Bible Commentaries
Mark 10

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-12

  1. Intro:
    1. I want to take this portion of Scripture & deal with Marriage & Divorce but also I have been waiting to address a few hot button issues that go right along with it like:
      1. How do we keep or fight for the sanctity of marriage in our day & age?
      2. How should CM should respond to same sex marriage issue.
    2. Setting: His final departure from Galilee.
      1. The other side of the Jordan or region of Perea – [across(other side) i.e. across the Jordan]
    3. The Question: was a ‘political, religious, emotional, experiential, physical, moral & ethical’ Hot Potato.
      1. Divorce & Remarriage remains controversial & complex.
      2. It is also an emotional one as it concerns many people’s lives & therefore requires great sensitivity.
    4. The Motive: was malicious. Testing him.
      1. They really weren’t concerned where Jesus stood on the issue.
    5. The Danger: Intense. This was Herod Antipas region (divorced his wife to marry his brother’s wife)
      1. John the Baptist lost his head over this topic in this region.
    6. The Dilemma: rock & a hard place.
      1. Condemn divorce – Risk John’s same fate.
      2. Condone divorce – Lose the confidence of devout people.
      3. A yes or no & He’d be in trouble (at least the Pharisees thought!!!)
    7. 2 Schools of rabbinical thought in Jesus’ day:
      1. Rabbi Shammai (50bc-30ad) – Very Strict. Only if a man married a woman & then found out she wasn’t a virgin.
      2. Rabbi Hillel (100bc-10ad) – Very Liberal. One of Hillel’s followers said a man could divorce his wife simply if he found another woman more attractive.
        1. The liberal view was the more popular. Divorce was tragically even more common then than today. [slide: rock, paper, scissors]
        2. The issue was the interpretation of one phrase some uncleanness in Deut.24:1.
          1. When a man takes a wife & marries her, & it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, & sends her out of his house.
    8. Now, Let’s interview the top 4 Leaders in Marital Counseling:
      1. Moses; God(the Father); Jesus & Paul.
  2. MOSES (3-5)
    1. ​​​​​​​Jesus ignored the current debates & focused attention on the Word of God so took them to Moses.
      1. The Pharisees considered Moses their highest authority.
      2. And note He answers not from the negative, regarding divorce, but from the positive regarding marriage.
      3. Slide#10 They were more concerned for the grounds for divorce; Jesus was more concerned about the principles of marriage.
    2. They quote Deut.24:1 When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house…
      1. Jesus then explained the reason for this concession.
      2. Divorce was already taking place among the Israelites.
      3. Moses put limitations on it requiring “a certificate of divorce” to be made out, indicating the reasons for it.
        1. This required hiring a scribe & going through a legal procedure.
        2. This thus protected the wife by restraining the husband from impulsively divorcing her. Because she would become a social outcast, no man could marry her, & she would be left defenseless & destitute. [even our liberal state of California knew to have a 6 month Cooling Off Period]
      4. Moses was not encouraging divorce but seeking to discourage it.
      5. However this was not the divine plan.
        1. “The marriage of one man to one woman for life is the foundation of stable society.”
  3. GOD (6-8)
    1. ​​​​​​​From the beginning – Jesus went back to Moses, Moses takes us back to the beginning.
      1. God made marriage & He has the right to make the rules.
      2. Gen.2:24,25 gives 4 instructions for marriage: Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
    2. ​​​​​​​Severance, Permanence, Unity & Intimacy
      1. ​​​​​​​Severance - Leave behind. a man shall leave his father and mother
        1. ​​​​​​​The healthy goal of the parent is to prepare the child to leave, not stay.
        2. A different relationship starts up on the wedding day.
        3. Here is a change in authority. The new husband goes from a father’s son, to the Headship of his own home.
      2. Permanence - Joined/yoked. and be joined to his wife
        1. ​​​​​​​As an oxen team had to function in close unity, so should a husband & wife team.
      3. Unity – 2 people wanting to share everything. and they shall become one flesh
        1. ​​​​​​​Their bodies, their possessions, insights, ideas, abilities, problems, successes, sufferings, & failures.
