Temptations to Sin

Mark 9:42-50

by Chad V.

Jesus does not toy around with sin. In many places in the gospel accounts he goes to great lengths to teach on the severity of sin and what measures disciples should take to rid themselves of sin, and what happens when we lead others into sin. Here Jesus is using the extended metaphor of maiming oneself in order to avoid corruption and being sent to hell.

I've often wondered but isn't the bigger issue the heart, and not the tools we use to sin? Like why isn't Jesus more focused on the rebellious heart? And often times many of us think that if we just get this heart thing under control, then all these images and opportunities for sin wouldn't happen. And while that may be so, I think, for me at least, that so often I tend to deceive even my own self, and so obedience to Scripture is right when God says to make no provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:14). This is right in line with what Jesus is teaching us here in Mark.

How committed are we to personal holiness? While it is true that our salvation and Jesus himself is a gift of grace to us, how serious do we take our own sin? We should daily live out repentance as we seek to align our hearts with God's. That means denial of the flesh and all the world's temptations, trusting that Jesus is the better way and that he alone is worth the struggle.