John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
Food For Thought:
In this passage, Jesus tells his followers to not be concerned about the piety of others but to worry about their own spiritual life. Jesus is asking his followers to put aside their petty arguments and squabbles and to do the thing, which is to love one another as Christ loves us. Think about your own spiritual life. What petty squabble or judgmental behavior do you need to let go of?
God, you call us to go where Christ leads.
Turn us from the ways of the world;
guide us to fullness of joy in the Spirit,
where bodies and souls rest secure;
and grant us strength
to follow the way of the cross,
which frees us to love one another
for the sake of all creation. Amen.
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