Mark 10

1 From there he went to the area of Judea across the Jordan. A crowd of people, as was so often the case, went along, and he, as he so often did, taught them.
2 Pharisees came up, intending to give him a hard time. They asked, "Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife?"
3 Jesus said, "What did Moses command?"
4 They answered, "Moses gave permission to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her."
5 Jesus said, "Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways.
6 In the original creation, God made male and female to be together.
7 Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage
8 he becomes one flesh with a woman - no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity.
9 Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart."
10 When they were back home, the disciples brought it up again.
11 Jesus gave it to them straight: "A man who divorces his wife so he can marry someone else commits adultery against her.
12 And a woman who divorces her husband so she can marry someone else commits adultery."
13 The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them.
14 The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: "Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom.
15 Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in."
16 Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
17 As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, "Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?"
18 Jesus said, "Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God.
19 You know the commandments: Don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't lie, don't cheat, honor your father and mother."
20 He said, "Teacher, I have - from my youth - kept them all!"
21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye - and loved him! He said, "There's one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me."
22 The man's face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.
23 Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, "Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who 'have it all' to enter God's kingdom?"
24 The disciples couldn't believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: "You can't imagine how difficult.
25 I'd say it's easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for the rich to get into God's kingdom."
26 That set the disciples back on their heels. "Then who has any chance at all?" they asked.
27 Jesus was blunt: "No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it."
28 Peter tried another angle: "We left everything and followed you."
29 Jesus said, "Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land - whatever - because of me and the Message
30 will lose out. They'll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land - but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life!
31 This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first."
32 Back on the road, they set out for Jerusalem. Jesus had a head start on them, and they were following, puzzled and not just a little afraid. He took the Twelve and began again to go over what to expect next.
33 "Listen to me carefully. We're on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Romans,
34 who will mock and spit on him, give him the third degree, and kill him. After three days he will rise alive."
35 James and John, Zebedee's sons, came up to him. "Teacher, we have something we want you to do for us."
36 "What is it? I'll see what I can do."
37 "Arrange it," they said, "so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory - one of us at your right, the other at your left."
38 Jesus said, "You have no idea what you're asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I'm about to be plunged into?"
39 "Sure," they said. "Why not?"
40 But as to awarding places of honor, that's not my business. There are other arrangements for that."
41 When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John.
42 Jesus got them together to settle things down. "You've observed how godless rulers throw their weight around," he said, "and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads.
43 It's not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.
44 Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.
45 That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served - and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage."
46 They spent some time in Jericho. As Jesus was leaving town, trailed by his disciples and a parade of people, a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, was sitting alongside the road.
47 When he heard that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by, he began to cry out, "Son of David, Jesus! Mercy, have mercy on me!"
48 Many tried to hush him up, but he yelled all the louder, "Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!"
49 Jesus stopped in his tracks. "Call him over."
50 Throwing off his coat, he was on his feet at once and came to Jesus.
51 Jesus said, "What can I do for you?" The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."
52 "On your way," said Jesus. "Your faith has saved and healed you." In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down 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.

Mark 10 Commentaries