Mark 10:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 10:21, NIV: Jesus 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.'

Mark 10:21, ESV: And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Mark 10:21, KJV: Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Mark 10:21, NASB: Looking at him, Jesus showed love to him and said to him, 'One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.'

Mark 10:21, NLT: Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. 'There is still one thing you haven't done,' he told him. 'Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'

Mark 10:21, CSB: 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, follow me."

What does Mark 10:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

"Loved" is from the Greek root word agapaō, which literally means "to be fond of," but also carries the implication of a selfess, sacrificial love. The question arises, did Jesus "love" the young man only after the man revealed he had obeyed God faithfully? Or, does this statement simply mean Jesus expressed or confirmed something He already felt? As God, wouldn't Jesus already know the man followed the law? There is debate as to whether Jesus in human form had the omniscience of God. He didn't seem to express total omniscience as a child. Luke 2:52 says, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man." After Jesus' baptism, it's possible that Jesus grows more receptive to the Spirit's leading. He does know things that aren't immediately evident (Mark 2:8; 5:30), but He doesn't know everything, like when He will be returning (Mark 13:32).

The scribes limit the amount someone can give to one-fifth of their property for fear a generous heart would find itself in poverty and thus reliant on the generosity of others. Later, the early church will renounce personal possessions for the good of others (Acts 4:32–37). But it's key to understand that Jesus' words are personalized for the young man. Jesus is not saying that to receive eternal life we must all give away our possessions. Jesus is showing it is impossible to earn eternal life and why we need God's grace (Mark 10:27).

When the rich young man asks Jesus what he can do to inherit eternal life, Jesus lists most of the Ten Commandments that deal with interacting with other people. To personalize the issue, instead of telling the man he must not covet, which his wealth may have protected him from, Jesus tells him not to "defraud" or cheat at business (Mark 10:19). Now, Jesus gets even more personal and backtracks to the second commandment: "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). Unlike many of the religious leaders, the young man seems to understand the spirit of the Mosaic law as it applies to justice for other people. That doesn't mean he has given God His due. There is a difference between respecting God and making Him first in our lives.