Rev. Mark Barz, pastor at Crown of Life Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Mark 9:38-50.
John breaks the disciples’ recent silence with a question for Jesus concerning an unnamed man who had been casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Jesus’ response calls His disciples to gentleness toward this man. His use of Jesus’ name indicates faith; he is not in league with the scribes and Pharisees who are against Jesus. This is not an excuse for false or sloppy doctrine; rather, Jesus teaches His disciples the patience that exemplifies the life of Christians together in the Church. Patience and gentleness within the kingdom of God go together with seriousness. This truly is a life or death matter. No disciple should become the cause of entrapment for another disciple, and no disciple should let sin go unchecked in his own life. What is needed is a new heart; this living heart of flesh is one that only Jesus can give. Connected to Him through faith, His people are salted to be living sacrifices in Him.
“The Gospel in Action” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. Mark. The Evangelist hits the ground running with the very first verse of his Gospel account, and he never lets up the pace. As one deed of Jesus comes right after another, always paired with His authoritative Word, St. Mark proclaims the good news that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, revealed conclusively by His death on the cross.