        2. Praise God Jesus in His marriage to us, His Bride, holds back with NO Prenuptial's.
      4. Intimacy – Gen.2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
        1. 1 Cor.7:3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
    3. I would like to note that twice, in the 2nd chapter of the bible, God specifies man/wife, husband/wife.
      1. We used to not have to qualify this, but now we do.
      2. Do to the recent Supreme Court rulings on DOMA(Defense of Marriage Act) and Prop 8, How do we protect/keep the sanctity of marriage in our day & age? How do we battle for biblical marriage? What do we do regarding Homosexual couples getting married now?
    4. I have the answer. First let me say, sure vote carefully, bring about laws, legislature, bills, etc. Sign petitions. Rally, write your Senators, Lobby…all that.
      1. But let me ask you, can you legislate a heart? What is the best testimony for our homosexual friends & family members? What can we do?
      2. I know its easy to say the right things from inside the bunker of church.
      3. But some are acting like bible verses meant to be thrown like grenades at others. Weren’t they meant for us to use to point each other towards love & grace; repentance & forgiveness?
    5. Heterosexual divorce has done more to destroy marriage than all the gay activists in the world put together. [Sign: Their perspective of Heterosexual marriages :( ]
      1. We're so quick to point the finger, we need to point it at ourselves first.
      2. How about we apologize to the to the homosexual community for the failings of the Heterosexual church?
      3. And also for hypocrisy making this out to be the worse of all possible sins?
    6. Here’s my answer: Have a marriage that glorifies God. Have a marriage that rocks all other earthly relationship. Have a marriage that others want. Have a marriage where you invest 100% of yourself, even if your spouse wont. Display a marriage where your children say, I want that for my life when I grow up. Exhibit a marriage where the homosexual community will understand how beautiful a heterosexual marriage can be.
    7. So, if I haven’t made myself clear, what I’m saying is instead of proving why a homosexual marriage is bad, why not show how a heterosexual relationship is best? - Because we haven’t yet Christians!
  4. JESUS (vs.9-12 & Mt.19:9,10)
    1. ​​​​​​​(9) Jesus adds His commentary to this.
      1. Again, He gives God’s intention, that marriage should be a permanent commitment.
      2. He spoke in these terms to discourage all divorce in principle, but not to prohibit divorce in every circumstance.
    2. (11) This is exactly what Herod Antipas did.
    3. (12) Mark seems to include this for his Roman readers.
      1. Matthew omits it because Jewish women did not have the legal right to divorce their husbands. (Roman & Greek wives did)
      2. This is very revolutionary. Both men & women have equal rights & equal responsibilities in this matter.
    4. Here we must add Matthew’s account, in 19:9,10 where 1 other thing is discussed… Marital unfaithfulness(9).
      1. The exception clause. Which is a justifiable ground for divorce.
      2. Jesus adds this because OT time adultery wasn’t grounds for divorce…it was grounds for getting STONED TO DEATH!
      3. This doesn’t make it necessary or require it, but simply permits it.
      4. Divorce is always a tragedy & we will always want to look for forgiveness & reconciliation even when adultery has taken place.
    5. Paul Tripp writes, “Your marriage isn’t what you expected because you are a sinner married to a sinner and you both live in a fallen world.” The good news is that there is sufficient grace to bring your marriage back to life.
  5. PAUL (1 Cor.7:15)
    1. ​​​​​​​Abandonment clause - if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.
    2. Let me also add: The church needs to hold to the teaching of God’s Word & show compassion for those who have failed & to those whom we do not know all the details.
  6. VI. 3 ways CM should respond to gay marriage: [excerpts from Joe Dallas, 2002]
    1. First, the Church must repent of whatever immorality exists w/in her own ranks.
    2. E.g. Imagine a severely overweight man dressed in spandex shorts, shirtless in his pot-bellied glory, selling workout equipment on a televised infomercial. "This stuff works!", he enthuses while he jiggles about. "You gotta try it!" Of course nobody's buying it. The equipment he promotes may be great, but because of his own condition, you'd never know it.
