Teachings on marriage and divorce.
Mark 10:13-16 [see also Matt. 19:13-15; Lk. 18:15-17]
10:13 People [probably parents] were bringing [parents thought it important to have a distinguished rabbi to bless their children] little children [Gr. “paidia” could mean any child from infancy (cf. Lk. 18:15) up to twelve years old] to Jesus to have him touch [perhaps because they believed Jesus’ touch would convey a special blessing from God; Matthew adds, “and pray for them” (19:13)] them, but the disciples rebuked them [scolded the parents for interrupting Jesus].
Note: How do you relate to children who are not your own or not your relatives? Do you ignore them or seek ways to affirm them?
10:14 When Jesus saw this [what the disciples were doing], he was indignant [Gr. “aganaktew” is used of Jesus only here in the Gospels and means “much grief”]. He [Jesus viewed children as significant persons (in the first-century, unwanted infants were killed or left alone to die and abortion was an accepted part of pagan society)] said [Jesus took advantage of this opportunity to teach a spiritual truth] to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them [“stop hindering them” or “never stop them”], for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these [does not mean that children are automatically in the kingdom of God; children are needy, helpless, and dependent on others; those seeking to enter God’s kingdom must have a childlike attitude (openness, humility, trust, acceptance)].
Note: What barriers do parents often encounter in bringing their children to Jesus? In what ways are some parents guilty of keeping their own children away from Jesus?
10:15 I tell you the truth [these words introduce a solemn statement], anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God [the rule and reign of God in the lives of people] like a little child [with simple trust, joyfully, thankfully] will never enter it.”
10:16 And he took the children [each individual child] in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed [means “to call down blessings on” or “to bless greatly”] them.
Note: What implications do these verses have for the abortion issue?
10:17 As Jesus started on his way [refers to Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and the cross (Mk. 11-16 records the last week of Jesus’ public ministry)], a man [rich (Mk. 10:22), young (Matt. 19:22), ruler (Lk. 18:18)] ran up to [eagerness, earnestness] him and fell on his knees [expression of sincerity; showed respect and honor for Jesus as a distinguished rabbi; man set aside his pride in order to kneel before Jesus] before him. “Good teacher,” he asked [man believed Jesus could answer his question], “what must I do [man believed goodness defined by human achievement and that salvation must be earned] to inherit eternal life? [life’s most important issue; cf. Jn. 17:3 re: Jesus’ definition of eternal life; man recognized that something was missing from his life – he did not have the assurance that he had eternal life]”
10:18 “Why do you call me good [Jesus was not denying His own goodness and deity; wanted to know if the man was trying to flatter Him or really understood that God is the source of goodness]?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
10:19 You know the commandments [cf. Ex. 20; Deut. 5; Jesus cited the last six commandments]: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud [to rob, to deprive, holding back wages of one hired], honor your father and mother.’”
10:20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy [indication of spiritual pride or ignorance; man sincerely felt he had obeyed outward demands of the law but had obviously not heard Jesus’ inward interpretation of some of the commandments (Matt. 5:21-48); perhaps he thought so because he was comparing himself with others].”
10:21 Jesus looked at [penetrating gaze that saw all the way to the man’s heart] him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor [the man was trusting in his possessions as his basis for securing eternal life; the man’s riches were a barrier between himself and God; wealth occupied place in his life that belonged to God (violation of first commandment)], and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow [follow as a disciple] me.”
10:22 At this [the man faced the most important decision of his life] the man’s face fell [to become gloomy]. He went away sad [grieving and sorrowful], because he had great wealth [his gold remained his god; his possessions possessed him].
10:23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples [Jesus took advantage of this teachable moment], “How hard [because wealth breeds self-sufficiency] it is for the rich [word often means things or possessions: property, wealth, means] to enter the kingdom of God [the rule and reign of God in the heart of an individual]!”
Note: Other rich men who missed eternal life…
• man preoccupied with wealth Lk. 12:16-21
• man indifferent to God & needy Lk. 16:19-31
10:24 The disciples were amazed [perhaps because many viewed wealth as a sign of God’s favor] at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
10:25 [exaggerated illustration to make a point (hyperbole)] It is easier for a camel [the largest animal known to those who heard Jesus’ words] to go through the eye of a needle [Luke used word for surgical needle in Lk. 18:25] than for a rich man [perhaps because material wealth can make people blind to their spiritual needs] to enter the kingdom of God.”
10:26 The disciples were even more amazed [to be overwhelmed], and said to each other, “Who then can be saved [to rescue from a deadly plight]?”
10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this [refers to entering the kingdom] is impossible [human achievement cannot qualify anyone for eternal life], but not with God; all things are possible with God [salvation is a divine accomplishment].”
10:28 Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you [implication is that they had done what the rich, young ruler had refused to do]!”
Note: The cost of following Christ…
• Peter & Andrew left fishing business
• James & John left fishing business / father
• Matthew left job as tax collector
10:29 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, [1: there will be rewards for following Jesus] “no one who has left [note precious things listed, a reminder that it costs to follow Jesus] home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel
10:30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much [not a promise of material riches; some rewards may be material in nature, but greater rewards are spiritual] in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — and with them [rewards], persecutions [2: there will be persecutions for following Jesus]) and in the age to come, eternal life [the greatest possession].
10:31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”