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Mark chapter 10

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17And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21Then 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. 22And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into 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 into the kingdom of God. 26And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. 28Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. 29And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.
32And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, 33Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: 34And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again. 35And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. 36And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? 37They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. 38But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? 39And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: 40But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. 41And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. 42But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

What does Mark chapter 10 mean?

Where Luke and John give an extensive account of Jesus' teaching between Galilee and Perea, Mark skips ahead to the action. He leaves out Jesus' exhortation to forgive seventy-times-seven (Matthew 18:15–35), the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:11–31), controversial teachings in Jerusalem (John 8:12–59; Luke 11:14–36), the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37), the death and resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:1–44), and several confrontations with the Pharisees that incited the religious leaders to try to find a way to kill Him (John 10:22–39).

Mark 10 probably begins in the region of Perea, on the other side of the Jordan River from Judea, where John the Baptist had his ministry. It ends in Jericho, on the way to Jerusalem and the cross. The stories revolve around the way in which those with worldly power naturally reject God's way. Some by rejecting the needs of women, children, and the disabled, and some by seeking and holding onto power, wealth, and influence instead of submitting themselves to their Creator.

Mark 10 leaves behind the arguments about who Jesus is and concentrates on whom He wants. He starts with a section on divorce (Mark 10:1–12). In Judaism, even today, women are not allowed to divorce their husbands. In Jesus' time, a man could dismiss his wife for the smallest of offences, including burning his meal. Jesus condemns such fickle men and protects vulnerable women by reminding His audience that marriage joins two into one—it does not create one master and one disposable servant.

The disciples still see Jesus as the political and military hero who will deliver Israel from the Romans. They can't fathom why He would champion the powerless like women or children. They try to keep children out of His way, thinking they are an inappropriate distraction from more important work (Mark 10:13–16). Jesus stops them and welcomes the children, saying that it is exactly the powerless who will receive God's kingdom.

As a counterpoint to Jesus' acceptance of the powerless, Mark shows how those with earthly prestige may actually be unfit for the kingdom of God (Mark 10:17–31). A rich young man asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life. It happens this man has faithfully observed all the Ten Commandments relating to how a God-follower should treat other people. But with a little more digging, Jesus uncovers that the man lives in conflict with the second commandment, to have no other gods before God. His love of his own wealth is enough to discourage him from further seeking. The man leaves disheartened, knowing that his love of his earthly possessions keeps him from fully pleasing God.

In a second example of how the powerful of the world reject God, Jesus reminds the disciples that the Jewish leaders will reject Him (Mark 10:32–34). Jesus' third prophecy of His death includes more detail. He tells them that the chief priests, scribes, and Gentiles will be involved, and they will mock Him, spit on Him, and flog Him before they kill Him. He also tells them He will rise after three days.

Directly on the heels of this prophecy—at least in the flow of this text—James and John ask for positions of power in Jesus' kingdom (Mark 10:35–45). Jesus responds somewhat gently, reminding them that leadership in God's kingdom requires sacrifice and servanthood, not position and authority.

Finally, Jesus meets Blind Bartimaeus, a beggar from Jericho with the meek but bold heart Jesus values (Mark 10:46–52). Despite the condemnation of the crowd around him, Bartimaeus calls out until Jesus responds. When Jesus heals him, Bartimaeus does not return to his old life, he follows Jesus, perhaps with a clearer view of God's kingdom than the Twelve who know Jesus best.
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