      1. Alfred Adler observed, "It is always easier to fight for our principles than it is to live up to them."
      2. Columnist Cal Thomas posed the question: "Why should the majority accept something they have not seen fully lived out by those who profess to believe?"
      3. Jesus warned us to remove the log from our own eye before addressing someone else's speck. Not only does it prevent hypocrisy; it enhances credibility.
        1. To this end, the Church must admit her own moral shortcomings, take remedial action to correct them, and then, with appropriate humility, address immorality in the culture.
    3. Second, the Church must repent of hostility towards homosexual people. When Christians are angry over the celebration of sinful behavior, they do well. Anger, properly used, sees a problem and attempts to correct it. - But hostility, expressed through contempt or disrespect, corrects nothing and sullies everything. Too often, the Church's anger over homosexual sin has been accompanied by a tone of hostility towards homosexuals themselves. And it is the hostility of the anti-homosexual message that is remembered long after the message itself has been disregarded.
      1. The prophet Jonah was commissioned to preach to a group of people he loathed. He took great pains to get out of his commission. God's intervention via a whale is the most well known aspect of the story, but Jonah's message and apparent attitude afterwards are noteworthy. After arriving on Ninevah's shores, he preached what went on record as being the world's worst evangelistic sermon. "Destruction‘s coming", he proclaimed. And that was all he proclaimed. No invitation to repentance was offered; no concern for his listeners was expressed. In fact, having predicted that judgment would soon fall, we find Jonah grabbing a front row seat to watch Ninevah's doom!
      2. A similar attitude, which we can call The Jonah Syndrome, seems to have infected too many believers. To hear some of us talk, you'd think it's more important to politically defeat homosexuals than it is to see them won into the Kingdom. To be sure, good stewardship requires involvement in the political system. But there are more important issues than defeating pro-gay legislation. There are the souls of gays and lesbians themselves. And when our desire to block their agenda is greater than our desire to see them reconciled to God in Christ, then our priorities are clearly skewed, and the Jonah Syndrome has taken hold.
      3. It is possible - necessary, actually - to condemn homosexuality without needlessly alienating homosexual people.
        1. Pastor Ed Dobson, a former member of the Moral Majority in the 1980's, realized this when he began ministering to AIDS patients, many of whom were openly gay. After visiting several of them at the local hospital, word got out that this conservative Pastor had a heart for all people, homosexuals included. This led several openly gay people to attend his church, not necessarily to abandon their behavior, but to at least hear what this man had to say. He welcomed them from the pulpit, and from the same pulpit, when teaching on sexual mores, condemned all forms of sexual sin, homosexuality included. In so doing he compromised neither his compassion nor his convictions, and his acts of charity towards AIDS patients gave him added credibility when he upheld Biblical standards of morality.
    4. Finally, I believe the Church must repent of being intimated by the gay rights movement, and reassert Her prophetic role. Dr. Martin Luther King declared that the Church must be reminded that it is neither the master of the state nor the servant of the state. Rather, it is the conscience of the state. That being the case, we Christians dare not abandon our prophetic responsibility to speak truth in a time of error.
      1. A man without a conscience becomes that most frightening of all horror movie characters: a sociopath. The sociopath, absent a conscience, will do whatever is expedient, feeling no remorse or compunction over his behavior. Perhaps the only thing more frightening than a sociopathic man is the prospect of a sociopathic state.
      2. Yet if Christians abandon their role to speak as the conscience of the state, what other possibility is there for the culture's future? (Joe Dallas, Copyright 2002,
    5. It’s time to pick a fight. It’s time to get in the game. Not just pick a jersey, or a favorite team.
      1. Let’s pick a fight...but not with the homosexuals...with the devil...for our marriages!

Verses 13-31

  1. Intro:
    1. Outline: Little Kid; Rich Guy; Fat Camel.
      1. We’ll meet little children who get a bear hug & a blessing from Jesus.
      2. We’ll meet a young man who came to the right person, showed the right attitude, asked the right question, received the right answer, but made the wrong response.
