Pharisees questioned Jesus whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. He replied that Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce because of hardness of heart. Marriage was designed for humankind to leave father and mother so the two become one flesh. In response to the disciples' questions, Jesus answered that whoever divorces one's spouse and marries another commits adultery (Mark 10:1-12).
The disciples rebuked the people who brought children to Jesus so He might touch them. He said that those who do not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it (Mark 10:13-16).
The rich young ruler asked the Good Teacher what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked why he called Him good since no one is good except God alone. He reminded the rich young ruler about the ten commandments, which he confirmed keeping since his youth. When Jesus said for him to sell everything, give to the poor to obtain treasure in heaven and follow Him, he went away grieved since he owned much property (Mark 10:17-22).
Jesus repeated himself twice for added emphasis, saying how hard for wealthy people to enter the kingdom of God. He continued saying "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." These sayings astonished the disciples causing them to ask, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus responded that all things are possible with God. When Peter said the disciples left everything to follow Him, He replied that no one leaves house, family or business for His sake and for the gospel's sake without receiving a 100-fold increase now along with persecutions and eternal life in the age to come. The first will be last and the last, first (Mark 10:23-31).
Jesus explained His future to the 12 disciples that the chief priests and scribes would condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles where He would be mocked, spit upon, scourged, killed and rise again three days later (Mark 10:32-34)
James and John didn't get it. They asked to sit at His right and left hand in glory. Jesus rebuked them since they were totally ignorant about the persecutions and sufferings necessary to prepare them. In addition, it wasn't His choice to give them that privilege but only "for those for whom it has been prepared." To emphasize his point even more, Jesus said rulers of the Gentiles lord and exercise authority over their subjects, but true greatness is shown by servanthood and being a slave of all. The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:35-45).
An example of Jesus' servanthood is how He related to the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, after he kept calling out, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stopped and said, "Call him here." After he came to Jesus, He asked Bartimaeus, "What do you want Me to do for you?" The blind man said, "My Master, I want to regain my sight?" Jesus said, "Go your way; your faith has saved (made well) you." Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him (Mark 10:46-52).
Let’s look at these seven paragraphs in a chiastic structure as follows from the first through the seventh paragraph: A; B; C; D; C’; B’; A’. We group together the content contained in A & A’; B & B’, etc. Here are my conclusions:
1. Rather than self-sufficiency and hardened heart, God desires neediness and humble heart (A & A’)
2. Rather than seeking honor and authority, God desires childlike faith and servanthood (B & B’)
3. Rather than trusting in possessions and good works, God desires generosity to the poor and willingness to suffer persecution (C & C’).
4. The three points above explain how to attain the main theme of Mark 10: Prioritize loving Christ and the spread of the Gospel more than family and material wealth since He promises a 100-fold return in this life along with persecution plus eternal life beginning now (D).
Ask God for these personal prayer requests:
1. Nurture neediness, humble heart, childlike faith, servanthood, generosity to the poor and willingness to suffer persecution.
2. Prioritize loving Christ and the spread of the Gospel more than family and material wealth remembering His promise of 100-fold return and persecutions plus eternal life.