In Mark 9:41, Jesus tells us that small acts of kindness to believers carry great rewards, and in verse 42 he tells us that acts which lead believers to sin carry a severe punishment. When Jesus refers to little ones, he could mean children or those weak in faith. Jesus says anyone who intentionally leads a child or someone weak in the faith to sin would be better off having a great millstone hung around the neck and cast into the sea. Such a horrible death would be better than eternity in hell.
Jesus takes sin so seriously that he tells us to get rid of anything that causes us to sin. He does not want us to literally gouge out an eye or cut off a hand; this is exaggerated language used by Middle Eastern cultures to make a point. The point being, anything that leads us to sin must be gotten rid of.
Sin keeps us from God. God takes sin so seriously that he sent his only Son to pay the price with his life. In Holy Baptism we are graciously washed clean of our sin, to live a new life. Through faith, the Spirit empowers us to do so.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, grant me faith to live my life in a way that leads people not to sin, but to Jesus. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Carl Haynes, the Pastor of Christiana Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.
Source: NALC Devotions