      3. We’ll meet a fat camel who that can’t loose enough weight.
  2. LITTLE KID (13-16)
    1. Children of the 1st century were sometimes loved & in other cases they were exploited…depending on how they benefited the family.
      1. A papyrus letter was found (dated June 17, 1 bc) written from Hilarion to his expectant wife Alis, “if it is a male child let it [live]; if it was female, cast it out.”
      2. Infanticide was practiced even back in Jesus time & in the early church.
        1. The practice was finally outlawed by Roman Law in 375 ad.
        2. This wasn’t very effective though, as Rome had on its law books the patria potestas (which gave the father “absolute power” over his family) & extended to life & death.
      3. Children were clearly not a blessing in the non-Christian culture of Christ’s day. But in Hebrew culture, children were seen to be a gift from the Lord.
        1. Here Jesus elevates children as He did women in vs.12.
      4. What is the prevailing view of children in society today? - Have we swung too far the other way now with child-centric families?
    2. (13) Touch them – OT custom dating back to the patriarch Jacob laid his hands upon the heads of his kids Ephraim & Manasseh, and blessed them.
      1. This was all very proper, traditional, & wonderful…then it all stopped…people were being chased away.
    3. (14a) Jesus was greatly displeased – only time in the NT. (much grieved). Indignant.
      1. The things that grieve us & make us indignant reveal much about the kind of people we are. And what Jesus said & did here, tells us volumes about Him.
    4. (14b) Let the little children come - He loves all the little children of the world.
      1. Jesus loves the little children - All the children of the world - Black and yellow, red and white - They're all precious in His sight - Jesus loves the little children of the world...Really?
        1. What about the sons/daughters that died early deaths of our own families in our church? What about the stillborn children that never got to see the light of day? What about the 16,200 abortions in the world that will take place just during our 90 minute service this morning? He loved them too?
      2. Maybe, He loved so much…He loved them right home unto Himself.
        1. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me.
        2. Sometimes God has compassion on the parents & other times on the child.
        3. Yes, Jesus loves all the children of the world.
    5. (14c) Of such is the kingdom? – He affirms & respects the personhood & spirituality of children.
      1. Parents don’t think that they are too young to understand. Don’t think you’ll wait till they’re older to teach them the truths of God. A 1000 x’s NO!
      2. Spurgeon said, “Too young? Is there anyone too young to get the richest treasure, that can make human hearts glad?”
      3. If there is a text on child evangelism…Here it is.
      4. Children can come to Christ early on. Will they deepen in their understanding & devotion later? Sure.
      5. Yet parents, don’t resort to forcing conversions on them either.
        1. Pray for them. Cultivate their spiritual awareness & sensitivity.
          1. Example: Jacob Dulaney (Chad & Rachel’s son) praying at family camp.
          2. Example: Gisele (Romulo & Linsey’s) re: bible on stage, “it’s about Jesus!”
        2. What if they want to, years later, make a profession again?...Should I discourage that? No! (They are just making sure they really understood back then)
          1. We know true salvation only takes place once. But now that they have further revelation in their heart, they are simply responding to it.
    6. A Gallop Survey showed:
      1. 19 out of 20 people who became Christians did so before the age of 25.
      2. At age 25, 1 in 10,000 will become believers.
      3. At age 35, 1 in 50,000. At 45 1 in 200, 000. At 55 1 in 300,000. At 75 1 in 700,000.
    7. (15) Receive the Kingdom as a child would or else by no means enter it.
      1. Coming as a little child doesn’t mean…
        1. Innocence – because they are not (if you have a toddler you understand that)
        2. Slide#11 I don’t even think he means their ability to trust, their receptiveness, simplicity, or wonder. I believe he means here…Helpless Dependence.
          1. Children of the kingdom must enter it helpless, ones for whom everything must be done.
        3. As the old hymn says, “Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to the cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress, Helpless, look to Thee for grace.”
