Mark 10

The Question of Divorce

1 He set out from there and went to the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Then crowds converged on Him again and, as He usually did, He began teaching them once more.
2 Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce [his] wife?"
3 He replied to them, "What did Moses command you?"
4 They said, "Moses permitted us to write divorce papers and send her away."[a]
5 But Jesus told them, "He wrote this commandment for you because of the hardness of your hearts.
6 But from the beginning of creation God [b] made them male and female. [c]
7 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother [ and be joined to his wife, ] [d]
8 and the two will become one flesh. [e] So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
9 Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate."
10 Now in the house the disciples questioned Him again about this matter.
11 And He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.
12 Also, if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Blessing the Children

13 Some people were bringing little children to Him so He might touch them, but His disciples rebuked them.
14 When Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me. Don't stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
15 I assure you: Whoever does not welcome [f] the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
16 After taking them in His arms, He laid His hands on them and blessed them.

The Rich Young Ruler

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18 "Why do you call Me good?" Jesus asked him. "No one is good but One-God.
19 You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother. " [g]
20 He said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth."
21 Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, "You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, [h] follow Me."
22 But he was stunned[i] at this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.

Possessions and the Kingdom

23 Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"
24 But the disciples were astonished at His words. Again Jesus said to them, "Children, how hard it is [j] to enter the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
26 So they were even more astonished, saying to one another, "Then who can be saved?"
27 Looking at them, Jesus said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God."
28 Peter began to tell Him, "Look, we have left everything and followed You."
29 "I assure you," Jesus said, "there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father, [k] children, or fields because of Me and the gospel,
30 who will not receive 100 times more, now at this time-houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions-and eternal life in the age to come.
31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

The Third Prediction of His Death

32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. They were astonished, but those who followed Him were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, He began to tell them the things that would happen to Him.
33 "Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death. Then they will hand Him over to the Gentiles,
34 and they will mock Him, spit on Him, flog [l] Him, and kill Him, and He will rise after three days."

Suffering and Service

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Him and said, "Teacher, we want You to do something for us if we ask You."
36 "What do you want Me to do for you?" He asked them.
37 They answered Him, "Allow us to sit at Your right and at Your left in Your glory."
38 But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you're asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink or to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?"
39 "We are able," they told Him. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with.
40 But to sit at My right or left is not Mine to give; instead, it is for those it has been prepared for."
41 When the [other] 10 [disciples] heard this, they began to be indignant with James and John.
42 Jesus called them over and said to them, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and their men of high positions exercise power over them.
43 But it must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all.
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life-a ransom for many." [m]

A Blind Man Healed

46 They came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road.
47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, "Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!"
48 Many people told him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, "Have mercy on me, Son of David!"
49 Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man and said to him, "Have courage! Get up; He's calling for you."
50 He threw off his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.
51 Then Jesus answered him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" "Rabbouni,"[n] the blind man told Him, "I want to see!"
52 "Go your way," Jesus told him. "Your faith has healed you." Immediately he could see and began to follow Him on the road.

Mark 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

The Pharisees' question concerning divorce. (1-12) Christ's love to little children. (13-16) Christ's discourse with the rich young man. (17-22) The hinderance of riches. (23-31) Christ foretells his sufferings. (32-45) Bartimeus healed. (46-52)

Verses 1-12 Wherever Jesus was, the people flocked after him in crowds, and he taught them. Preaching was Christ's constant practice. He here shows that the reason why Moses' law allowed divorce, was such that they ought not to use the permission; it was only for the hardness of their hearts. God himself joined man and wife together; he has fitted them to be comforts and helps for each other. The bond which God has tied, is not to be lightly untied. Let those who are for putting away their wives consider what would become of themselves, if God should deal with them in like manner.

Verses 13-16 Some parents or nurses brought little children to Christ, that he should touch them, in token of his blessing them. It does not appear that they needed bodily cures, nor were they capable of being taught: but those who had the care of them believed that Christ's blessing would do their souls good; therefore they brought them to him. Jesus ordered that they should be brought to him, and that nothing should be said or done to hinder it. Children should be directed to the Saviour as soon as they are able to understand his words. Also, we must receive the kingdom of God as little children; we must stand affected to Christ and his grace, as little children to their parents, nurses, and teachers.

Verses 17-22 This young ruler showed great earnestness. He asked what he should do now, that he might be happy for ever. Most ask for good to be had in this world; any good, ( Psalms 4:6 ) ; he asks for good to be done in this world, in order to enjoy the greatest good in the other world. Christ encouraged this address by assisting his faith, and by directing his practice. But here is a sorrowful parting between Jesus and this young man. He asks Christ what he shall do more than he has done, to obtain eternal life; and Christ puts it to him, whether he has indeed that firm belief of, and that high value for eternal life which he seems to have. Is he willing to bear a present cross, in expectation of future crown? The young man was sorry he could not be a follower of Christ upon easier terms; that he could not lay hold on eternal life, and keep hold of his worldly possessions too. He went away grieved. See ( Matthew 6:24 ) , Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Verses 23-31 Christ took this occasion to speak to his disciples about the difficulty of the salvation of those who have abundance of this world. Those who thus eagerly seek the wealth of the world, will never rightly prize Christ and his grace. Also, as to the greatness of the salvation of those who have but little of this world, and leave it for Christ. The greatest trial of a good man's constancy is, when love to Jesus calls him to give up love to friends and relatives. Even when gainers by Christ, let them still expect to suffer for him, till they reach heaven. Let us learn contentment in a low state, and to watch against the love of riches in a high one. Let us pray to be enabled to part with all, if required, in Christ's service, and to use all we are allowed to keep in his service.

Verses 32-45 Christ's going on with his undertaking for the salvation of mankind, was, is, and will be, the wonder of all his disciples. Worldly honour is a glittering thing, with which the eyes of Christ's own disciples have many times been dazzled. Our care must be, that we may have wisdom and grace to know how to suffer with him; and we may trust him to provide what the degrees of our glory shall be. Christ shows them that dominion was generally abused in the world. If Jesus would gratify all our desires, it would soon appear that we desire fame or authority, and are unwilling to taste of his cup, or to have his baptism; and should often be ruined by having our prayers answered. But he loves us, and will only give his people what is good for them.

Verses 46-52 Bartimeus had heard of Jesus and his miracles, and learning that he was passing by, hoped to recover his eyesight. In coming to Christ for help and healing, we should look to him as the promised Messiah. The gracious calls Christ gives us to come to him, encourage our hope, that if we come to him we shall have what we come for. Those who would come to Jesus, must cast away the garment of their own sufficiency, must free themselves from every weight, and the sin that, like long garments, most easily besets them, ( Hebrews 12:1 ) . He begged that his eyes might be opened. It is very desirable to be able to earn our bread; and where God has given men limbs and senses, it is a shame, by foolishness and slothfulness, to make themselves, in effect, blind and lame. His eyes were opened. Thy faith has made thee whole: faith in Christ as the Son of David, and in his pity and power; not thy repeated words, but thy faith; Christ setting thy faith to work. Let sinners be exhorted to imitate blind Bartimeus. Where the gospel is preached, or the written words of truth circulated, Jesus is passing by, and this is the opportunity. It is not enough to come to Christ for spiritual healing, but, when we are healed, we must continue to follow him; that we may honour him, and receive instruction from him. Those who have spiritual eyesight, see that beauty in Christ which will draw them to run after him.

Footnotes 14

Mark 10 Commentaries