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The Fourfold Gospel

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10:1  And he arose from thence1 and cometh into the borders of Judaea and beyond the Jordan2: and multitudes come together unto him again3; and, as he was wont, he taught them again4.

    JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM. CONCERNING DIVORCE. Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12

  1. He arose from thence. From Galilee.

  2. And cometh into the borders of Judaea and beyond the Jordan. The land beyond the Jordan was called Perea. See Matthew 4:25. It was no part of Judea, but belonged to the tetrarchy of Herod. It and the river Jordan bordered Judea on the east.

  3. And multitudes come together unto him again. No doubt bands of pilgrims on their way to the Passover helped to swell the multitudes which now surrounded the Lord.

  4. And, as he was wont, he taught them again. The teachings of this journey will be found in Sections 98-101. See topic 9007|.

10:2  And there came unto him Pharisees, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away [his] wife? trying him.

  1. And there came unto him Pharisees, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away [his] wife? trying him. Knowing that Jesus had modified the law of Moses, the Pharisees asked this question, seeking to entrap him. If he had reaffirmed his teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:32), they hoped to make it appear that he despised the authority of Moses. But if he ratified the law of Moses, then they would show that he was contradicting his former teaching, and hence too inconsistent to be worthy of credit.

10:3  And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you1?

    Mark 10:3-10

  1. What did Moses command you? Jesus went back to the original law propounded by God and recorded by Moses, and shows from it: (1) That marriage is a fundamental principle of social order, God having it in view from the creation, and hence making them male and female (Mark 10:6). (2) That the relation of marriage is superior even to the parental relation (Mark 10:7). (3) That by it the pair become one flesh, so that a man is as much joined to his wife as he is to his own body (Mark 10:8).

10:4  And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away1.

  1. Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. Seeing that Jesus reaffirmed his former teaching, the Jews proceed to show that he is in conflict with the law of Moses, apparently failing to note that Jesus has merely cited Scripture, and that therefore the issue is really Moses against Moses.

10:5  But Jesus said unto them, For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment1.

  1. For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. This Jesus replies that Moses did not "command" but "suffered" or permitted (the word "commandment" having reference not to the matter but the manner; that is, commanding it to be done by giving them a writing) men to put away their wives, because at the time when the law was given the wickedness of men made such a concession beneficial. Had the law propounded at creation be re-enacted by Moses, many would have refused to marry at all, preferring an illicit life to the hazard of matrimony under a stringent law, and others finding themselves unhappily marries would have secretly murdered their wives to gain their liberty. As a choice of two evils, God therefore temporarily modified the law out of compassion for women. It was expected that as the hearts of men softened they would recognize the wisdom, justice, and wholesomeness of the original law, and cease to take advantage of their permission to evade it. But men had not done this, and Christ himself had brought this concession to an end, and since then it has been the most daring interference with the divine prerogative, for men to venture on a continuance of the same concession, as though they were possessed of divine authority.

10:6  But from the beginning of the creation, Male and female made he them1.

  1. But from the beginning of the creation, Male and female made he them. For comment, see Mark 10:3.

10:7  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife1;

  1. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife. For comment, see Mark 10:3.

10:8  and the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two1, but one flesh.

  1. And the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two,
  2. but one flesh. For comment, see Mark 10:3.

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

  1. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put assunder. Now, since a man can only be separated from his parental relations or from his own body by death, which is an act of God, so it follows that the superior ot similar relation of marriage can only be dissolved by an act of God.

10:11  And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her1:

    Mark 10:11,12

  1. Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. Thus Jesus reaffirms the teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. See Matthew 5:32.

10:13  And they were bringing unto him little children1, that he should touch them: and the disciples rebuked them2.

    BLESSING CHILDREN. CONCERNING CHILDLIKENESS. (In Perea.) Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17

  1. And they were bringing unto him little children. According to Buxtorf, children were often brought to the presidents of the synagogue in order that they might pray over them. The prayers of a good man in our behalf have always been regarded as a blessing; no wonder, then, that the mothers of these children desired the prayers of Jesus in behalf of their little ones. It was customary to put the hand upon the person prayer for, probably following the patriarchal precedent (Genesis 48:14,15). Compare Acts 6:6.

