Mark 10

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We often find Jesus responding to questions and challenges from the Pharisees and scribes by a counter question and also by referring back to the law of Moses on which they claimed to base themselves. This is also the case here in the beginning of this chapter where they challenge him on the matter of divorce and he proceeds to explain the wider context of marriage as intended by God (note: between a man and a woman). Reading these verses it also becomes clear that these things apply equally to men and women.

Jesus receives the little children and teaches his disciples that it is those people who behave like children in the way that they have an uncomplicated trust in and reliance on the Lord, who will have part in God’s Kingdom.

The situation with the rich young man teaches us that material belongings can be a serious hindrance and distraction to being a true servant (self reliance?) and Jesus teaches that all worldly things, even our human relationships, should be secondary to the priority of following him and doing his Father’s will. This point is further reinforced in Mark 10:35-45.

From Mark 10:32-34 Jesus explains that he is going to Jerusalem and that he is going to suffer and die there but he makes also clear that he will rise again. This is also the first time that Jesus makes reference to the fact that he is giving his life as a ransom or sacrifice for many indicating that through his death, those who believe in him can be saved (and not through their own efforts).

Whatever we think about the nature of their request, presumably James and John ask him about their position in the Kingdom in Mark 10:37 because they assumed that it would come directly after Jesus’ resurrection. We noted the kind and mild way Jesus responded to their question.

Finally, we see how blind Bartimaeus receives his sight. Here it is reinforced that those who have faith can be healed. This is also one of the few situations where the person healed is actually named.