        4. This is the way we must all come to Him…it is, Grace + your nothingness. Kent Hughes
          1. ​​​​​​​This naturally promotes humility.
          2. The world refuses Christ because of its “self-respect, pride, & independence!”
      2. Wiersbe said, We tell children to behave like adults, but Jesus tells the adults to model themselves after the children.
        1. We are to be child-like, not child-ish.
    8. (16) He took them up in his arms – lit. folded them in his arms (aka a Jesus-bear-hug).
    9. Blessed – The Gk word for blessed is an intensive compound meaning, fervently blessed.
      1. (i.e.) He put His heart into it. It wasn’t mechanical, or out of duty.
      2. And the imperfect tense pictures the repeated action.
  3. RICH GUY (17-22)
    1. ​​​​​​​Now we find a perfect contrast. From a helpless dependent child…to an affluent, powerful, self-made young man.
      1. He was a man that had what most people want out of life, but not the one thing that really matters.
    2. This man was looking for a bargainthe best of both worlds.
      1. But at Golgotha(Calvary) there is no bargaining, just Jesus giving His all. Warren Wiersbe
    3. Matthew tells us he was rich(19:22). Luke tells us he was a ruler(18:18)
      1. He was a good man, he was an achiever...but he had a need. He sensed something was still spiritually missing.
      2. He thought he was just 1 payment away from heaven.
    4. ​​​​​​​The Good Question (17)
    5. Look how he came: running(earnest) & kneeling(respectful).
    6. From his point of view he certainly had the ability & will to do whatever was asked of him…he always did.
      1. ​​​​​​​His greatest mistake then, that is still made by millions today, thinking that a person could earn acceptance with God.
    7. The Gripping Answer (18-21)
    8. Jesus seeks to cool his self-made jets w/o killing his engine.
      1. Jesus is seeking to awaken him spiritually.
    9. Why do you call me good? – Calling Him good was calling him God, yet he didn’t believe He was God. [That’s as odd as someone taking communion w/o a relationship with Jesus]
      1. Jesus wasn’t denying He was God; rather, He was affirming it.
    10. (20) All these I have kept from my youth – from my coming of age, from my Bar Mitzvah (son of the Law).
      1. He meant this, like Paul, from the external sense he kept them.
      2. Here, his morality & good manners only concealed a covetous heart.
    11. (21) Looking at him...Loved him - Here is Christ with eye contact & with such a depth of love in his heart for this unbeliever that is trying so hard.
      1. So why the radical command to sell all?
      2. Materialism occupied God’s rightful place in that man’s heart.
        1. So, this man was in a perpetual state of breaking the 1st commandment…having another god before Him.
      3. The Lord always demands that those who come to Him put away their gods, whether they be possessions, position, power, a person, or a passion.
      4. So the one thing he lacked, was unrivaled allegiance to God, since wealth was his god. He was devoted to his wealth rather than God.
    12. How do we know he wasn’t teaching universal asceticism (giving up all wealth)? [many rich men in scripture: Abraham, Joseph, Boaz, David, Solomon, Job]
      1. We have every right to enjoy God’s bounty & thank Him for it.
      2. Eccl.3:13 every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor - it is the gift of God.
    13. The Great Refusal (22)
    14. All the world watches on…What will he do?
    15. He was sad at His word – Matthew uses this word(16:3) to describe the sky becoming overcast in anticipation of a storm. “Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and threatening.”
      1. This man’s face started darkening. It became a stormy night of the soul.
      2. The man walked out of the sunshine & into a storm.
      3. Dante the Italian poet in the 13th cent called this, The Great Refusal.
      4. He came to the right person, showed the right attitude, asked the right question, received the right answer, but made the wrong response.
    16. In spite of His love for him, Jesus lets Him go. Wow!
      1. ​​​​​​​He can’t compromise the standards of the kingdom, even for such a promising candidate.