  2. That he should touch them: and the disciples rebuked them. The disciples wished to protect Jesus from what appeared to them to be an unseemly intrusion and annoyance, and possibly, as the context suggests, they thought it was beneath the dignity of the Messiah to turn aside from the affairs of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:12) to pay attention to children.

10:14  But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation1, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me; forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God2.

  1. But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation. Jesus was indignant at the disciples' officious interference.

  2. Suffer the little children to come unto me; forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God. Jesus directed that the children be brought to him, declaring at the same time that the kingdom be composed, not of little children, but of such as are childlike in their nature.

10:15  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein1.

  1. Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein. See Mark 9:37.

10:16  And he took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands upon them1.

  1. And he took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands upon them. They were brought that he might lay his hands on them and bless them, and that is what he did for them. The command therefore that they be suffered to come to him should not be perverted into a precept directing that they be brought for other purposes. Those who have construed this as commanding or even permitting either infant baptism or an infant church membership, have abused the text. They are indebted for these ideas, not to the Bible, but to their creeds. The incident told in this section is a fitting sequel to the discourse on divorce. The little children, the offspring of happy wedlock, and a source of constant joy and pleasure to faithful husbands and wives, serve by their presence to correct false impressions as to supposed inconvenience of an indissoluble marriage bond. The sight of them in the arms of Jesus could not fail to leave a good impression with reference to the married life.

10:17  And as he was going forth into the way, there ran one to him, and kneeled to him, and asked him1, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life2?

    THE RICH RULER. PERIL OF RICHES. REWARD OF SACRIFICE. PARABLE OF THE LABORERS IN THE VINEYARD. (In Perea.) Matthew 19:16-20:16; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30

  1. There ran one to him, and kneeled to him, and asked him. This action of this young man in running and kneeling shows that he was deeply anxious to receive an answer to his question, and also that he had great reverence for Jesus.

  2. Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? He seemed to think, however, that heaven could be gained by performing some one meritorious act. He made the mistake of thinking that eternal life is a reward for "doing" rather than for "being", a mistake from which the Roman Catholic Church developed the doctrine of "works of supererogation".

10:18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good1? none is good save one, [even] God2.

  1. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? Jesus' reply to the "address" of the young man, viz.: "Good Master" (Mark 10:17). The ruler using the inconsiderate, conventional language of the thoughtless, had taken an unwarrantable freedom with the word "good".

  2. None is good save one, [even] God. Jesus shows that if his language had been used sincerely it would have committed him to a declaration of great faith, for he had addressed Jesus by a title which belongs only to God, and he had asked Jesus the question concerning that of which God alone was fitted to speak. As the ruler had not used this language sincerely, Jesus challenged his words. The challenge showed the ruler that he had unwittingly confessed the divinity of Jesus, and thus startled him into a consideration of the marvelous fact which his own mouth had stated. This is done because the young man would need to believe in the divinity of Jesus to endure the test to which he was about to be subjected (1 John 5:5).

10:19  Thou knowest the commandments1, Do not kill2, Do not commit adultery3, Do not steal4, Do not bear false witness5, Do not defraud6, Honor thy father and mother7.

  1. Thou knowest the commandments. The ruler still sought for some prominent commandment, but was referred to the last six of the Decalogue, these being at that time more frequently violated than the first four.

  2. Do not kill. See Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17.

  3. Do not commit adultery. See Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18.

  4. Do not steal. See Exodus 20:15; Deuteronomy 5:19.

  5. Do not bear false witness. See Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20.

  6. Do not defraud. See Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21. For the last commandment, Jesus substitutes its equivalent.

  7. Honor thy father and mother. See Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16.

10:20  And he said unto him, Teacher, all these things have I observed from my youth1.

  1. Teacher, all these things have I observed from my youth. The rich young ruler had kept these commandments as far as he knew his heart and as far as he understood their import.

10:21  And Jesus looking upon him1 loved him2, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor3, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven4: and come, follow me5.

