YOUR HAND…YOUR FOOT…YOUR EYE
with Rev. Rachel
YOUR HAND…YOUR FOOT…YOUR EYE Mark 9
Jesus is fixing to tell the disciples that it isn’t about them (Mark 10). First, he clears his throat. There will be times when actually, it is about you.
The disciples’ behavior can be likened to getting in the way (v.42). They aren’t in the way because they set out to be or want to be stumbling blocks for others. But because of stuff that’s out of whack within and among them, they very much are.
Where the text says, “cut it off”, we might read: Cut it out. Deal with what is tripping you up such that you can stop tripping others.
Of course, it’s easy to take this as license to ponder the faces of those whom we wish would deal with their hand/foot/eye…but that lands us deep in the very hole that Jesus is trying to pull us out of—the hole that sounds like “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons your your name, and we tried to stop him…(v.38).”
Sometimes it is about us.
If it is kingdom entry we’re after, Jesus encourages us to take a good hard look at ourselves; and then, perhaps, at others. [Matthew more than Mark emphasizes this.]
I should say, ‘if’ lacks the passion Jesus carries for the kingdom. Kingdom entry is, for him, everything. No project is more important than bringing heaven to earth. Helping us to step into the stream of eternal life now is worth his all, suggests the cross.
‘If’ more appropriately applies to God’s tactics. If hyperbole is what it takes to get us to address what holds us back, then hyperbole we will get.
While I’m not much on a God who wills self-amputation, I sure would like to be more for a God who goes to the ends of the earth that we might ditch what is detrimental. That, fellow pilgrims, is what being salted with fire along this way is all about (v.49): Becoming more of who we are for the One whose we are.