Mark 9:41-50 (KJV) 41) For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 42) And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea…
For this morning, let’s look at verse 42. This verse is a part of a two verse section of our text that describes for us two evidences of genuine salvation…
In vs 41 – we find evidence of a person who is the recipient of God’s gracious salvation.
In vs 42 – we find evidence of a person who has never been saved by God’s grace.
When we look at verse 42 – Please notice what this verse is teaching us….
“And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me”
The general theme is how we treat those who are the most helpless and impressionable among us… In this verse they are described as “little ones” and especially refers to those who are young of age. But this principle can also apply to the elderly, the poor, those who are handicapped, anyone who cannot defend nor care for themselves. These are the people who, many times are overlooked by those in power. For God’s people, who are called to love all others and care for others in need, these are the prime candidates for our aid and nurturing. This is described as “pure religion and undefiled before God” … Jas 1:27 (KJV)“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
But please notice that especially those who are vulnerable among God’s people are in view… “little ones that believe in him”. Folks, not only are we told that we are to take care of those who are defenseless around us but, here, we are told to take a special type of care to the vulnerable among God’s people. In this way God’s people should be clearly sat apart from the people of the world. It is by our love for our family in Christ that we known as Christians. John 13:34-35 (KJV) A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
“it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”
Our Lord is said to be the Defender of those who are the most susceptible (Psa 82:3) and, throughout the Scriptures, our Lord is also described as the Defender of His people. (Psa 5:11) In our text this principle is clearly shown to us. What will be the result of the abuse of those who are defenseless? As this world phrases it, it will be “a fate worse than death”. When the Lord avenges the young and at risk of His people, death will pale in comparison to the horrors that the offenders will have to face.
How much of our time, effort and assets do we commit to helping the young and exposed around us? The youth of our world need someone who cares and is willing to invest their time teaching them the things of God and setting a Godly example for them to follow. There are so many others who are vulnerable in our society who need our loving care to meet their physical, mental and most importantly spiritual needs.
Are we showing others we are Christians by our love and concern for these most precious of God’s people? If not, could it be that we do not have the love of Christ in our hearts?
May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.
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