Biblical Studies/New Testament Commentaries/The Gospel of Mark/Chapter 10
Provide the information in the following categories:
a. Background Information: i. Historical Context: What do contemporary readers need to know that author assumed his first readers probably took for granted? ii. Literary Context: How may the constituent parts of a given chapter be better appreciated by information about the structure of the book as a whole?
b. Explanation: i. Analysis: What does a verse-by-verse examination of the constituent words and phrases suggest about the meaning of the chapter? Consideration will be given to their use in the Old Testament and other nearly contemporary literature. ii. Paraphrase: In light of these considerations an expansive, highly interpretive paraphrase of each chapter will be offered. The paraphrase attempts to avoid technical, theological jargon so as to allow contemporary secular English readers to understand the point of the chapter.
c. Implications: i. Reception: How has this chapter been received and understood by readers across the centuries since its origin? ii. Influence: What are the apparent theological and practical implications of this chapter within the entire Christian canon of Scripture? What has this chapter contributed to the views of contemporary Christianity?
This chapter of Mark deals with some of the teachings of Jesus. The teachings of chapter 10 include the following: marriage and divorce, blessing the children, Jesus speaks to the rich young man, Jesus predicts his death the third time, serving others, and Jesus heals a blind beggar. These teachings of Jesus happen on the trip to Jerusalem.
Vs 1-12 Jesus is teaching in a large crowd in the region of Judea when the Pharisees ask him if it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus does not answer them with a no but does not encourage it because marriage is for a man and women and that marriage should be forever.
Vs 13-16 The disciples try to stop the children from going to Jesus but Jesus allows them to come to him. It is here that Jesus says you will not receive the kingdom of God unless you receive it like a little child.
Vs 17-31 A young man comes to Jesus wanting to know how to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments but to also give his belongings to the poor and to follow Him. The young man can not do this. The main lesson of this teaching is that with man all things are impossible but with God all things are possible.
Vs 32-34 Jesus and the disciples are on their way up to Jerusalem when Jesus tells the twelve that the Son of Man will be betrayed and condemned to death; be mocked, spit on, flogged, killed, but will rise again on the third day.
Vs 35-45 James and John ask Jesus if they can sit at his right and left hand but Jesus tells them that that decision is not up to him. He makes the statement that to become great is to become a servant.
Vs 46-52 In Jericho, Bartimaeus the blind man is healed by Jesus. He was healed by faith.
In the Text
Mark 10: Detailed Content Outline
Mark 10 Key Words
Marriage and Divorce
1 Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again. 2 The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him. 3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” 5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’;[b] so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. 11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”[c] 20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
With God All Things Are Possible
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches[d] 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 man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” 28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” 29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Jesus a Third Time Predicts His Death and Resurrection 32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
Greatness Is Serving
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. 42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of 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.”
Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
1-2 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. Pharisees came up, intending to give him a hard time. They asked, "Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife?" 3Jesus said, "What did Moses command?" 4They answered, "Moses gave permission to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her." 5-9Jesus said, "Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation, God made male and female to be together. Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart." 10-12When they were back home, the disciples brought it up again. Jesus gave it to them straight: "A man who divorces his wife so he can marry someone else commits adultery against her. And a woman who divorces her husband so she can marry someone else commits adultery."
13-16The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. 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. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
- I find it interesting that with The Message version that this section of Jesus blessing the little children is not it’s own section in the book like it is in other Bible versions. This section is like a little add on to the section of divorce.
To Enter God's Kingdom
17As 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?" 18-19Jesus said, "Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. 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." 20He said, "Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!" 21Jesus 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." 22The 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. 23-25Looking 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?" The disciples couldn't believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: "You can't imagine how difficult. 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." 26That set the disciples back on their heels. "Then who has any chance at all?" they asked. 27Jesus 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." 28Peter tried another angle: "We left everything and followed you." 29-31Jesus said, "Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message 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! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first." 32-34Back 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. "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, who will mock and spit on him, give him the third degree, and kill him. After three days he will rise alive."
