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The Revolutionary Values of the Kingdom

10 Then Jesus left the region[a] and went into the district of Judea,[b] across from the Jordan River,[c] and again, massive crowds flocked to him, and Jesus, as was his custom, began to teach the people. At one point, some of the Pharisees came, seeking to entrap him with a question. “Tell us,” they asked, “is it lawful for a man to divorce[d] his wife?”

He answered them, “What did Moses command you?”

They replied, “Moses permitted us to write a certificate of separation that would be valid to complete a divorce.”

Jesus said, “Yes, Moses wrote this exception[e] for you because you are hardhearted. But from the beginning God created male and female.[f] For this reason a man will leave his parents and be wedded to his wife.[g] And the husband and wife[h] will be joined as one flesh, and after that they no longer exist as two, but one flesh. So there you have it. What God has joined together, no one has the right to split apart.”[i]

10 Once indoors, his disciples asked him to explain it to them again. 11 So he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if the wife divorces her husband and marries another, she also commits adultery.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 The parents kept bringing their little children to Jesus so that he would lay his hands on them and bless them.[j] But the disciples kept rebuking and scolding the people for doing it. 14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he became indignant with his disciples and said to them, “Let all the little children come to me and never hinder them! Don’t you know that God’s kingdom exists for such as these? 15 Listen to the truth I speak: Whoever does not open their arms to receive God’s kingdom like a teachable child will never enter it.”[k] 16 Then he embraced each child, and laying his hands on them, he lovingly blessed each one.

A Rich Man Meets Jesus

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man came running up to him. Kneeling down in front of him, he cried out, “Good Teacher, what one thing am I required to do to gain eternal life?”

18 Jesus responded, “Why do you call me good? Only God is truly good. 19 You already know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give a false testimony, do not cheat, and honor your father and mother.’ ”[l]

20 The man said to Jesus, “Teacher, I have carefully obeyed these laws since my youth.”

21 Jesus fixed his gaze upon the man, with tender love, and said to him, “Yet there is still one thing in you lacking.[m] Go, sell all that you have and give the money to the poor. Then all of your treasure will be in heaven. After you’ve done this, come back and walk with me.”[n]

22 Completely shocked by Jesus’ answer, he turned and walked away very sad, for he was extremely rich.[o]

23 Jesus looked at the faces of his disciples and said, “How hard it is for the wealthy to enter into God’s kingdom realm.”

24 The disciples were startled when they heard this. But Jesus again said to them, “Children, it is next to impossible for those who trust in their riches to find their way into God’s kingdom.[p] 25 It is easier to stuff a rope through the eye of a needle[q] than for a wealthy person to enter into God’s kingdom.”[r]

26 But this left them all the more astonished, and they whispered to one another, “Then who could ever be saved?”

27 Jesus looked at them and replied, “With people it is impossible, but not with God—God makes all things possible!”[s]

28 Then Peter spoke up and said, “Can’t you see that we’ve left everything we had to cling to you?”

29 “Listen to my words,” Jesus said. “Anyone who leaves his home behind and chooses me over children, parents, family, and possessions, all for the sake of the gospel, 30 it will come back to him a hundred times as much in this lifetime—homes, family, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, possessions—along with persecutions. And in the age to come, he will inherit eternal life. 31 But many who are considered to be the most important now will be the least important then. And many who are viewed as the least important now will be considered the most important then.”

Jesus Again Prophesies His Death and Resurrection

32 Jesus and his disciples were on the road that went up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was leading them forward. The disciples were filled with wonder and amazement at his bravery, but those following along with them were very afraid. As they approached the city, he took the Twelve aside privately and told them what was going to happen. 33 “I want you to know that we are going to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be handed over to the ruling priests and religious scholars and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Romans. 34 And they will mock him, spit in his face, torture him, and kill him, but three days later he will rise again.”

Jacob (James) and John Ask a Favor of Jesus

35 Jacob and John, sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, will you do us a favor?”[t]

36 “What is it?” he asked.

37 “We want to sit next to you when you come into your glory,” they said, “one at your right hand and the other at your left.”

