What does Mark 10:45 mean?
ESV: For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
NIV: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'
NASB: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.'
CSB: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
NLT: For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.'
KJV: For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Verse Commentary:
While Jesus calls us to be servants (Mark 10:43) and slaves (Mark 10:44), the position is not reciprocal; the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 acts for our benefit, but He is God's servant, not ours (Isaiah 53:11). Our attitude is like His, but where we literally put ourselves in the position of servant or slave for others, He takes the "form of a servant" to God, not to us (Philippians 2:7–8). For us to usher in and be a part of the kingdom of God, we must live out our understanding that we are ultimately powerless (Mark 10:14–15). God has the real power, regardless of our lot in life. Even if we are recognized as leaders in the church, that role is still in essence a servant.

"Ransom" is from the Greek root word lutron and refers to the price paid to redeem a slave or captive (Leviticus 25:51–52) or a firstborn (Numbers 18:15), or recompense for a crime (Numbers 35:31–32) or injury (Exodus 21:30). Jesus is able to "proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound" (Isaiah 61:1; cf. Luke 4:18–19) because He is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 who came to bear the iniquities of many, so they can be accounted righteous (Isaiah 53:11).

Hearing these words for the first time, the disciples think the "captives" are the Jews who live under Roman rule. Jesus says the true captives are those who are slaves to sin (John 8:34). By Jesus' death and resurrection, we can be set free from the sin nature that separates us from God (Romans 6:18). This freedom from sin is complete (John 8:36), but it transfers our slavery from sin to righteousness (Romans 6:16–18). Our freedom releases us from selfishness, arrogance, fear, and the desire to control. Our slavery to God frees us to love others and experience eternal life (Romans 6:23).

This freedom is the manifestation of the kingdom of God in us. However, it is also a terribly foreign concept for Jews whose mission has been to maintain a segregated nation of God-followers. In Jewish history, great leaders were those who condemned their subjects for idol worship and led their armies in defense of their borders. Jesus' leadership anoints a new age. It is built on submission to God and sacrifice for others. More often than not, those "others" will be the rejects of the world, defenseless women (Mark 10:1–12), powerless children (Mark 10:13–16), and the bold but helpless broken (Mark 10:46–52), not the rich leaders the disciples find so easy to respect (Mark 10:17–31).
Verse Context:
Mark 10:35–45 describes the arrogant request of James and John to have positions of power and authority in Jesus' coming kingdom. This comes after learning that Jesus values the powerless like women and children (Mark 10:1–16), that those with earthly power and wealth can have a hard time following God because they can tend to value their possessions more (Mark 10:17–22), and that part of Jesus' plan for His kingdom is to die a horrible death (Mark 10:32–34). Neither Luke nor John record this account, but Matthew adds that James and John's mother is involved in the request (Matthew 20:20–28).
Chapter Summary:
In this passage, Jesus again confronts the Pharisees by clarifying God's views on marriage and divorce. He reminds the disciples not to dismiss the spiritual perspective of children. This chapter also records Jesus' encounter with the rich young ruler, who becomes an object lesson in why wealth makes it hard for people to rely on God. After this, Jesus deftly sets aside an arrogant request from James and John, and again predicts His impending death. Just prior to the triumphal entry of chapter 11, Jesus is sought out by Bartimaeus, whom He heals of blindness.
Chapter Context:
In between chapters 9 and 10, Jesus resumes His public teaching as He travels to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Luke 9:57—18:14; John 7—10). We meet Him here across the Jordan in Perea and follow as He makes His way west again to Jericho. This chapter surrounds a third prophecy of Jesus' death (Mark 10:32–34) with lessons on His value for those others often dismiss: women (Mark 10:1–12), the powerless (Mark 10:13–16), those who value God more than the world (Mark 10:17–31), servant-hearted leaders (Mark 10:35–45), and those with bold faith (Mark 10:46–52). Next is the triumphal entry and the beginning of Passion Week.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 3/1/2024 1:53:29 AM
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