      2. How should this effect our approach to evangelism? (let them go)
    17. An old fable tells about a crane that was wading in a stream looking for snails when a beautiful swan landed nearby. The crane had never seen a swan before, so he asked, “What are you?” “I’m a swan,” came the reply. “And where did you come from?” the crane inquired. “Heaven,” the swan answered. “What is that?” asked the crane. The swan eagerly began to explain its beauty and glory. He spoke of the new Jerusalem, the city of pure gold with a jasper wall and pearly gates. He described its “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal.” At that point the crane interrupted, “Tell me, are there any snails in heaven?” “No, I’m afraid not,” the swan said. “Then I don’t care to go there,” the crane stated decisively. “I like snails!”
  4. FAT CAMEL (23-31)
    1. ​​​​​​​(23,24) Astonished – All our lives we are rewarded for performance.
      1. In school, good grades for good study; do a good job at work, better pay to compensate it.
      2. Jesus says, what you desire is far more than you can pay. “You don’t need a system you need a Savior. You don’t need a resume you need a Redeemer.”
    2. (25) Here a camel gets the squeeze. This is simply an illustration of Impossibility.
      1. Jesus doesn't say improbable, unlikely, or tough..but impossible.
      2. The Babylonian Talmud contains a quote regarding elephants passing through the eye of a needle. - In Israel the Camel was the largest animal.
      3. If your trusting in riches(24) it is not difficult, but IMPOSSIBLE, to get into heaven!!!
    3. (26) The disciples were greatly astonished at this – Why? Because they believed in the ancient rabbinical prosperity theology.
      1. In Judaism riches were a mark of God’s favor and thus an advantage, not a barrier, in relation to God’s kingdom.
        1. Thus equating God’s blessings w/material prosperity.
    4. (27) All things, necessary for people’s salvation (rich and poor alike) are possible with God.
    5. (28) Matthew adds, Therefore what shall we have? (19:27)
      1. Kind of a commercial view of Christianity.
      2. “If you give because it pays, it won’t pay.” [R.J.LeTourneau famous Christian Industrialist]
      3. Peter changes that later to, Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. – He moves from, Slide#28d What do I get? to What can I give?
    6. (30) The one who gives himself completely to Christ, lock, stock & barrel, finds 100 houses open to him; innumerable brethren & sisters & moms & dads in the Lord; & many spiritual children (converts).
      1. When you follow Christ…you simply can’t lose.
    7. (31) To the general public the rich ruler stood first & the poor disciples stood last.
      1. But God looking from eternity, watched the 1st become last & the last become 1st.
    8. End: A wealthy man was dying in his mansion, and his friends gathered round to ask him for his last wish. "Before I die," he said, "I would like to take a ride." And they asked the rich man what he required for that final ride before entering the kingdom of heaven. And he said, "I Slide#29 would like a very small camel and a very large needle."
      1. Eternal life is a gift to be received w/child-like trust, not a reward for personal goodness.
    9. Are you ready today to turn from your trust in self-attainments, your earthly securities, your goodness to trust in Jesus? Slide#30,31 Or will you remain looking for snails?

Verses 32-52

  1. Intro:
    1. Vance Havner(1901-1986), born in Jugtown NC, was a famous preacher known for quips like, “The church is a hospital for sinners, and not a museum for saints.” & “The preacher is to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.” He once asked a penetrating question, “Has Jesus taken over in your heart? Perhaps He resides there, but does he preside there?”
      1. Reside = To live in a place permanently or for an extended period.
      2. Preside = To hold the position of authority.
    2. In vs.45 we have the key to the whole book of Mark.
      1. It sums up the 2 main headings of Marks Gospel: Servanthood & Sacrifice.
      2. From this point on, Mark will shift from Servanthood to Sacrifice.
    3. Title: Point B. [to plan your trip, you punch in Point A (where you are) & Point B (where you are going)]
    4. Outline: Prediction; Ambition; & Determination.
  2. PREDICTION (32-34)
    1. ​​​​​​​(32) Jesus marches boldly on before them. Showing us, He’s a Lion of a Lamb.
      1. His steadfast determination in the face of impending danger amazed/ surprised the disciples; indeed those who followed were afraid.