38 Jesus replied, “You don’t have a clue what you’re asking for! Are you prepared to drink from the cup of suffering[u] that I am about to drink? And are you able to endure the baptism into death[v] that I am about to experience?”

39 They replied, “Yes, we are able.”[w]

Jesus said to them, “You will certainly drink from the cup of my sufferings and be immersed into my death, 40 but to have you sit in the position of highest honor is not mine to decide. It is reserved for those especially prepared to have it.”[x]

41 Now the other ten disciples overheard this, and they became angry and began to criticize Jacob and John. 42 Jesus gathered them all together and said to them, “Those recognized as rulers of the people and those who are in top leadership positions rule oppressively over their subjects, but this is not the example you are to follow. 43 You are to lead by a different model. If you want to be the greatest, then live as one called to serve others. 44 The path to promotion comes by having the heart of a bond-slave[y] who serves everyone. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone, and to give his life as the ransom price for the salvation of many.”

Jesus Heals Blind Bar-Timai

46 When Jesus and his disciples had passed through Jericho, a large crowd joined them. Upon leaving the village, they met a blind beggar sitting on the side of the road named Timai, the son of Timai.[z] 47 When he heard that Jesus from Nazareth was passing by, he began to shout “Jesus, son of David,[aa] have mercy on me now in my affliction. Heal me!”[ab]

48 Those in the crowd were indignant and scolded him for making so much of a disturbance, but he kept shouting with all his might, “Son of David, have mercy on me now and heal me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they went to the blind man and said, “Have courage! Get up! Jesus is calling for you!” 50 So he threw off his beggars’ cloak, jumped up, and made his way to Jesus.

51 Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The man replied, “My Master,[ac] please, let me see again!”

52 Jesus responded, “Your faith heals you. Go in peace, with your sight restored.”[ad] All at once, the man’s eyes opened and he could see again, and he began at once to follow Jesus, walking down the road with him.


