
Jesus rebuked them with this child, showing them that those with childlike faith were the greatest.
But that "faith" had to be in Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, but more important Savior to all that are lost.
The world’s philosophy is that we are only great if we have excelled above others!
The more people you have rule over, the greater you are.
God rates greatness differently from this!
A child knows that he is a child and if he acts like a child, those that love him and care for him will respond to his needs!
God says true greatness comes from "serving others"!
If we begin with Jesus, and with the heart of a child, we will have no difficulty in becoming servants!
When we have received Jesus Christ a Savior, we have then received the Living God of all creation!
1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
Jesus Christ paid the sin debt for every human that has ever lived and is therefore their Savior also.
Only those that believe are special and gain salvation!
*****Mar 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
There are so many people that become so wrapped up in denominational differences that they forget the key to the power of God and salvation "is knowing Jesus Christ as our Savior".
Salvation is for "whosoever" believes on the Lord Jesus Christ!
Jesus had just said "whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me".
John realizes that he and the other 11 disciples were wrong in disputing about greatness and may have been wrong about this other thing they had done.
John knew that they had not received this man who had cast out devils in the name of Jesus Christ.
So Jesus says this:
*****Mar 9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, "that can lightly speak evil of me".
Mar 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
First, let’s look at this scripture:
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
This will take place at the White Throne Judgment.
The various denominations have showcased their differences throughout the Church Age and this has not furthered the Church, but actually hindered church growth.
We can see that the Lord wants no part in such things!
The disciples should have left this man alone!
The fact that this man was using the Lord’s name in casting out devils did not make him a saint of God.
It did not prove his character nor tell of his spiritual life.
At the same time, only the Lord knew if he was an enemy and there were already plenty of enemies.
John "did not say", we stopped him because he was following the Lord.
John "did say" that they stopped him because he was not following the Lord’s disciples!
The Lord has already said it was only He that can tell the difference between the saved and the lost.
Remember the Wheat and the Tares:
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Jesus will never contradict His own teaching!
And loyalty to a denomination "does not mean loyalty to Christ Jesus"!
Then Jesus explains the differences.
*****Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
We cannot know "for sure" who is saved and who is lost of those that say they know Jesus.
But if we cause such a one to stumble, we have caused more harm than good!
There is no middle ground with the Lord!
We either believe the truth or we have rejected the truth!
It is not necessary to be able to perform miracles to prove our love for Jesus Christ!
God has never gave anyone the ability to perform miracles!
God gave people the authority to do things in His name!
The power of every miracle rest in the hands of God!
When we lovingly share the "gospel" the "living waters" of Jesus Christ with any lost soul, we are then giving the evidence that we have the humble heart of a servant!
When we are serving the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no higher honor that we can achieve!
Everything else is just going down hill!
Those "little ones" refers to all God’s children.
God is not a dead beat dad, God will not allow anyone to offend His children without going unpunished!
The way believers or anyone else treat others is a serious thing in the eyes of God!
Then Jesus goes on to teach that Hell is a place we need to strive hard to avoid.
The pure fact is that there is nothing on this Earth worth going to Hell for!
*****Mar 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mar 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Let’s see if we can remember this man:
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 [And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments], and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
It was Jesus that said these words and it is the Creator of this world we live in, that will tell us some more about Hell in our lesson today.
How does Jesus describe these torments?
In verse 42 we saw that the word "offend" meant "cause to stumble".
Well Jesus explains that "we can cause our own self to stumble if we cannot rule our own flesh"!
Most of our world today believe that the body is the only part of man that is important.
In fact this is called "Hedonism" and is in fact a false religion and many other religions are based on this thought!
Today, Humanism has a great following!
Hedonism suggest that a person should seek to please his body by doing all the things that he enjoys doing, no matter the consequences.
In fact the Bible teaches that the body is the house for the soul!
There are many living today, who are convinced that the body is material and evil and the soul is non-material and good but the Bible does not teach this.
The Bible actually does teach that there is great value in the human body!
In fact the Song of Solomon, in it’s entirety, focuses on the value of the human body, the pure enjoyment of marriage and even sexual expression.
The Bible also teaches that man is a tri-une being, of body, spirit, and soul, somewhat like the Tri-Une God we worship.
This is one of the ways that humans are created in the image of God!
God has the intent of saving our entire being, but that decision must be made before our body comes to that certain time of death and death is certain!
1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body "be preserved blameless" unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is the body that comes from this Earth we live on, the spirit and soul are from God.
The soul is our living being, or life itself, not the body!
The spirit is the breath of God which distinguishes humans from the animals.
2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Jesus points out that if our own flesh is causing us to stumble, we have the ability, through the Lord Jesus Christ, to do something about it!
In other words we must be willing to take drastic measures to avoid spending eternity in Hell!
Our hands are our ability to work and function in this life!
If our ambitions lead us to strive for greatness in this life and forsake God then it would be better to forsake our ambitions in this world that will lead us into Hell.
If our hands bring corruption to our soul then it would be better to have no hands.
*****Mar 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mar 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Our feet are our means of movement in this world!
If we are continuously running after our own lust into temptation and sin, it would be better to have only one foot and our walk in this life be slow and painful and we could not run at all.
*****Mar 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
Mar 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
To lose an eye brings darkness and disfigurement!
The Bible is specific:
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
How did Satan bring down Adam?
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and "that it was pleasant to the eyes", and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Satan used the wife of Adam, Eve, and "her eyes" to bring about the fall of mankind.
Hell is described as being a terrible fire that cannot be put out!
Hell is described as a place that God will not make better!
Hell is described as a place to be cast into, No one will go willingly in the end!
That worm, represents the torments of the damned!
Remember that rich man who was living in torments.
That worm, can also represent our conscience that is continually gnawing at the life or the soul of man, filling one with anguish and misery.
God says it is better to live a life of misery now and make it into Heaven, than to live a life of misery forever in Hell!
Paul wrote these words:
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
*****Mar 9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
Every believer is required to be a sacrifice unto the Lord!
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Our bodies are our sacrifice we are to give to the Lord!
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
It was the custom of the Jew that all sacrifices be salted:
Lev 2:13 And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.
The job of the salt was to preserve the sacrifice until the time is was placed on the altar!
Every human being born on this Earth, whether they believe or not, are looking forward to judgment and that judgment will be by fire when they are cast into Hell.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
But everyone that sacrifices themselves and are salted with salt, which are the "Grace and Mercy" of The Lord, will be preserved!
Fire consumes until the fuel is burnt up.
This is the choice we must make ourselves when the Holy Spirit knocks on our door and Jesus knocks on our heart!
As one man put it, which section will you choose, the smoking section, or the non-smoking section?
*****Mar 9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
Who has the power to season our lives?
Remember Jesus is teaching all His disciples.
Matthew wrote these words:
Mat 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
The Church exists for the world’s sake, even more than our own personal sakes!
The disciples of Jesus Christ are to be saviors, by spreading the "Gospel of Jesus Christ", to this lost world.
God’s people are chosen, not for our own comfort, but to show others the true life offered by Jesus Christ!
It is the "quality" of every child of God and not the "quantity" of believers that is important!
Salt is an article of food intended to nourish those that come in contact with it!
Salt is a preservative!
BUT, Salt, when laid on a wound is painful so the Christian must preach the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, knowing that mankind must feel "the pain" of the Gospel before they can feel "the healing" of the Gospel.
But, when the salt of the Church is no longer salty it is worthless to this world!
Our worthiness, as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, depends solely on our saltiness!
If we have the preserving power of the Lord within ourselves then we can have peace with one another!
What are the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
We cannot get saltier than this?