    2. Luke talks about this during 1 of Jesus’ shortcuts, Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. Lk.9:51-53
      1. Is.50:7 Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.
        1. In contrast…Jesus’ steadfast determination in the face of impending danger amazed/surprised the disciples; indeed those who followed were afraid.
          1. This isn’t at all what they had thought, planned, nor expected.
        2. Jesus purposed to fulfill His mission.
        3. Stay yourself on God. Set your sail in His direction.
    3. (33,34) This is the 3rd & final prediction of His passion.
      1. Here He finally names the destination…Jerusalem. Point B!
  3. AMBITION (35-45) Eager Beavers.
    1. What is ironic about their request?
      1. Their timing couldn’t have been worse for their self-seeking, which came right on the heels of the prediction of His death.
      2. Maybe it was the mention of Jerusalem that triggered their inquiry? As they thought he was going to take His place on the throne of the kingdom...and, they wanted the best seats.
      3. Here’s where Selfishness ran right into the chest of Selflessness.
    2. (35) Matthew(20:20) lets us know that mom/Salome had a part in this also.
    3. (37) Why do you think they go about asking the way they do?
      1. They had enjoyed the unique privilege of glimpsing this glory on the mount of Transfiguration.
      2. They wanted to get to Him 1st (the early bird gets the worm right?)
    4. (38) “If you are a disciple, expect a cross, a cup, & a baptism, for the servant is not greater than his Lord.” (Warren Wiersbe, pg.661)
      1. Cup = of sorrow. Baptism = of suffering.
      2. Disciples: Jesus can we share in your glory? Jesus: Sure...will you share in my suffering?
    5. (39,40) Here is flesh in its finest hour…we are able!
      1. Do you desire a position? Then prepare yourself for it, rather than seek it selfishly.
        1. But what if they don’t notice me?
        2. James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
    6. You will indeed drink... – James was going to be the 1st of the 12 to lose his life for Christ, It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. Acts 12:1,2
      1. ​​​​​​​John was probably the last. Died of natural causes as best we know…but suffered many persecutions.
    7. (41) Greatly displeased? – Because of James & John’s selfishness? Or, because the other 10 didn’t think of it 1st? Or, because they were jealous they didn’t get to Him 1st?
    8. (42) Jesus turns the value system of the world totally upside down.
    9. (43) The marks of true greatness are humility & service.
      1. Jesus seems to say there’s nothing wrong with the desire to be great, provided:
        1. we seek the right kind of greatness;
        2. we allow God to decide what greatness is;
        3. we are willing to pay the full price that greatness demands; and
        4. we are content to wait for the judgment of God to settle the matter at last. (A.W.Tozer)
    10. (44) Jesus brings out for a 3rd time 1st shall be last; slave of all. [It’s a race to the bottom!]
      1. ​​​​​​​God’s pattern in Scripture is that a person must first be a servant before God promotes him or her to be a ruler.
      2. You can’t give orders until you can take orders. You can’t exercise authority until you can be under authority.
    11. (45) New motivation for service? – To give…not get.
      1. Jesus didn’t come to get your service but to give you His services. Jesus didn’t come to gather your merit but to show you grace. Jesus didn’t come to count up your works but to show you mercy. Jesus didn’t come to look for treasure but to bestow upon you unsearchable treasures Jesus didn’t come for those who think they are righteous but to look for sinners. Jesus didn’t come to those who think they are healthy but to heal the spiritually sick Jesus didn’t come to those who think they are found but to seek & save the lost. Jesus didn’t come for those who could see but to those who were spiritually blind.
    12. How can your life better conform to Jesus’ view of greatness? In the area of serving or giving?
    13. Slide#20 Ransom – The essential idea is release.
      1. It indicated something was paid to secure that release.
      2. In the 1st century the most common use of the term was for redemption money to be paid to free a slave.
      3. Christ gave Himself as the ransom price to free us from the slavery of sin.
    14. Ransom for many – for often meant, instead of or, in place of.
      1. So here it supports the doctrine of Christ’s substitutionary atonement. (i.e. He died in the sinner’s place as a ransom for him).