  1. And Jesus looking upon him. Gazing earnestly and searchingly at him.

  2. Loved him. In Greek, "agapan". See John 11:5.

  3. Go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor. The command to sell all is not a general one, but a special precept needed in this case: (1) To dispel the ruler's self-deception. On the negative side, his character was good, but on the positive, it was deficient. (2) To show impartiality. The invitation of Jesus shows that the ruler desired to be in some manner a disciple, and hence he is subjected to the same test which the other disciples had accepted, and of which Peter soon after speaks (Mark 10:28). Paul was also was rich in self-righteousness like this man, but cheerfully sacrificed all, that he might follow Christ (Philippians 3:6-9).

  4. And thou shalt have treasure in heaven. The reference to treasure in heaven and the invitation to follow Christ tested the ruler's obedience to the first four commandments of the Decalogue as condensed in the great summary of the first four commandments (Matthew 22:37,38).

  5. And come, follow me. Though the ruler perhaps did not fully realize it, those who heard the conversation must afterwards have been impressed with the great truth that the ruler was called upon to make his choice whether he would love Christ or the world, whether he would serve God or mammon. The whole scene forms an illustration of the doctrine expressed by Paul, that by the law can no flesh be justified (Romans 3:20), for perfection is required of those who approach God along that pathway; those, therefore, who have done all, still need Christ to lead them.

10:22  But his countenance fell at the saying, and he went away sorrowful1: for he was one that had great possessions.

  1. But his countenance fell at the saying, and he went away sorrowful:
  2. for he was one that had great possessions. He was not offended at the extravagance of Jesus' demands, for he was not one of the most hardened of the rich. He belonged to that class which hold Christ and their wealth in nearly an even balance. The narrative shows us how uncompromisingly Jesus held to principle. Though the ruler was very sorry to turn away, and though Jesus loved him, yet the Lord did not modify his demand by a hair's breadth to gain an influential disciples.

10:23  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God1!

  1. How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! See 1 Timothy 6:9,10,17-19. It should be remembered that Judas heard these words only a few days before he sold his Lord.

10:24  And the disciples were amazed 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 God1!

  1. How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! The possession and use of riches is permitted to the Christian, but their possession becomes a sin when the one who owns them comes to trust in them or in any way suffers them to interfere with his duties toward or relations to God.

10:25  It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God1.

  1. It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. The needle's eye here is that of the literal needle, and the expression was a proverbial one to indicate that which was absolutely impossible. Lord George Nugent (1845-6) introduced the explanation that Jesus referred to the two gates of a city, the large one for the beast of burden, and the small one for foot-passengers. This smaller one is now called "The Needle's Eye", but there is no evidence whatever that it was so called in our Savior's time. In fact, as Canon Farrar observes, we have every reason to believe that this smaller gate received its name in late years because of the efforts of those who were endeavoring to soften this saying of Jesus.

10:26  And they were astonished exceedingly, saying unto him, Then who can be saved1?

  1. And they were astonished exceedingly, saying unto him, Then who can be saved? The Jews were accustomed to look upon the possession of riches as an evidence of divine favor, and the heads of the apostles were filled with visions of the riches and honors which they would enjoy when Jesus set up his kingdom. No wonder, then, that they were amazed to find that it was impossible for a rich man to enter that kingdom, and that, moreover and worse than all, riches appeared to exclude from salvation itself: that even this virtuous rich man, this paragon of excellence, could not have eternal life because he clung to his riches.

10:27  Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for all things are possible with God1.

  1. With men it is impossible, but not with God: for all things are possible with God. But they were comforted by the assurance of Jesus that though the salvation of some men might present more difficulties than the salvation of others,--might, as it were, require a miracle where others only required simple means, yet the gracious, mighty God might still be trusted to overcome the obstacles. It is impossible for any man to save himself, so that in every case of salvation God is called upon to assist man in accomplishing the impossible. God can so work upon the rich man's heart as to make him a dispenser of blessings.

10:28  Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee1.

  1. Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. The negative conduct of the rich man reminded the disciples of their own positive conduct with a similar crisis (Luke 5:11), and the "all" which they had left was by no means contemptible, though perhaps none of them could have been said to have held great possessions. The mention of treasure in heaven (Mark 10:21), therefore, set Peter to wondering what manner of return would be made to them to compensate them for their sacrifice.

