The Identity of the Servant Mark 8:27-10:52, cont’d.
Mark 9:14-10:52 The Training of His Followers, cont’d.
Mark 10:1-Jesus travels beyond the Jordan to the region of Judea (to the west of the Jordan River).
Mark 10:1-12-Responding to questions posed by some Pharisees, Jesus teaches concerning divorce (remarriage and adultery). He tells them that God’s original plan was for a man and a woman to be married for life…but, due to their hardness of heart, He made a provision for divorce. This is the command that Moses had given them. If a man divorces his wife and then he marries another woman…he has committed adultery against his first wife. And, if the wife divorces her husband and then remarries…she has committed adultery (cf. January 27, Matthew 19:1-15).
Mark 10:13-16-People were bringing children to Jesus so that He might touch (bless) them. The disciples tried to stop them. Jesus was “indignant” (very displeased) with this and told them to not hinder the children from coming to Him. He then used the children as an illustration of the fact that we must come to God with the same child-like faith that they had expressed in coming to Him. He then took them into His arms…and began “blessing them, laying His hands upon them.”
Mark 10:17-31-Jesus teaches concerning eternal life…a man approaches Him and asks, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Mark 10:18-Jesus first draws attention to His own true identity, His divine nature…“No one is good except God alone.”
Mark 10:19-20-Jesus then draws attention specifically to those Commandments that deal with relationships with other people. The man says that he has kept these…”from his youth up”…he had been at this for along time.
Mark 10:21-Jesus “felt a love (agape) for him” and told him that he lacked (had failed) at only one area…he valued his possessions more than he valued people. Really, this is a revelation that his keeping of the Commandments that Jesus had mentioned was purely on a technical level. He had done what was required, mechanically. But had not really done what was intended. He had only done what was prescribed…he had met the requirements, the letter of the Law, and nothing more. His intent had been to keep the Law…not to fulfill the intent, the spirit of the Law. He was more concerned about keeping the Law, than about loving the people.
Mark 10:22-T he man’s “face fell” and he “went away grieved“…“he was one who owned much property.” But had he truly believed in Jesus then he would have listened more closely to his words, because Jesus said that if he would give up his death grip on his treasures on earth, then he would “have treasure in heaven” (:21). Surely, the treasures of Heaven are greater than anything on earth! This man was so focused, so intent on his earthly possessions…that he missed the greatest treasure of all…Jesus.
Mark 10:23-27-Jesus comments that it is very difficult for those who value property more than anything else to be willing to give it up…for the value of the Kingdom of God. The disciples were concerned about this…thinking, as many do, that material wealth and possessions were a sign of spiritual blessing, and membership in the Kingdom of God.
Mark 10:28-31-Peter says that they had left everything they possessed in order to follow Him. Jesus responds that there will be compensation in store for those who do such…both on earth, and in Heaven. However, the compensation on earth will be mixed…in that, there will also be persecution along with blessing. After all, this is still earth. The compensation in Heaven is “eternal life”.
Prayer: Lord, please keep me from being a spiritual technician…just meeting the requirements. Help me to know and practice the intent of Your Law and Commandments. Help me to live in the Spirit and to be pleasing to You. Help me to place the proper value on material things…and to never confuse them with the value of people. Lord, the saying comes to mind, “We are given people to love and things to use. Don’t confuse the two.”