Tuesday of 5 Lent – March 31, 2020

Read Mark 9:42-50

As they wind their way south from Galilee toward Judea, Jesus begins to address some issues of discipline for a disciple.  At the end of yesterday’s reading Jesus made the statement, “anyone who gives you a cup of water in my Name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”  This is a basic tenet of living a life of charity toward others.  And in today’s reading He presses these disciplinary teachings further.  Just as we should strive for charity toward others, we should practice discipline in self restraint.  Nothing we do should ever be considered an occasion of sin for another.  

All of this teaching can sound harsh to our ear; however, what the Lord is trying to convey to the disciples is that Christian behavior is not something that comes naturally, because we are all fallen creatures.  We must learn it, practice it, and be disciplined in employing it in our daily living.  We will make mistakes.  We will fall short of the goal of living life in the model given to us by Christ.  But when we do fall short, we repent, turn to Him again seeking His grace, and start over.  It is when we make the conscious choice to ignore the call to holiness that Jesus says it would be better to cut off that limb, or pluck out that eye.

We will be tried in our attempts to live a life in holiness.  That is why in verse 49 He says that we will be tried by fire.  But fire can be purifying, burning away the behaviors that are not in line with Christ’s calling.  If we are not tried, we are not growing.  And the salt that He mentions in the last verse of today’s reading is best understood as our Christian character.  If the various aspects of our character line up with that of the character of Christ, that is good.  But it does require discipline—the discipline of continual relationship with Him.  If we lose our edge, neglect our walk with Christ, we have lost our saltiness.  Thus, “Have salt in yourselves.”

One thought on “Tuesday of 5 Lent – March 31, 2020

  1. Yesterday, the fire got hot enough, fast enough, that my salt was definitely lacking. 😢 Thanks for the reminder that I can be “resalted” as a result of repentance and His forgiveness. *DING* Round 2!

    Like

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