10:29  Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren1, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or lands, for my sake, and for the gospel's sake,

    Mark 10:29,30

  1. There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, etc. The rewards of Christian self-denial are here divided into two parts--the temporal and the eternal. The earthly joys--the rewards "in this time"--shall outweigh the sacrifices made for the kingdom. The return, of course, will not be in kind, houses for house, and fathers for father, etc., but spiritual relationships and blessings which compensate abundantly for whatever has been resigned (Matthew 12:49; 1 Timothy 4:8).

10:30  but he shall receive a 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.

  1. He shall receive an hundredfold . . . with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But these joys shall be mingled with the bitterness of persecution, for no pleasure is perfected in this world, but only in the inheritance which lies beyond (1 Peter 1:4).

10:31  But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last first1.

  1. But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last first. The promise of large recompense which Jesus had just given was apt to tempt some to labor not for love, but for the rewards which might be reaped thereby. Jesus corrects this spirit by the statement, and the parable that follows in Matthew (Matthew 20:1-16) which illustrates it, and which ends with the same sentiment. See Matthew 20:16.

10:32  And they were on the way, going up to Jerusalem1; and Jesus was going before them: and they were amazed; and they that followed were afraid2. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were to happen unto him3,

    FORETELLING HIS PASSION. REBUKING AMBITION. (In Perea.) Matthew 20:17-28; Mark 10:32-45; Luke 18:31-34

  1. And they were on the way, going up to Jerusalem. Dean Mansel sees in these words an evidence that Jesus had just crossed the Jordan and was beginning the actual ascent up to Jerusalem. If so, he was in Judea. But such a construction strains the language. Jesus had been going up to Jerusalem ever since he started in Galilee, and he may now have still be in Perea. The parable of the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) which closed the preceding section was likely to have been spoken before he crossed the Jordan, for Perea abounded in vineyards.

  2. And Jesus was going before them: and they were amazed; and they that followed were afraid. When Jesus turned his face toward Jerusalem, his disciples dropped behind and hung back. The outer circle of his disciples knew enough not to be fearful of the consequences, and the inner circle, fully acquainted with the dangers, were amazed that he should dare to go thither. A short while before this they had despaired of his life when he had proposed to go even into Judea (John 11:7-16), and his going at that time had not bettered the situation, but had, on the contrary, greatly increased the enmity and danger (John 11:47-57). Notwithstanding all this, Jesus was now on his way to Jerusalem itself, and was speaking no reassuring word as he formerly had done (John 11:9,10).

  3. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were to happen unto him. He separated them from the throng of pilgrims on the way to the Passover, and from the outer circle of the disciples, for it was not expedient that these should hear what he was about to reveal concerning his death. Such a revelation might have spurred his Galilean friends to resist his arrest, and might have resulted in riot and bloodshed.

10:33  [saying], Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and the scribes1; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him unto the Gentiles:

    Mark 10:33,34

  1. The Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and the scribes, etc. This is the third and by far the clearest and most circumstantial prophecy concerning his death. For the other two, see Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22 and Matthew 17:22,23; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:44. The details are minute even to the complicated arrangement by which the Jewish authorities pronounced sentence (Matthew 26:66) and forced Pilate to confirm the sentence (Luke 23:24). Since the evangelists honestly record an actual prediction, we may well pause to note how remarkable it is in that it gives seven details as follows: (1) Delivery or betrayal by Judas. (2) Condemnation. (3) Delivery to the Gentiles. (4) Mocking and the manner of it. (5) Scourging. (6) Death by crucifixion. (7) Resurrection on the third day. The announcement of these sufferings was made for the purpose of checking any materialistic hopes which the apostles might entertain as to the glories, honors, and offices of the Messianic reign. That such hopes were present is show by the ambitious request which immediately follows. Moreover, to prepare them that they might not be crushed either by the announcement or the accomplishment of his death he gives them the clear promise of his resurrection.

10:35  And there come near unto him James and John, the sons of Zebedee, saying unto him, Teacher, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall ask of thee1.

  1. Teacher, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall ask of thee. James and John were ashamed of the selfish ambition of their request, and betrayed that fact by desiring Christ to grant it without hearing it. For a similar petition, see 1 Kings 2:19,20. They asked through their mother (Matthew 20:20), thinking that Jesus would be more likely to favor her than themselves.

10:36  And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you1?