The Highest Places of Honor
35James 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." 38Jesus 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?" 39-40"Sure," they said. "Why not?" Jesus said, "Come to think of it, you will drink the cup I drink, and be baptized in my baptism. But as to awarding places of honor, that's not my business. There are other arrangements for that." 41-45When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John. 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. It's not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. 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." 46-48They 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. When he heard that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by, he began to cry out, "Son of David, Jesus! Mercy, have mercy on me!" Many tried to hush him up, but he yelled all the louder, "Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!" 49-50Jesus stopped in his tracks. "Call him over." They called him. "It's your lucky day! Get up! He's calling you to come!" Throwing off his coat, he was on his feet at once and came to Jesus. 51Jesus 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.
1Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them. 2Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" 3"What did Moses command you?" he replied. 4They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away." 5"It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied. 6"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'[a] 7'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8and the two will become one flesh.'[c] So they are no longer two, but one. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." 10When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."
The Little Children and Jesus
13People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." 16And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
The Rich Young Man
17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'[d]" 20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." 21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" 24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?" 27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." 28Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!" 29"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first."
Jesus Again Predicts His Death
32They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33"We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise."
The Request of James and John
35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask." 36"What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. 37They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." 38"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?" 39"We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared." 41When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
46Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." 50Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." 52"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Lawful- NKJ vs 2: allowed or permitted or appointed or recognized or sanctioned by law.
Divorce- NKJ vs 4, 11; NIV vs 2: a judicial declaration dissolving a marriage in whole or in part, esp. one that releases the husband and wife from all matrimonial obligations.
Dismiss- NKJ vs 4: to direct (an assembly of persons) to disperse or go.
Beginning- NKJ vs 6: the point of time or space at which anything begins, the first part.
Joined- NKJ vs 7: to put or bring together so as to make continuous or form a unit.
commits- NKJ vs 11: to do, perform, or perpetrate.
adultery- NKJ vs 11, 19; Message vs 10-12; NKJ vs 19: “whoredom”; sexual intercourse between a married or betrothed woman and any man other that her husband. The marital status of the woman’s partner is in consequential since only the married or betrothed woman is bound to fidelity; the infidelity of a married man is criticized not punishable by law.
Touch- NKJ vs 13: to lay hands on, to come into contact with and perceive (something), as the hand or the like does.
Blessing/blessed- Message vs 13-16; NIV vs 14: has been most frequently understood in terms of benefits conveyed-prosperity, power, and fertility; but is also viewed as relationship between parties.
Inherit- NKJ vs 17: to receive as if by succession from predecessors.
Eternal life- NKJ vs 17, 30; Message vs 10-12; NIV vs 19: life without beginning or end.
Youth- NKJ vs 20; Message vs 20: the time of being young; early life.
Loved- NKJ vs 21; Message vs 21; NIV vs 21: held in deep affection; cherished.
Treasure- NKJ vs 21; NIV vs 21: wealth or riches stored or accumulated.
Cross- NKJ vs 21: a structure consisting essentially of an upright and a transverse piece, upon which persons were formerly put to death.
Betrayed- NKJ vs 33; NIV vs 31: to deliver into the hands of an enemy in violation of a trust or allegiance.
Condemn- NKJ vs 33: to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of; censure; to pronounce to be guilty
Deliver- NKJ vs 33: to set free or liberate; to release or save.
Baptism- NKJ vs 38-39; Message vs 38: a rite of incorporation employing water as a symbol of religious purification.
Gentiles- NKJ vs 42; NIV vs 33: anyone who is not a Jew.
Ransom- NKJ vs 45: a means of deliverance or rescue from punishment for sin, esp. the payment of a redemptive fine.
Mercy- NKJ vs 47; Message vs 46-48, NIV vs 47: love, affection, friendship, loyalty, desire, liking, attachment.
Hard-time- Message vs 2: a period of difficulties or hardship.
Command- Message vs 5-9: to direct with specific authority or prerogative; order; to exercise authority or control over.
Unity- Message vs 5-9: the state of being one.
Irate- Message vs 13-16: angry, enraged.
