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-LESSON 12: Mark 10

by Dr. D ~

To read the verses studied below, just type in each verse or verses wanted, in the Bible Search to the left ————-example: Mark 10:1 ——————->

Mark 10 -Things You Don’t See Every Day:

10:33-34  Jesus predicts his own death and resurrection

10:52  Jesus heals a blind man

Vs. 10:1-12  Jesus teaches about Marriage and Divorce

Again, religious leaders are trying to trip up Jesus–this time on the subject of divorce.  To fully appreciate the response of Jesus, it helps to understand the cultural context.  It had become a practice in Judah for divorce to be in the hands of the husband only.  He could divorce his wife by simply stating-“I divorce you”-three times and it was done and over with. They no longer bothered with writing a certificate as Moses had required, nor did they go before a judge or Rabbi.  Jesus points out their hypocrisy in the manner, and concludes by informing them that by that method, the marriage is really not over.  After all, it is God who joined the two together and the former husband and wife will end up committing adultery if they remarry.  Separation of the two parties should be seen as a matter between them and God, regardless of any legal process.  The Gospel of Matthew also has this teaching, but Matthew, in verse 19:9, recalls that the phrase: “except for sexual immorality” (unfaithfulness), was also part of the teaching of Jesus.  For additional teaching and guidelines on marriage and divorce for Christians, see: ICor. 7.

Vs. 10:13-16  Jesus and The Little Children

The disciples try to keep the children away from Jesus.  After all, there is a whole lot of important stuff to do, and the children will just get in the way.  Jesus wants to see the children and uses this as a lesson for the adults–1.  The children are important.  2.  The Kingdom is to be freely received like a child receives.  3.  Children are closer to the Kingdom than the adults.  4.  Jesus gives the children the his blessing.

This scripture is commonly used on those occasions in many Churches,  which traditionally encourage parents to bring their young children before the Church for a special blessing and dedication to God and his Kingdom.

Vs. 10:17-22  The Rich Young Man

The young man wants to know what he still needs to ‘DO’ in order to inherit Eternal Life.  The Mosaic Law listed all sorts of things to do and apparently he had followed through on all those provisions.  However, in the Older Covenant, one could never be sure of salvation.

It is interesting that the young man refers to Jesus as “good teacher”,  But Jesus replies that “only God alone is really good”.  Some have cited this passage as a proof text where Jesus actually denied his divinity.  This is not the case, Jesus merely states that ‘only God is good’, without qualifying whether the designation applies to him or not.  The young man could have replied: “You are the Christ, the Son of God”, like Peter once did when Jesus had asked-“but who do you say I am?”.  In that case (if the young man had faith in Jesus), Jesus could have confirmed that he would indeed inherit Eternal Life.  However, the man did not know who Jesus really was, else he would have probably left his wealth behind.  Notice that verse 21 says that Jesus loved him, and yet he left Jesus and the disciples behind, and went his own way, sadly.

Vs. 10:23-27  Can The Rich Be Saved?

It was a popular understanding in first century Judea, that the rich had become so, because they were good, righteous, and followed the commands of the Law.  Therefore, God blessed them with wealth.  It was assumed that the wealthy would be probably saved in the life to come.  So when Jesus seems to teach that it is impossible for the rich to be saved, the disciples are upset–“who then can be saved?”.  Jesus is trying to show them that no one can be saved merely by the things that they do or don’t do.  Salvation comes only as a gift from God.  It is impossible for anyone to be saved by their own efforts.  With God, “all things are possible”.  Without God, no one can enter into the Kingdom, even the rich and the self righteous.

Vs. 10:28-31  The Disciples are Upset and Concerned

Peter and the disciples are now concerned about there own positions in the life to come.  After all, if a rich and supposedly righteous man was not necessarily destined for the Kingdom of God, then what about poor fishermen from Galilee, who gave up everything to follow Jesus?

Jesus reassures his disciples that those who gave up all for him and the Gospel will be rewarded, even if they may face persecutions.  However, he also says, that many who are first will end up being last.  This could apply to the rich young man, but also to Judas, who considered himself to be among the leaders of the disciples, but ended up as last.

Vs. 10:32-34  Again, Jesus Predicts His own Death

Jesus heads for Jerusalem and the disciples are surprised and afraid.  Once more, he informs the of the events to come.  Notice, that Jesus says that the Jewish religious leaders will ‘betray’ him, but that is will be the gentiles (the Romans), that actually beat and kill him.  Somehow, the entire Jewish race gets unfairly blamed for death of Jesus, and wrongly persecuted for the deed. In spite all of the warnings, the disciples are really not prepared for what is to come.

Vs. 10:35-40  The Boldness of James and John

James and John, the Zebedee bothers are hoping to be number 2 & 3 in authority, after Jesus, in the Kingdom.  There guys were pretty bold.  Jesus called them the ‘sons of thunder’ because they wanted Jesus to call down fire from heaven (like Elijah) upon certain villages that mistreated Jesus and the disciples.  Jesus asks them if they are ready to accept the same treatment that he is soon facing.  Of coarse they say yes, without really knowing what they are saying yes to.  James was among the first of the disciples and the twelve to be martyred.  John was later boiled in a vat of oil, and exiled to the isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation.  John was the last of the twelve, living into the turn of the century, his death was unrecorded.

Vs. 10:41-45  True Leadership According to Jesus

The other 10 Apostles were upset with the Zebedee boys.  The whole group was jockeying for high positions within the Kingdom.  Jesus uses this as an opportunity to teach them about true leadership.

He uses the gentiles rulers, as an example of how not to lead–being as ‘lords’ over the people.  Those who would be leaders in the Kingdom, are called to be servants of all.  More churches and denominations should pay closer attention to the leadership guidelines taught by Jesus here.

Vs. 10:46-52  Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

Jesus and the disciples are leaving Jericho, with a large crowd following.  A blind man named Bar-timaeus was sitting along the side of the road begging, when he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.  He starts crying out, and then shouting out louder, as folks around him try to shut him up.  Notice that he really does know who Jesus is–“Son of David”.

Finally, he is called by Jesus to come.  Notice three things in the end of this story– 1.  He had faith.  2.  He was healed.  3. He followed Jesus.  Since his name is remembered here in Mark, Bartimaeus probably became a regular follower of Jesus and among the early members of the Christian community.

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