  1. What would ye that I should do for you? Though Jesus knew what they wished, he required them to state it plainly and specifically, that their self-seeking might be clearly exposed and properly rebuked.

10:37  And they said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and one on [thy] left hand1, in thy glory2.

  1. Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and one on [thy] left hand. In the previous section Jesus had spoken about the thrones to be occupied by the apostles (Matthew 19:28). The sons of Zebedee, presuming on their high standing among the apostles, and their near relationship to Jesus, were emboldened to ask for special seats of honor among the promised thrones--the seats to the right and left of the sovereign being next to his in dignity and consideration; thus Josephus represents Saul as seated with Jonathan on his right hand and Abner on his left.

  2. In thy glory. The words "glory" here and "kingdom" in Matthew 20:21 are used synonymously. Despite the fact that Jesus was now telling them plainly of his death, these apostles could not rid their minds of the delusion that he was about to ascend the earthly throne of David.

10:38  But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink the cup that I drink1? or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with2?

  1. Are ye able to drink the cup that I drink? The word "cup" among the Hebrews meant "a portion assigned" (Psalms 16:5; Psalms 23:5), whether of pleasure or of sorrow. But the idea of sorrow usually predominated (Psalms 75:8; Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15; Matthew 26:39,42; Revelation 14:10; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 18:6).

  2. Or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? To be baptized with suffering means to be overwhelmed with it, a metaphorical use of the word arising from the fact that it means an immersion. This metaphorical use of baptism aids us to understand the meaning of that word, for neither sprinkling nor pouring could have suggested the overpowering force which the metaphor implies. Alford distinguishes between cup and baptism, making the former refer to inward spiritual suffering, and the latter to outer persecution and trial.

10:39  And they said unto him, We are able1. And Jesus said unto them, The cup that I drink ye shall drink; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized2:

  1. We are able. James and John probably thought that Jesus referred to some battle or conflict which would attend the ushering in of the kingdom, and as they were not wanting in physical courage, they were ready enough to pledge themselves to endure it.

  2. The cup that I drink ye shall drink; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized. James and John spoke with unwarranted self-confidence, but Jesus rebuked them very gently, as he foreknew what suffering they would indeed endure. James was the first apostolic martyr (Acts 12:2), and John's spirit was sorely troubled with the conflict of error, as his epistles show, and his last days were darkened by the shadow of persecution (Revelation 1:9).

10:40  but to sit on my right hand or on [my] left hand is not mine to give; but [it is for them] for whom it hath been prepared1.

  1. But to sit on my right hand or on [my] left hand is not mine to give; but [it is for them] for whom it hath been prepared. Future rewards are indeed meted out by the hand of Christ (2 Timothy 4:8 Revelation 2:10,17,26,28; Revelation 3:12,21), but they are not distributed according to the caprice of favoritism, but according to the will of the Father and the rules which he has established. Jesus proceeds to set forth the principles by which places of honor are obtained in his kingdom.

10:41  And when the ten heard it, they began to be moved with indignation concerning James and John1.

  1. And when the ten heard it, they began to be moved with indignation concerning James and John. The ten, sharing the same ambition as the two, jealously resented their efforts to take unfair advantage of the Lord's known affection for them.

10:42  And Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they who are accounted to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them1; and their great ones exercise authority over them.

  1. Ye know that they who are accounted to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them. To restore peace among them, and to correct their false views, he draws the distinction between the worldly greatness to which they aspired, and the spiritual greatness which they ought to have sought.

10:43  But it is not so among you: but whosoever would become great among you, shall be your minister1;

    Mark 10:43,44

  1. But it is not so among you: but whosoever would become great among you, shall be your minister. In an earthly kingdom honor and authority measure greatness, but in Christ's kingdom it is measured by humility and service. Jesus added power to his rebuke by showing them that their spirit was not even Jewish, but altogether heathenish.

10:45  For the Son of man also came not to be ministered unto, but to minister1, and to give his life a ransom for many2.

  1. For the Son of man also came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. He enforces this lesson by his own example in that he came to serve men and not to have them serve. Jesus could ever refer to himself as the best example of the virtues which he taught. Since honor consists in being like the King, the highest honor consists in being most like him.

