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Baptism & The Thief on the Cross | Introduction to the Book of Acts | Preaching with Inspiration | Adair Chapman Sermon | More...

Mark 10

Mark 10:1  And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

Wont =  and as He was accustomed  to do, He taught them again.

He arose from Capernaum.  This is the final departure of Jesus from Galilee, for He is about to start His last journey to Jerusalem.  He returned to Galilee no more till after His resurrection from the dead.  When He appeared to His disciples twice Matthew 28:16-17 & John 21:1ff.

Mark 10:2  And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.


Matthew 19:3 adds, “ for every cause?”  that is, every cause satisfactory to her husband.  Only men could divorce under Jewish law.  Now the Pharisees are seeking to entangle Him in existing controversies which they thought would be impossible for Him to answer without displeasing one or another of the Jewish parties.  The Pharisees asked Him the question for the wrong motives “trying Him” if He answered Yes, they would accuse Him of moral laxity, and if He answered No, they would accuse Him of disregarding the authority of Moses.  They probably also wished to get Him to condemn Herod Antipas in his adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife, and thus ensure Jesus had an end similar to John the Baptist.


Mark 10:3  And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?


The wisdom of Christ is seen in His reply, He refers them to the Law of Moses cf: Luke 10:26.


Mark 10:4  And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of      divorcement, and to put her away.

The reply of the Pharisees went back to Moses cf:


Deuteronomy 24:1-3  When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 24:2  And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.  24:3  And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;


Women had no rights and Jesus is actually being the first advocate of women’s rights.


Mark 10:5  And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.


God did not command a writing of divorcement, He only suffered or allowed them to do so and He only suffered it on account of the hardness of their hearts.


God’s attitude toward these hard hearted Jews putting away their wives is also found in the prophets cf:


Malachi 2:14-16  Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.  2:15  And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 2:16  For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.


Mark 10:6  But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.


God made Adam and Eve, they were designed one for another.


Mark 10:7  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;


Because Eve was taken out of Adam, and was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh cf:


Genesis 2:21-25  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;  2:22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  2:23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. 


Jesus directs the Jews back to the creation for the original purpose for marriage.  The marriage relationship between a husband and wife is stronger than the relationship between parent and child.


Mark 10:8  And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.


The married couple should have a oneness in all their interests and relations pertaining to this life.


Mark 10:9  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.


The union of the flesh is for this a life time in this world but today, sometimes families separate on a whim or an impulse.


Mark 10:10  And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.


They did not fully understand the teaching.

Mark 10:11  And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.  

Matthew adds the clause: cf: Matthew 19:9 “saving for the cause of fornication”.  This law applies to both husband and wife.  Will any fornicators be saved?  Yes, so it is not the unforgivable sin.

On this conversation about marriage and divorce, also cf: Matthew 19:3-13 and Luke 16:18.

 Mark 10:12  And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.   

This was allowed by the Greek and Roman law (1 Cor. 7:13), but not by the Jewish. Christ applies his principles to either sex on the same footing.

Will any adulterers be saved?  Yes, so it is not the unforgivable sin.  It is sin but not unforgivable.     

   Mark 10:13  And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.


Luke 18:15 says, “babes”, some of these were mothers who carried their babies to Jesus.  The children, no doubt, were of differing ages and thus were referred to as little children and babes.


The disciples rebuked those who brought the children, because they were engaged in a very interesting discussion of marriage and divorce. 


Mark 10:14  But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.


The kingdom of God requires innocence, purity and submission.  These are the traits belonging to the ideal child.


Mark 10:15  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.


Receiving it precedes entering it and simply accepting or believing the principles of the Gospel.  This a little child does with implicit faith … simple, trusting faith with quick repentance.  These are all ideal qualities of an ideal child and a true Christian.  To be child-like, we must do just as Jesus tells us if we are to become true Christians.

Mark 10:16  And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.  

The mothers were expecting Him to put His hands on their children, but He goes beyond their expectations and takes them gently into His arms cf:

Isaiah 40:9-11 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! 40:10  Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.  40:11  He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.


 Mark 10:17  And 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?


This is the road leading towards Jerusalem.  This was a young man, and Matthew says he was rich cf: Matthew 19:20ff, and Luke says he was also a “ruler” cf: Luke 18:18.   This case is a remarkable for the fact of his youth, wealth, position, character and how he approached Jesus.  He came running.  In kneeling to Him, he recognized Jesus as Divine and worthy of worship.  Salvation is a personal matter, we cannot go to Heaven by proxy.


Mark 10:18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.


Jesus disavowed His good while in the flesh, before His resurrection.  Jesus had the nature of man and felt all the impulses and emotions to sin as man does. So long as He felt the emotions to sin, He did not call Himself good, nor did the Holy Spirit call Him perfect cf:


Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


Hebrews 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.


