Bible Discussion Thread

  • Orion Hughes on Mark 9 - 2 years ago
    I recall much horror at Jesus saying to cut off ones hand or ones eye,

    and surely I could think of at least one other body part was worried about.

    Others in my church might not be worried about their hands, because their hand is not causing

    them to sin, but mine is.

    First of all, I want to honor the Christian forum by first defending Jesus.

    I believe Jesus has a sense of humor, I conclude based on what I have read,

    that Jesus is merely teasing people who have asked him how they can stop sinning.

    I understand there is also some very deep symbolism in all of this, as evidenced, by

    Jesus talking about "offending" one of "these little ones". So, it is more than just a joke,

    but it is humor in my opinion, I cant prove it, but I just dont see Jesus saying seriously to anyone

    that they should literally remove parts of their body.

    There is some question of what is meant by "offend". Other translations have said "if your hand causes you to sin",

    rather than "if your hand offends you". There is surely some implication of hands, eyes, and potentially other

    body parts, causing one to lust. If "offend" means something other than "causes you to sin", then in that case,

    is that not exactly what the trans-gendered are doing - removing parts of their body which "offend" them?

    In Matthew 19:12, Jesus seems to partially endorse the practice of becoming a eunuch.

    All this is very scary to the young teenaged Christian such as I was at one time.

    I recall also that it is not easy for Christian leaders to soothe such fear by dismissing it,

    because, Jesus is saying this.

    The joke I talked about is a great joke, it is very deep spiritually, I think we should reflect on this,

    Jesus is really telling us not to hurt ourself, not to be hard on ourself. "Rabbi, how do I stop [shameful practice]".

    "Cut your hand off".

    Its so perfect. Its funny, it disarms the questioner of their fear, its deep, its totally flawless.
  • Dav47 - In Reply on Mark 9 - 2 years ago
    JESUS was talking about the Church not any member of a person's body (GOD forbid); it is against doctrine to mutilate the flesh for anything.

    The subject was others who went out and healed in JESUS name but were not part of the group of disciples fallowing JESUS. Other words the many member body of CHRIST; church. . CHRIST was saying don't condemn them for they were working to spread the gospel and church as a whole, if it wasn't so they would not of been able to dispel spirits. Mark 9:40

    A church is made up of many members ( 1 Corinthians 12:12-:31). You have a preacher the (head) of the church, deacons (eyes), collectors (hands) etc for examples. If you have a member of a church that causes chaos you are to dispose of it quickly before it grows. Take gossip for instance, you are to stop it in its tracks. If you have a deacon (eyes) of a church pluck it out-if he is causing say gossiping ex. about member/members; other words kick him out the church so the whole body doesn't suffer and the whole church burns.
  • Streetpreacher - In Reply on Mark 9 - 2 years ago
    I don't see anything humorous about it. We're being warned we are about to fall into a ditch. I find Jesus's teachings, serious, on target and kinda fatherly. Not many people remember the old saying, "Little pitchers have big ears."

    What does Mark 9:43 mean?

    Jesus' words about a vague sin committed by a concrete body part parallels how scholars at that time spoke of concrete sins committed by an abstract body part, such as the heart. In Jesus' manner of speaking, the emphasis is placed on the choice, the action, and the responsibility of the perpetrator. The "hand" is a metaphor for the way in which the heart may lead the person to do something sinful. [like don't send your 5yr old into the house to get daddy another beer]

    The transition from Jesus' warning about causing others to sin in verse 42 is not as abrupt as it appears. Just as our heart may cause our hand to commit a sinful act, so it may cause a child or a younger Christian to commit a sinful act. Both require that we take serious steps to prevent our hearts from sinning.

    The term translated as "hell" in English is literally tn geennan. This is a reference to the Valley of Hinnom, the dump outside of Jerusalem where animal carcasses and other waste was burned. During the times of the worst idolatry in Israel, parents sacrificed their children to Molech by placing them in glowing-hot metal statues ( Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5; 32:35). Good king Josiah tore down the altars and dedicated the valley to the burning of offal ( 2 Kings 23:10).