  2. And to give his life a ransom for many. The closing words state the vicarious nature of Christ's suffering as plainly as language can express it. The ransom is offered for all (1 Timothy 2:6), and will be efficacious for as many as accept it. The words are nearly a reproduction of the words of Isaiah 53:12.

10:46  And they come to Jericho: and as he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude1, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar2, was sitting by the way side3.

    BARTIMAEUS AND HIS COMPANION HEALED. (At Jericho.) Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43

  1. And they come to Jericho: and as he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude. Being so near the Passover season, great crowds would be on their way to Jerusalem, and all the multitudes coming from Galilee and from Perea would pass through Jericho on their way thither. Jesus had entered the city with a multitude (Luke 18:35,36), and as he spent some little time there, he would leave with even a larger crowd, for it would be augmented by those who had arrived at Jericho during his stay there and citizens of Jericho itself. Few would leave Jericho alone while they might have the pleasure and excitement of going with the crowd.

  2. The son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar. "Bar" is the Aramaic form for "son". It is likely that both Timaeus and Bartimaeus were well known in apostolic days, but all memory of them is now lost save that contained in this passage.

  3. Was sitting by the way side. See Luke 18:37. Blindness and beggary form an awful combination, and when coupled with the general poverty then prevailing in Palestine, they suggest a fullness of suffering.

10:47  And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me1.

  1. Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. The title "Son of David" was the popular Jewish designation for the Messiah, and Bartimaeus thus confessed his faith in the Messiahship of Jesus. Blind as he was, he saw more than those who spoke of the Lord as Jesus of Nazareth, thus making Jesus differ from other men merely in the matter of his residence.

10:48  And many1 rebuked him, that he should hold his peace2: but he cried out the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me3.

  1. And many. They that came out of the city just ahead of Jesus.

  2. Rebuked him, that he should hold his peace. Various motives influenced the multitude to silence the beggar's cries. Some regarded his clamor as indecorous, distracting the thoughts and interrupting conversation. Others did not like to hear Jesus thus confessed as Messiah. Others still, believing that Jesus was about to be crowned king, thought that it was high time that he should cease paying so much attention to beggars and begin to assume the dignity of royalty.

  3. But he cried out the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. But Bartimaeus was filled with the spirit of Jacob. The more resistance he met, the more strenuously he wrestled to obtain the blessing (Genesis 32:24-26).

10:49  And Jesus stood still, and said, Call ye him1. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good cheer: rise, he calleth thee.

  1. And Jesus stood still, and said, Call ye him. The multitude had rebuked the cry, but Jesus stood still to hear and answer it. He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34,35). Rich rulers and blind beggars received his attention and care without respect of station. He died for every man.

10:50  And he, casting away his garment, sprang up, and came to Jesus1.

  1. And he, casting away his garment, sprang up, and came to Jesus. He cast off his outer garment or "pallium", which was like a large shawl thrown over the shoulders, and is elsewhere called a cloak. See Matthew 5:40. It probably represented more than half the beggar's wealth, but he valued his eyesight more than it, and cast it aside because it hindered him in reaching Jesus through the crowd. Many today would come to Jesus, but their steps are impeded by some trifling obstacle (Isaiah 64:6). In the race to win the presence of Christ on high, Christians are advised to lay aside every weight (Hebrews 12:1,2).

10:51  And Jesus answered him, and said, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee1? And the blind man said unto him, Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.

  1. What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? Bartimaeus had cried for mercy without specifying what mercy, and he had asked this mercy of Christ as Messiah. The Lord therefore in his royal majesty asked Bartimaeus to name the mercy, thus suggesting to him the fullness of the treasury of power and grace, to which he came. He was not to blame for this.

10:52  And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole1. And straightway he received his sight, and followed him in the way2.

  1. Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. We can see in this instance what faith really is. It caused Bartimaeus to cry out, to come to Jesus and to ask for sight. Thus we see that faith saves by leading to proper actions.

  2. And straightway he received his sight, and followed him in the way. Being a beggar, it would have been natural for him to hunt first for means of livelihood, but faith and gratitude prompted him to follow Jesus.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Mark 10". "The Fourfold Gospel". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/tfg/view.cgi?book=mr&chapter=010>. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.  


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