Children- Message vs 13-16: in the New Testament, children are principally a model or image for the believer to emulate. Mark presents children as models of discipleship.
Simplicity- Message vs 13-16: the state, quality, or an instance of being simple; absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc..
God’s kingdom/ kingdom of God- NKJ vs 14, 23-24: Message vs 23-25; NIV vs 14, 23-24: “kingly rule”, “reign”, or “sovereignty”
Blunt- Message vs 27: abrupt in address or manner.
Chance- Message vs 27: the absence of any cause of events that can be predicted, understood, or controlled; luck or fortune. Sacrifices- Message vs 29-31: the act of offering something to a deity in propitiation or homage, especially the ritual slaughter of an animal or a person. Message- gospel. Message vs 29-31; NKJ vs 29.
Bonus- Message vs 29-31: something extra or additional given freely.
Son of Man- NKJ vs 45; Message vs 32-34, 41-45; NIV vs 33: in Mark is viewed in the future; refers to Jesus the man, the risen Jesus.
Glory- Message vs 37; NIV vs 41-45: very great praise, honor, adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving.
Godless- Message vs 41-45; NIV vs 41-45: having or acknowledging no god or deity; wicked, evil, sinful.
Servant/slave- Message vs 41-45; NIV vs 41-45: a person in service of another; a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another.
Hostage- Message vs 41-45; NIV vs 41-45: a person given or held as security for the fulfillment of certain conditions or terms, promises, etc., by another.
Parade- Message vs 46-48: a large public procession, usually including a marching band and often of a festive nature, held in honor of an anniversary, person, event, etc.
Lucky- Message vs 49-50: happening fortunately, having good luck.
Rabbi- Message vs 51; NIV vs 51: an honorific title found in the New Testament.
Beginning of creation- NIV vs 6: God is the creator of all things; everything has its beginning in God.
United- NIV vs 7-8: made into or caused to act as a single entity.
Indignant- NIV vs 14: feeling, characterized by, or expressing strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base.
Testimony- NIV vs 19: open declaration or profession, as of faith.
Fraud- NIV vs 19: deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.
Saved- NIV vs 26: to rescue from danger or possible harm, injury, or loss.
Truth- NIV vs 29-31: the true or actual state of a matter; conformity with fact or reality.
Present age- NIV vs 29-31: the day in the present.
Age to come- NIV vs 29-31: future.
Astonished- NIV vs 32: to fill with sudden wonder or amazement.
Afraid- NIV vs 32: feeling fear; filled with apprehension.
Mock- NIV vs 34: to attack or treat with ridicule, contempt, or derision; to mimic, imitate, or counterfeit.
Rise- Message vs 32-34; NIV vs 34: to get up from a lying, sitting, or kneeling posture; assume an upright position; to come into existence.
Rise again- NKJ vs 34: to come into existence again.
First- NIV vs 41-45: also known as alpha, the beginning.
Serve- NIV vs 41-45: to act as a servant; to render assistance.
Faith- NIV vs 52: is a peculiarly Christian concept. Hebrew Bible-Qal form: never means “believe” but means “to sustain, support, carry”
Immediately- NIV vs 52: without lapse of time; without delay; instantly.
Mark Parallel Passages
Observations on Jesus Teaches About Marriage and Divorce:
- I think it is interesting that the Pharisees were always testing Jesus.
- The testing is good but the Pharisees don’t listen so they will never learn.
- Mark verses 7-9 and Matthew verses 5-6 are word-for-word.
- Jesus’ words in the gospel’s accounts are normally what are in exact agreements.
- Why does Matthew have Jesus talking about eunuchs?
- How did the disciples draw to the conclusion of “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
- God created male and female for one another, not male and male or female and female for one another.
- The male and female become one and should not separate from each other.
- How were their hearts hardened that Moses allowed a certificate of divorce?
Observations on Jesus Blesses the Children:
- All three accounts are very similar, but Mark and Luke have the closest similarities.
- Children during that time where not considered that important so this could be why the disciples rebuked them.
