Day 22 | March 26 | Mark 9:38-50

Day 22 | March 26 | Mark 9:38-50
By: Jim Edlin

For many reasons I will never forget seeing my father lying in his casket. One thing that struck me was his hands resting on his chest. A few years before he died he had lost the tip of one finger while using a table saw. The mortician left that maimed finger on top of his folded hands. It occurred to me that we ought to place a small card in his hand with Matthew 9:43 written on it: “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.”

My father probably would have liked that. Though he did not start following Christ until fifty years of age, once he began he was all in. He attended church every time the doors were opened, ushered, served on the church board, treated people fairly, etc. You get the idea. If his hand had caused him to sin and miss heaven, he might have cut it off.

Jesus is likely exaggerating to make a point in this verse.  His point is that nothing is more important than getting to heaven. It will be amazing with Jesus. Hell without him will be horrible. Jesus described it like the garbage dump in Jerusalem, the Gehenna valley. There fire smoldered constantly and slimy worms crawled around. The stench probably stung your nose. It sounds like total misery.

I think Jesus wants us to reflect on how our hands, feet and eyes might cause us to stumble and keep us out of heaven. Are we doing things with our hands that displease God? Do our feet take us places that Jesus would not want us to be? Do our eyes look at things that draw us into sin?

According to Jesus, whatever it takes to avoid hell and get to heaven is worth it. I am sure my father would agree.
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Ron spruill - March 26th, 2022 at 6:42am

Thank you Jim! Good words from the life of your father! Blessings on you this day!

John Pickens - March 26th, 2022 at 7:46am

A great invitation for us to pause and think about our lives! Thank you for your words.

Amy Wetmore - March 26th, 2022 at 1:03pm

Great message in here, Dr. Edlin! Whatever it takes…. I’m all in! Just give me Jesus!!! Thanks for sharing!

Gordon Wetmore Jr - March 27th, 2022 at 8:55pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your love for your Dad. Your thoughts remind me of what I was taught as a child - sadly, I haven’t always done it BUT Praise the Lord for His grace!