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Mark 9:30-50

Author: Kent Berghuis

Who's On First?
(Mark 9:30-50)
(Laurel and Hardy routine)
Main idea:  A true disciple puts Jesus and others first.

I.  Who's on first?  Last! (30-37)

	A.  A disciple must be frequently reminded of the gospel call (30-32).
		--Jesus had told them of his death and resurrection before (8:31, 9:12).
		--Jesus' trip to Jerusalem, where he would be crucified, was fast approaching.
		--Discipleship is all about following Jesus through the gospel.

	B.  A disciple must learn to serve and accept others (33-37).
		--Being a disciple is not about being great (33-34).
		--The greatest in God's eyes is the most humble servant (35).
		--Receiving a child (a dependent, an innocent believer) is receiving Jesus; receiving 
			Jesus is receiving God.  How do you serve God?  By serving people who 
			need your help. (Anne Shirley [Anne of Avonlea] contrasted with Katherine 
			Brooke; both orphaned, but one had responded by becoming sour, the 
			other by bringing joy to everyone around her.)

II.  Who's at bat?  Us! (38-41).

	A.  Competition naturally arises in any endeavor (38).
	B.  Competition is not a part of the gospel program (39-40).
	C.  Cooperation is rewarded in the kingdom of God (41).

III.  Who's winning?  The blind paraplegics! (42-50).
	--We should do whatever is necessary to follow Christ and serve others wholeheartedly.

	A.  We must not cause others to stumble (42).
	B.  We must keep temptation from causing us to stumble (43-48).
		--Your hands, feet and eyes are less important than your soul.
		--These are symbols for whatever causes you to abandon Christ. (Origen)
		--Interestingly, feet might make you stumble, so you should cut them off! 
		--(The Paradox of Our Age)
		--The fires of hell burn eternally.  This quotes Isa 66:24, contrasting eternal life 
			with the eternally judged.  "Gehenna" was the valley where Jerusalem 
			burned it's garbage.

	C.  Salt is part of the disciple's diet (49-50).
		--OT sacrifices were to be offered with salt (Lev 2:13), and so the disciple is 
			presented as offered with salt and burned up for God's pleasure (49).
		--Disciples can lose their "saltiness," the power of their testimony (50).
		--Salty believers are at peace with one another.

Conclusion (Haddon Robinson's illus. of "Quarter here, half dollar there.")
	1.  Learn to give yourself away to God.
	2.  Learn to give yourself away to others.
	3.  Reverse and repeat the process.


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