Sin and forgiveness are things talked about often in church. However, it isn’t always talked about in the same way that it is talked about in this passage. The temptation to sin is a guaranteed burden that will be in this world as a result of the fall. We as followers of Jesus hear all the time that we should flee from temptation and avoid temptation, and fight it. This is something that we are familiar with hearing.
If we are all really honest we have probably at some point fallen to sin and felt guilty but came to the conclusion that it isn’t that bad because it only hurts us and I can’t always win the fight. This passage is telling us that just because temptation is inevitable does not give us the excuse to be a temptation to others. Let me clarify. When we sin it always affects for than just ourselves. There is always a ripple that impacts everything around us in some way. Why? Because sin separates us from God, it is wrong and against Him. This is why the passage continues to say that if you are the source of temptation it would be better for you to drowned with a millstone around your neck.
This seems like such harsh language, but here is why. Drowning with the millstone around my neck has less serious consequences than if I am the source of temptation for someone else. This is true because sin has eternal consequences. We have to realize the gravity and the weight of temptation and sin, instead of seeing it as not that big of a deal. God sees it as a huge deal!
At this point you may feel like this is the most morbid Jumpstart you have read. Verses 3-7 will help a lot with that. There is a description of repentance and grace upon grace upon grace. This is the model of grace that Jesus was ready to pour out to us. For us to overcome temptation even when it feels as though it is impossible we have to have faith. It is only the power of the Holy Spirit within us that will allow us to overcome time and time again. With Faith, the impossible is made possible.
By: Dakota Gragg — Student Ministry Associate