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14. THE FATE OF A SEDUCER (Mark.9:42-50)

BACKGROUND: The Greek word skandalaijo in verse 42 can mean "to offend", "to tempt", "to make someone fall", "to cause to sin". The words of Jesus in this text are extremely relevant today. The news tells us often about pedophiles and producers of child porno who destroy the lives of countless children in our time. Jesus, however, speaks here not only of such extreme cases but also the secret temptations in the lives of ordinary people, such as you and me.
  1. No country in the world has a legal code demanding the punishment that Jesus speaks of in verse 42. In which respect is the punishment Jesus demands stricter than the ordinary ways of execution? (Why is it that according to Jesus someone who seduces a child is not worthy even of a decent funeral?)
  2. Mention some examples of how hands can cause someone to sin (vs.43)?
    • How can feet cause someone to sin (vs.45)? What about eyes (vs.47)?
    • Do you recognize a temptation at once when you encounter it?
  3. Which do you fear more: that you might lose your hands, feet or eyes by an accident, or that you might end up in hell after you die?
    • Which of these possibilities do you fear more in the lives of your children/loved ones?
  4. What would the listeners say if someone started to preach in our churches like Jesus does here?
  5. What did Jesus mean by giving such terrible advice (verses 43-47)?
    • What would you think about Jesus' advice if one of your loved ones had been molested by a corrupt person?
  6. What advice would you give a person who is struggling with sexual sins he/she hasn't been able to overcome?
  7. What would happen if the Christian church stopped preaching about temptations, gross sins and hell in the way Jesus did? (How would our concept of God change? How would people's behavior change? What would be the effect on their relationship to the cross of Jesus?)
  8. What is the greatest mistake of the produces and consumers of pornography in our day?
    • How should we fight against pornography privately and publicly?
  9. What should we do if we realize that we haven't been able to follow these commandments of Jesus?

GLAD TIDINGS: Maybe you can see now why the hands and feet of Jesus had to be pierced with nails and why he had to die with an utter darkness inside as well as on the outside.

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