    15. John did grasp this principle later...By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 Jn.3:16
    16. So if you had one request of Jesus & know that it would be granted, what would it be?
      1. Solomon picked, an understanding/hearing heart to judge Gods people when he was asked, “What shall I give you?” by the Lord, in a dream.
      2. He didn’t ask for: long life, riches, nor the life of his enemies.
        1. Have we even really started to grasp these servant principles?
  4. DETERMINATION (46-52)
    1. ​​​​​​​Remember in the 1992 Summer Olympics watching the 400 meter semifinal in which British runner Derek Redmond tore a hamstring & fell to the track. He struggled to his feet and began to hobble, determined to complete the race. His father ran from the stands to help him off the track, but the athlete refused to quit. He leaned on his father, and the two limped to the finish line together, to deafening applause.
      1. Meet a man just as determined. Blind Bart.
    2. Here is the last miracle recorded in the gospels before the week of passion.
      1. It’s Passover time so the streets would be packed the closer they get to Jerusalem.
      2. Also, there were actually 2 blind men that were healed(says Mt.), but obviously Bartimaeus was the prominent one.
    3. (46) Jericho – An Oasis in the desert. City of Palms. Place of fragrance.
    4. Explain 2 Jericho’s:
      1. A Jewish city about 15 miles from Jerusalem. This is the one He went out of.
      2. There was also a modern Jericho He was approaching, built by Herod the Great in Graeco-Roman style.
    5. (47,48) Son of David – a Messianic title.
      1. It was said of Messiah when He comes He’d be...a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. Is.42:6,7
    6. (49) So Jesus stood still – [I love this] For a moment in time this blind beggar has the undivided attention of Deity.
      1. Joshua made the sun stand still, but this blind beggar caused the Son of Righteousness to stand still.
      2. In spite of His impending death, Jesus makes time for Bartimaeus.
        1. What does this tell us about His priorities? How do they compare with your own?
    7. (49b) (NIV says) Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you.
      1. ​​​​​​​This should be every Christian’s cry to those who are recognizing their darkness & helplessness…Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you.
    8. (50) Listen to his eagerness? – he threw off his garment, he sprang up, he hurried to Jesus.
      1. This is how we all must come to Jesus. Cast off our old filthy garment like Bartimaeus.
      2. Like Joshua the high priest when the angel spoke to those around him...“Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
      3. If you want to come to Jesus & be saved, you must do the same.
    9. (52) The 1st thing he saw was the face of Jesus.
      1. He followed Jesus – We are not surprised from what we’ve learned of Bartimaeus thus far…that he followed Jesus on the road. But What road?
        1. Slide#26 Well, it was the road to Jerusalemto His death.
        2. What road? He followed Jesus right to: Atonement Avenue; Lonely Lane; Calvary Circle; Death Drive; Scourge Street; Broken Boulevard; Passion Place.
        3. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​To follow Jesus on His road...What might be some of the costs?
          1. Some of your liberties? Some of your rights?
    10. Poem I wrote many years ago. Bartimaeus & his blind buddy begged by a bunch of bystanders on their beat. The Begotten of God brushed by, so Bart bellowed boisterously. The bystanders barked Be quiet, but Bart burst out again more blatantly. The Beloved Bread of Life from Bethlehem braked and beckoned for Bart and his bud to be bro's. And before Bart could blink He said, "Bart & blind buddy, be better bra's. I bestow my bountiful blessings & a benediction on you both." So they beamed behind Him bugling their belief as they bounced down the busy boulevard.
    11. When Helen Keller was asked if it was terrible to be blind she responded, “Better to be blind & see w/your heart, than to have 2 good eyes & see nothing!”
      1. In this story Mark seems to delight in the irony of a blind man who perceives what the sighted cannot see.
    12. Vance Havner asked, “Has Jesus taken over in your heart? Perhaps He resides there, but does he preside there?”
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Mark 10". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.