- Matthew is the only account to say ‘pray for them’.
- How are people to receive the kingdom of God like a child?
- All three accounts are word-for-word with Jesus saying “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,” but Matthew is the only one who says kingdom of heaven instead of kingdom of God.
Observations for The Rich Young Man:
- Luke is the only Gospel that mentions the rich man as a ruler.
- In Mark and Luke, the rich man asks the identical question (word for word) but in Matthew, the rich man asks the same question except with different wording.
- When Jesus talks about the commandments, Mark and Luke are almost word for word but Matthew starts with the rich man asking Jesus about the commandments.
- The first commandment that is mentioned in Matthew and Mark is Do not murder.
- The last commandment that is mentioned in Mark and Luke is honor your father and mother.
- The commandments are followed by the rich man stating that he has kept all these but in Matthew he continues to ask what he lacks.
- Since the rich man does not ask what he lacks in Mark and Luke, Jesus tells him that he lacks one thing in Mark and Luke.
- The one thing that the rich man lacks is that he was to sell all his possessions, give to the poor, and then he will have treasure in heaven; then he was to follow Christ.
- Luke is the only Gospel that doesn’t say go, sell.
- All three of the Gospels state and you will have treasure in heaven.
- Luke is a verse ahead of Matthew and Mark.
- All three Gospels show the rich man expressing sadness after Jesus’ response, but are all worded differently.
- Matthew-he went away sad; Mark-at this the man’s face fell. He went away sad Luke-he became very sad
- The rich man went away sad because he had great wealth, and all three Gospels state this similarly.
- Mark is the longest version of this parable.
- When the man walks away, Jesus turns to the disciples and asks them how hard is it for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God and also tells them it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God word for word in all three of the Gospels
- The main idea that Jesus gets at is that man cannot make it heaven without God.
- Matthew is the only Gospel that Jesus mentions the Son of Man sitting on his glorious throne.
- Matthew and Mark mention the last being first and the first being last.
- Luke’s Gospel has Jesus’ last statement being the smallest.
- Why is it that Luke is the only one who has the young man as a ruler?
Observations on Jesus Predicts His Death The Third Time:
- Matthew and Mark are detailed about what is going to happen to Jesus in Jerusalem.
- Why did Luke say “everything this is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled” instead of giving details of what would happen?
- Interesting that all three accounts use the word Gentile.
- Matthew says “he will be raised to life”.
- Mark and Luke both say he will rise.
- Why does Luke mention that the disciples did not understand any of this?
- Why was the meaning hidden from them?
Observations on Jesus Teaches About Serving Others:
- This is a huge difference in that Matthew has the mother asking Jesus but in Mark the sons ask the Jesus themselves.
- Why would the mother ask instead of the sons asking themselves?
- What was the significance of James and John that they would ask to be sitting beside Jesus? Why not any other disciples?
- Both accounts are very similar; exact and inexact agreements, but most exact when Jesus is talking.
- Both accounts mention the reaction of the ten other disciples but they do not mention the feeling/reaction of James and John or the mother.
- What is the importance of Jesus mention the Gentiles and how they have officials who exercise authority over them?
- Why is there a comparison between them and the Gentiles?
- What kind of greatness is Jesus talking about?
- The world won’t see being a servant as greatness.
- Is this greatness “heavenly” greatness?
- Jesus could be using the title “Son of Man” to show the disciples that he is man too and since he was able to become a servant, humans can also become servants.
- Matthew verse 28 and Mark verse 45 are in exact agreement.
Observations on Jesus Heals A Blind Beggar:
- Matthew’s account has two blind beggars being healed when Mark and Luke only have one.
- Luke’s account has the blind beggar calling out to Jesus when they are approaching Jericho, but Matthew and Mark have Jesus leaving Jericho.
- Why is Mark the only one who mentions the beggar’s name?
- Why did the beggar(s) cry out saying “have mercy on me/us” instead of just crying out for healing?
- What is the significance of mercy?
- Matthew’s account has the beggars calling Jesus Lord instead of calling him Jesus like in Mark and Luke.