Hebrews 5:8-9  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;   And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him


Suffering death purged out this impulse to sin, so through suffering He was made perfect.


Mark 10:19  Thou 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.


This man, being under the law, was referred to the teachings of the law, and its leading precepts.  There are two classes of commandments.  One class of commandments defines man’s duty to God, the other, defins his duties to his fellow man.     Jesus quotes the latter here.


Mark 10:20  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.


He was not a hypocrite pretending he had observed these things and made them the rule of his life.  He was a splendid, moral young man, candid and honest.


Mark 10:21  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.


Jesus loved him for his character, and gave him loving directions that would perfect his character.  But he lacked one thing, the chief thing, which was not being done.  This last requirement tested whether he loved God with all his heart.  Love to God is expressed by being good to our fellow man.  Many a man can  have all moral purity and yet lack the true Christian spirit.       The leading trait of Christ is self-denial and self-sacrifice cf:


Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


The mere giving of his possessions was not enough to save him.  It only tested his fitness for discipleship.  To give to the poor in Christ’s name is to have treasure in Heaven.  We are not required to sell all we have at once, we are required to hold it and use it in God’s service.  Willingness to give up all for Jesus was the test.

Mark 10:22  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.     

A legalist by education he was now to hear the one thing he should add to his righteous life to give him eternal life.  And then it comes, like a thunderclap, something utterly out of the question to a man of his wealth and position.  He went away sorrowful, because eternal life was offered at only such a price as he was not willing to pay.   He did not realize that to give away his riches was to invest them in a bank that will never go broke, or fail.  The one bank that pays the richest of dividends.

God requires service and gifts at our hands, not because He needs them, but, because we need the discipline and training that they give.  Luke says he was very rich.  Here was an act of obedience he could not perform.   

   Mark 10:23  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!


This is because riches gain such a hold on a person’s affections, and make such a demand on their time, that God is loved second.


Mark 10:24  And 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!


The astonishment was the greater, because among the Jews, riches were counted the blessing of God, given for fidelity to him.  They recognized that riches sometimes come to the wicked but it would be short-lived.  Permanent prosperity was a sure sign of God’s blessing.  How hard is to say: it is exceedingly difficult cf:


I Timothy 6:9  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.


Mark 10:25  It 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.


For security, the main gates to Jerusalem were shut at night, but there was a small gate referred to as ‘the eye of the needle’ in the walls of Jerusalem that a camel would have to be unloaded of it’s burden and then it would have to crawl through on it’s knees in order to get into the city after dark.


Clearly the Apostles took this to mean all classes of people. 

We tend to apply it to the millionaire, and think it does not apply to us, but it means all whose affections are placed on money.  One who loves his riches makes an idol of them.  Christ did not condemn riches, but the love of money cf:


I Timothy 6:10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.


Mark 10:26  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?


Their astonishment knew no bounds.  They understood it to pertain to anyone who possessed or labored for property, and asked the question in despair.


Mark 10:27  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.


It is beyond human power for any to be saved themselves, but God can school and train men to give up all for Christ.


Mark 10:28  Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.


This is an honest and fair question and something anyone would wish to know.  This question referred to the previous promise of Jesus to the rich, young ruler, “thou shalt have treasure in heaven” cf: verse 21.


Mark 10:29  And 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,


In the days of Jesus, his disciples who followed Him lived a nomadic lifestyle and they were generally obliged to forsake houses, home and family life to attend Him.


Mark 10:30  But 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.


They were promised a hundredfold which means a hundred times as much.  It is worth a hundred times as much in peace, joy and blessings of Christ.  We are promised, when persecutions come, we will find comfort and peace, and in the world to come, everlasting life ...  And it doesn’t get any better than everlasting life.

Mark 10:31  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. 

They will exchange places.  Many who are first in the prospect of everlasting life shall be last, and many who are last in this respect shall be first.  The rich, young ruler had been among the first, but now, he is among the last.  Judas, who was in among the first, was later among the last.  Matthias, who was then among the last, being only an obscure disciple, took Judas’ place and became among the first.  The Jews looked upon themselves as first and nearest to the kingdom of God, but as a nation, they rejected the Christ, and became the last.  The Gentiles were looked upon as dogs and the furthest from the kingdom, accepted Christ, and became the first.

Mark has one sentence that furnishes the key to the interpretation of the whole discourse: "How hard it is for them that trust in riches,"

   Mark 10:32  And 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,


Jesus is now on His last journey to Jerusalem.  He is going there to die for the sins of the world.  The disciples are amazed that He would go to the seat of His bitterest enemy.  They were afraid both for Him and themselves.  The time was drawing near, and He wished to prepare the disciples for His death.