  1. 10:1 Or “left that place” (Capernaum, on the shore of Lake Galilee).
  2. 10:1 Judea was a Roman province that included central Israel, with Jerusalem as its center. Jesus, leaving to go into Judea, began the journey he made to his destiny, to be crucified in Jerusalem.
  3. 10:1 The reason this is important to note is that this places Jesus in the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas, who had John the Baptizer beheaded at the request of his stepdaughter. Now the Pharisees are coming to test Jesus in hopes of setting him up for likewise being put to death by Herod. The Aramaic notes the location as “the crossing place.” This could have been the place where Joshua and the Hebrews crossed the Jordan to enter into the promised land.
  4. 10:2 The Greek word for divorce (apolyo) used also in vv. 2, 4, 11, and 12 can also be translated “to dismiss,” “to send away,” “to loose.”
  5. 10:5 Or “commandment.”
  6. 10:6 See Gen. 1:27; 5:2.
  7. 10:7 As translated from the Aramaic and the majority of Greek manuscripts. See Gen. 2:24 (LXX).
  8. 10:8 Or “the two” (i.e., husband and wife).
  9. 10:9 See Deut. 24:1; Matt. 19:3–12. This question in v. 2 was asked in the context of an ongoing debate between two schools of rabbinical thought. The liberal view (Rabbi Hillel’s) said that divorce could be made on any grounds, called “Any Matter” divorce, while the conservative viewpoint (Rabbi Shammai’s) believed that divorce was only legal on the grounds of adultery. Jesus gave them God’s view and used the creation of man and woman in the garden as the standard.
  10. 10:13 Or “touch them.” The laying on of Jesus’ hands was an obvious impartation of a blessing. The words “and bless them,” though implied, are made explicit in v. 16. Parents should always bring their children to be blessed by Jesus. The apparent reason for Mark including this episode is to express not only Jesus’ desire to bless children, but also the disciple’s inability to see people the way Jesus sees them.
  11. 10:15 Jesus uses an emphatic negative, something similar to “never, no never enter it.”
  12. 10:19 See Ex. 20:12–16.
  13. 10:21 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “You lack one thing.” The Greek wording used here is the same as found in Rom. 3:23, “we all have sinned and are in need of [lack] the glory of God.”
  14. 10:21 There are a few Greek and Aramaic manuscripts that read “pick up your cross.”
  15. 10:22 Or “he had much property.” The Greek word used here implies that he was a wealthy landowner.
  16. 10:24 Some reliable Greek manuscripts leave out the words “who trust in their riches.” However, the majority of the Greek manuscripts and the Aramaic include it. The difficulty Jesus speaks of is not because it is evil to be rich, but because the wealthy are quick to put their confidence in riches and not in God. See 1 Tim. 6:9, 17.
  17. 10:25 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “to stuff a camel through the eye of a needle.” The Aramaic word for “rope” and for “camel” is the homonym gamla. This could be an instance of the Aramaic text being misread by the Greek translators as “camel” instead of “rope.” Regardless, this becomes a metaphor for something impossible. It would be like saying, “It’s as hard as making pigs fly!”
  18. 10:25 To enter into God’s kingdom realm means more than salvation. It implies a participation in its principles and an experience of its power to change our hearts. The principles of God’s kingdom are not the principles of the world. Greed is conquered by generosity. Promotion is given to the humble. The power of God’s kingdom is found in the Holy Spirit. See Rom. 14:17.
  19. 10:27 See Gen. 18:14; Luke 1:37.
  20. 10:35 A better question that followers of Jesus should ask is, “What can we do to bring you glory? Anything you ask of us we will do for you if you will help us.”
  21. 10:38 The cup is mentioned many times in the Old Testament as a metaphor of a cup of suffering. See Ps. 75:8; Isa. 51:17–22; Jer. 25:15; Ezek. 23:31–34.
  22. 10:38 Baptism is a metaphor for immersion into death. See Rom. 6:3–7; 1 Cor. 10:2; Col. 2:11–13.
  23. 10:39 How naive was this for them to say! So many times we exaggerate our spirituality and believe we are more mature than we actually are. Yet in spite of their ambition and self-confidence, Jesus affirms that they will indeed taste of the sufferings of Christ.
  24. 10:40 Mark’s Gospel records three times that Jesus prophesied of his death and resurrection. After each time he had to rebuke his disciples. The first time (Mark 8:31) he rebuked Peter for being used by Satan to try to hinder Jesus. The second time (Mark 9:31) the disciples argued over who would be the greatest. After the third time (Mark 10:33), Jesus corrected Jacob (James) and John about their ambition to be in the place of highest honor. This shows us that not only is the sacrifice of the cross difficult to understand, it also brings out the ambition that hides in our hearts. Jesus’ submission to the Father to choose who sits in glory next to him becomes a rebuke to the ambition of James and John.
  25. 10:44 Jesus uses two Greek words for servant: diakonos (“minister,” “servant,” “deacon”) in v. 43, and doulos (“bondslave,” “bond servant”) in v. 44.
  26. 10:46 The name Timai is Aramaic and means “highly prized” (or “esteemed”). Though unable to see, he was highly prized in the eyes of Jesus, who stopped to heal him. The Greek transliteration is “Bar-Timaeus, son of Timaeus,” which is somewhat confusing, since the name Bar-Timaeus means “son of Timaeus.” The Aramaic is to be preferred, for Timai spoke Aramaic when he cried out to Jesus (v. 51), for “Rabbi” (“master-teacher”) is an Aramaic title of respect.
  27. 10:47 The term “son of David” was used for the Messiah. The blind man believed Jesus was the one who was fulfilling the messianic claims of restoring sight to the blind.
  28. 10:47 Implied in the Hebraic saying “Have mercy on me.” The mark of mercy would be his healing.
  29. 10:51 This is the Aramaic emphatic form of Rabbi: Rabbouni. “My Master” is the best way to express this in English.
  30. 10:52 This is the Greek word sozo and is best defined with multiple terms: “delivered, saved, restored, healed, rescued, preserved, made whole.” There is at least an implication that the man was saved, healed, and delivered, with sight restored, all at the same time.

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