- Mark has Jesus being called Rabbi also.
- Why didn’t Jesus go to the blind beggar(s) instead of having them brought/come to him?
- Does this signify their faith; that they believed in him so they had to go to him?
- Jesus’ healing power is so powerful that they are immediately healed.
- Luke is the only account to mention that other people were amazed and praised God because of the miracle.
Behind The Text
Marriage and Divorce: Marriage agreements were made between the parents of the bride and groom; and sometimes were made between the brothers of the bride. At the time of the marriage, the father of the bride would present a dowry. Once the man and woman are wed, if the woman was to have a sexual relationship with another man it would be considered adultery. If a woman was betrothed to a man and had a sexual relationship with another man, she would be considered to have committed adultery. For a married man to have a sexual relationship with an unmarried woman was not considered adultery; he might even consider marrying her as well because polygamy was practiced then. The penalty for adultery was execution for the adulterer.
Children: One of the standard social rules for children was that children were not supposed to disturb the teacher and his students.
Wealth: Having wealth was celebrated as communal benefactors and wealth was a blessing from God. The wealthy supported funds for the synagogues and Temples. People thought that if you had wealth, you were closer to God and had a better chance of being saved.
Leading Up to Mark 10
In Mark chapter 9, Jesus is transfigured on the mountain (Mark 9:2-12), Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy (Mark 9:14-29), Jesus predicts his death the second time (Mark 9:30-32), the disciples argue about who would be the greatest (Mark 9:33-37), the disciples forbid another to use Jesus’ name (Mark 9:38-41), and Jesus warns against temptation (Mark 9:42-50). Mark 9 and Mark 10 both have a healing take place. Jesus predicts his death the second time in Mark 9, and in Mark 10 He predicts His death for the third time. Jesus is trying to make it clear to the disciples that he is going to die soon but that He will rise again. In Mark 9, the disciples argue who will be the greatest, and we see in Mark 10, James and John ask Jesus to be “the greatest”. Mark 9 ends with a warning against temptations and Mark 10 begins with Jesus being tempted/tested by the Pharisees.
From The Text
Now and Then Meanings
Jesus Teaches about Marriage and Divorce
Then: God allowed divorce to take place due to people’s sinfulness. The Pharisees however corrupted the sanctification of divorce (Deuteronomy 24). This message explaining that divorce was not ideal because once a man and woman have married they are no longer two but are one. Jesus prioritizes marriage in Genesis over marriage in Deuteronomy. Jesus holds strong to that marriage should be kept because of unity, but he also okayed divorce if there was unfaithfulness within the marriage. Also during this time woman were not seen as much importance, and were often seen as property.
Now: Divorce happens all the time. Couples don’t work at their marriage and sometimes go into a marriage knowing that they can get out whenever they want. People divorce without unfaithful reasons. Divorce ruins families; hurt the man and woman and the children and the children don’t grow up in a secure, structured home. Women today have much more importance and have high roles in society. The message today is the same as it was then, divorce is something that should not happen because marriage is a uniting of man and woman (marriage in Genesis) but if there is unfaithfulness divorce is allowed.
Jesus Blesses the Children
Then: Children were not important, and were not allowed to disturb a teacher or students of the teacher. The disciples represent the culture view of children by rebuking them. Jesus is showing that there needs to be a change in culture. During this time Jesus was criticized for being with the wrong people, and this included children. The message that Jesus was trying to convey then was that adults need to be as trusting as little children.
Now: Children are very important in society today. Children are heavily protected and have a lot of care provided for them; including education, love, safety, etc. Culture today has embraced the idea of not “hindering” children. The message that Jesus was trying to convey then is the same now. We still need to have a child-like faith.
Sasson. "Civilizations of the Ancient Near East." Sasson. Civilizations of the Ancient Near East Volume I, III, IV. New York, 1995. 622, 625, 644-645.
The New Interpreter's Bible. Nashviille: Abingdon Press, 1995. "The New Interpreter's Bible Volume VIII." Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995. 641-656.