    To "enter life" doesn't refer to being born. As "hell" means eternal punishment, "life" means eternal paradise for those who are saved by Christ. Jesus isn't giving a detailed description of eternity, here. Like in Matthew 5, He's illustrating how impossible it is to keep from sinning. Our resurrected bodies will not reflect the hardships we experienced in this life. Paul describes our new bodies as imperishable, glorified, and empowered ( 1 Corinthians 15:42-49)
  • Richard H Priday - In Reply on Mark 9 - 2 years ago
    The comparision statements make clear the very real literal place of hell; and therefore nothing in this life is worth holding onto that will send us there. We need first of all to understand that God formed man perfect in all his ways; but our sin nature and outward sins come from the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Those things which enter the mind therefore would constitute the eye; and the hand all things which we take action on in order to gratify the sin nature. Job was able to restrain the sin of lust by a covenant with his eyes as it were not to look at a woman with lust apart from his wife. We also need to consider the paralytic who Christ healed after many years of suffering; he was told to sin no more lest something worse happened to him which no doubt would indicate physical; and subsequent spiritual death. He didn't have functioning body parts; nonetheless whatever sin caused the state in his particular instance perpetuated through his sinful soul; mind and heart.

    In another sense; we are not supposed to not let our left hand know what our right hand is doing ( Matthew 6:3). Just as we are to have open hands; not closed fists when it comes to our possessions; our body is the Temple of the Lord in a sense; and we are to submit our members to His Lordship ( Romans 6:13 loosely translated). We were bought with a price; not of our own.

    Nonetheless; true repentance although given by God who puts the desire in our heart to turn to serving and worshipping Him; our part is to die to self. This separates the true believer from those who are not producing fruit but for a time part of the church (as a useless member of the vine). So; mortifying the deeds of the flesh involves a continuing sanctification process which starts at the day of our salvation; and is continued until our death or the rapture. Even saved people grow at different rates; and are subject to falling into sin. He chastises all He loves ( Heb. 12:6); but not the goats.
  • Orion Hughes - In Reply on Mark 9 - 2 years ago
    I suppose so, and I suppose also that it means that one should put forth more creativity and effort into being good.

    It says, dont tell me you dont have options, it says I can give you at least one theoretical solution.

    It says, if you have trouble not sinning, you might have a way to do it, it just might be hard.

    It does perhaps call on one to make a greater sacrifice.

    But consider the implications.

    I have a body part which likes to sin.

    Should I cut it off yes or no?

    You have already made your answer a clear yes, because as you have said Hell is very real literal Hell.

    Is that sane?

    So I do have another alternative, I can cut off the things which enter my mind instead of cutting off my hands - that's sane, that's normal, I can feel comfortable explaining to people that I practice that.

    But why call it cutting off your hands if you only meant cut off the things which enter my mind?
  • GiGi - In Reply on Mark 9 - 2 years ago
    Hello Orion, so good to meet you here.

    I believe that Jesus was using hyperbole to emphasize the gravity and deadly nature of sin. Is it better to enter heaven without a body part that drug one into sin or enter hell with all of our body still intact? I do not think he meant this to be done literally anymore than he meant we should lose our life to gain it by committing suicide or have someone else slay us. He was value of eternal life in Him and the need to trusty in Him to raise us from the dead if we indeed should loose our life. So we should not fear dying as an excuse to not follow God's lead in our life. This is the attitude the apostles and other martyrs had when being severely persecuted for their faith and endured torturous deaths for the sake of not renouncing Christ. We have a sense of self-preservation built into us by God. It is a good thing. But when it comes to a choice between committing grave sin to spare our own life, we are to refuse to do so, thus overriding the self-preservation/survival mode of our being and body.

    Paul said, "I die daily". He was not saying he physically died and was resurrected each day, but that he daily put to death the sinful nature by the power of Christ residing in him by the Holy Spirit. I pray to have this attitude like Paul, to be so intent on living a godly life set apart from sin that I access in every circumstance the power over sin that is ours in Christ. But He also knows that we will fail even as we are being further sanctified by the Holy Spirit. That is why John says in 1 John 1:9 that God wis faithful and just and will forgive us when we repent and confess our sins. It is encouraged in Scripture to examine ourselves daily with the "lens" of the Holy Spirit to expose our sins. Therefore, we die daily as we put to death our sinful nature daily through the grace of God that brings both repentance and forgiveness to us. How wonderful is that!

    Only with God's power can we cannot overcome sin in our life.

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