On Sunday, September 27 we share some time with another of the hard text from the Gospel of Mark, Mark 9:38-50. The troubling part of this text is when Jesus shares that if a part of the body causes one to stumble or sin then we should cut it off or remove that part of the body. For example if your eye causes you to sin then gouge it out for it is better to enter heaven with one eye then to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. This text is hard because if I take it literally then folks it would be very hard for me to function as I would be blind and have no hands. Literal reading and believing of the Bible is a slippery slope. This text, as well as all of Scripture, must be view with the understanding that we must see it as important and discern what is it’s relevance in the world today. Don’t misunderstand all of Scripture is relevant and necessary the hard task is thinking, reasoning and seeking God’s direction as we read. Now for the text at hand, Jesus was seeking to say in very extreme terms what I call the “behave speech” you are a child of God then act and live like one. Mark uses Jesus’ words, exact words or maybe Mark’s interpretation of Jesus’ words, no way for us to know for sure, to encourage Mark’s readers then and now that we must realize our actions influence others. Our action, our words and our choices reach farther than just our own lives. Mark uses these extreme words to point to the fact this is very important. Sin is not a new concept and sin today is not any different than sin in Mark’s day. After all it is selfishness that drives all sin. Ultimately this text from Mark’s Gospel coming from the mouth of Jesus is meant to remind us that we need to watch how we live, what we say and do because we can be a blessing or a stumbling block to those around us the choice is ours. You are a child of God so behave today!