Mark 9:33-50

Jesus explains who will be the most important person

33 Jesus and his disciples arrived at Capernaum. When they were in the house, Jesus asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ 34 But they did not say anything. They did not want to tell Jesus why they were arguing. On the way, they had argued about who was the most important disciple.

35 Jesus sat down. He told the 12 disciples to come to him. Then he said to them, ‘If you want to be the leader, make yourself less important than everyone else. You must become the servant of everyone.’

36 Then Jesus brought a child to stand in the middle of them all. He took hold of the child and he said to the disciples, 37 ‘If someone accepts a child like this because of me, then that person also accepts me. If he accepts me, then he is not only accepting me. He is also accepting my Father God, who sent me.’

9:37Jesus loved children. And he showed his disciples that a child is important to God. We should also love people who do not seem important.

38 John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw a man who was causing bad spirits to go out of people. He was using your authority to do it. But he is not in our group. So we told him that he must not do it.’

39 ‘Do not tell him to stop,’ Jesus said. ‘That man is using my authority to do powerful things. Someone who does that cannot immediately say anything bad about me. 40 If someone is not against us, he is working with us. 41 Somebody may give you a cup of water because you are a servant of the Messiah. I tell you this: God will bless that person and he will never lose God's help.

42 A person who believes in me may not seem important. But you should never make that person do wrong things. Do not do that! It would be better if someone tied a big stone round your neck and then he threw you into the sea!

43-44 If your hand causes you to do wrong things, you should cut it off. You will only have one hand, but you can have God's true life. It will be much worse for you if you keep both your hands and go to hell. There, the fire always burns and never stops. 45-46 If your foot causes you to do wrong things, you should cut it off. You will only have one foot, but you can have God's true life. It will be much worse if you keep your two feet and go to hell. 47 If your eye causes you to do wrong things, then you should remove it. Then you will only have one eye, but you can go into the kingdom of God. It will be much worse if you keep both your eyes and God throws you into hell.

9:43-44Jesus does not want his disciples to cut their bodies. But it is very important for them not to do wrong things. That is what Jesus is telling them.

48 “In hell, the worms do not die,

and the fire never goes out.” ’

9:48See Isaiah 66:24. These worms live in dead bodies.
9:48Some old Bibles repeat the words in verse 48 in verse 44 and in verse 46.

49 ‘God will put fire on everybody as people put salt on food.’

9:49The fire will show what is good in everyone's lives.

50 ‘Salt is good. But if your salt is not salty any more, you cannot make it salty again. You should be like good salt and love each other. Do not cause trouble among yourselves.’