Mark 10:33  Saying, 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:


Because the Jews no longer had any authority to inflict capital punishment, they delivered Him to the Roman authorities cf:


Genesis 49:10-11 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.  49:11  Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

Mark 10:34  And 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.  

Here, as on the two former announcements of His death, He foretells His resurrection.  He would not perish, but rise to a new, greater and glorified life.

   Mark 10:35  And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.


They tried to get Jesus to pledge to grant their request before making it known to Him.  James and John are anxious for chief places in His kingdom. 


Mark 10:36  And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?


He has them state their requests plainly and frankly.  It was wisdom on His part to have them state their desires before making a reply.


Mark 10:37  They 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.


They desired the two highest places of honor next to Him in His kingdom.  They knew not that these two places on His right and left were reserved for the crosses of two thieves and robbers.


Mark 10:38  But 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?


No one knows enough to wisely choose his own lot.  The wise allow God to choose their lot for them.  In ancient times it was common to execute the high-born by forcing them to drink a cup of poison.  Assassination and suicide were often effected by the same poisonous cup.   Can you, or will you, pay the price?   Notice Jesus uses the present tense verb when speaking of His suffering.


Mark 10:39  And 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:


Suffering with Christ is essential for reigning with Him cf:


Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


James was the first of the apostles to drink the cup of suffering and martyrdom at the hands of Herod Agrippa cf:


Acts 12:1-2 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 12:2  And he killed James the brother of John with the sword


Mark 10:40  But 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.


Positions, both in the church and in heaven, are not given out to friends and kinfolk as in political life.  There are places for a prepared people.


Mark 10:41  And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.


The other apostles were offended at their ambition, and their desire to be exalted above their brethren, but Jesus is a Peacemaker.


Mark 10:42  But 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.


He called the apostles close around Him so they could hear all that He had to say about these important matters.  The political rulers exercise dominion over their subjects.  The kings of the earth raise their favorites to posts of trust and power, and give them authority over others.  This is a selfish authority crowded with temptations to sin and crime.  The facts, that are here pointed out, are true in all world governments.


Mark 10:43  But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:


Christ’s kingdom will not be a political kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom.  A large percent of the evils that have come from the Churches of Christ, have come through a disregard of these verses.  Men desire to be honored and rule, rather than serve and help.  The desire to serve others can never be too strong.            A minister was a waiter or attendant. The original word applied to one who waits upon you, especially at table, and who was not a slave. 


Mark 10:44  And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.


The kingdom of heaven will be established on different principles from political kingdoms.  There are to be no ranks, all are to be on the same level, the rich, the poor, the learned, the unlearned, bond and free, all are to be equal.  He is greatest who does the greatest service to his fellow man and confers the largest benefits on them at a real cost to himself.

Mark 10:45  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. 

Jesus took the form of a servant when He came into the world, to serve and redeem mankind cf:

Philippians 2:6-7 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

A ransom was a price paid to redeem from death or slavery.  The death of Christ was a ransom for many cf:

I Timothy 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time

Mark 10:46  And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

Jericho was an important city, embellished by Herod the Great, this was the road that leads from Jericho to Jerusalem.


Mark 10:47  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.


He acknowledges the Messiahship of Jesus, he also acknowledges his own unworthiness and helplessness and faith and confidence in the ability of Jesus to help him.


Mark 10:48  And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.


When the soul is awakened, there are plenty to cry, ‘hold your peace’, and some of those even profess to be in the triumphal procession to the kingdom of God.


The rebuke of the multitude only served to arouse his eagerness, for he believed in the ability and willingness of Jesus to heal him.


Mark 10:49  And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.


Mark 10:50  And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.


He cast away his outer garment, a large piece of cloth, for he wanted to get to Jesus as soon as possible.  In this same way, we should cast away all of our sins, and leave them behind.

Mark 10:51  And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. 

Jesus now asked what special request he had.  The word translated Lord here is: hrab-bon-ee’. There are three titles used by Jews to their teachers, Rab, Master; as the lowest degree of honor: Rabbi, My Master; of higher dignity: and this title used here Rabboni, My Great Master; the most honorable of all. 

Mark 10:52  And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.   

He heals the blind man simply by words.  Faith is so important and necessary, that Jesus could even say his faith had made him whole.  Even while the gracious words are being uttered, the optic nerve and retina are clearing.  Luke 18:43 says that he followed Him in the way glorifying God.  He joins in the glad songs of the triumphal procession.  This account proves again the power of Jesus to heal.



Isaiah 35:5-6  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  35:6  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.: 

Bartimæus' faith was shown:

(1) by his going to Jesus;

(2) by his belief that Jesus was the Messiah;

(3) by persevering against opposition;

(4) by casting away all that hindered;

(5) by obeying Jesus when he was called;

(6) by following and praising him after he was cured.


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