Mark 10:32-52 (Wednesday Evening Bible Study)

Mark 10:32-52

  • Mark 10:32-34
  • 32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were astonished, but those who followed him were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them the things that would happen to him. 33 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 and they will mock him, spit on him, flog him, and kill him, and he will rise after three days.”
    • Jesus and His disciples were entering upon the last scene. Jesus had set His course definitely and irrevocably to Jerusalem and the cross
      • There had been the withdrawal to the north, to the territory around Caesarea Philippi
      • There had been the journey south, with a brief stop in Galilee
      • There had been the way to Judaea and the time in the hill country and beyond the Jordan
      • And now the final stage, the road to Jerusalem
    • This story tells us of the loneliness of Jesus
      • They were going along the road and He was out ahead of them, alone
      • There are certain decisions which can only be taken alone
      • There are certain decisions which must be taken and detain roads that must be walked in the awful loneliness of our own souls
      • Yet in the deepest sense of all, even in these times, we are not along, of never is God nearer to us
    • This story tells us of the courage of Jesus
      • Three times Jesus has foretold the things that were to happen to Him in Jerusalem, and each time they grow grimmer and some further detail of horror is included
      • There are two kinds of courage
        • The courage which is a kind of instinctive reaction, almost a reflex, the courage of those who are confronted out of the blue with a crisis to which they instinctively react, scarcely having time to think
        • The courage of those who see the grim thing approaching far ahead, whole have plenty of time to turn back, who could, if they chose, evade the issue, and who yet go on
        • There is no doubt which is the higher courage; this known deliberate facing of the future. That is the courage Jesus showed
        • If no higher verdict was possible, it would still be true to say of Jesus that He ranks with the heroes of the world
    • This story tells of the personal magnetism of Jesus
      • The disciples were sure that Jesus was the Messiah
      • They were equally sure that He was going to die
      • To them these two facts did not make sense when put together
      • Yet they followed. To them everything was dark except one thing—they loved Jesus, and however much they wished to, they could not leave Him
  • Mark 10:35-40
  • 35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him and said, “Teacher, we want you to do whatever we ask you. 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them. 37 They answered him, “Allow us to sit at your right and at your left in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink or to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” 39 “We are able,” they told him. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with. 40 But to sit at my right or left is not mine to give; instead, it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
    • This story tells us something about Mark
      • Matthew puts the request at the mother of James and John, Salome
      • This story shows us the honesty of Mark
        • It’s Mark’s aim to show us the disciples, warts and all. And Mark was right, because the disciples were not a company of saints
        • They were ordinary men
        • It was with people like ourselves that Jesus set out to change the world—and did it
      • This story tells us something about James and John
        • They were ambitious
        • They had completely failed to understand Jesus
          • The amazing thing is not the fact that this incident happened, but when it happened
          • It is the juxtaposition of Jesus’ most definite and detailed forecast of His death and this request that is staggering
          • Words were powerless to rid them of the idea of a Messiah of earthly power and glory. Only the cross could do that
        • But when we have said all that is to be said againset James and John, this story tells us one shining thing about them
          • Bewildered as they might be, they still believed in Jesus
          • Misguided James and John might be, but their hearts were in the right place. They never doubted Jesus’ ultimate triumph
      • This story tells us something of Jesus’ standard of greatness
        • He was telling these two disciples that without a cross there can never be a crown
        • The standard of greatness in the kingdom is the standard of the cross
        • It was true that in the days to come they do go through the experience of their Maser, for James was beheaded by Herod Agrippa, and John suffered much for Christ
        • They accepted the challenge of their Master—even if they did so blindly
      • Jesus told them that the ultimate issue of things belonged to God
  • Mark 10:41-45
  • 41 When the ten disciples heard this, they began to be indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them over and said to them, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave to all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
    • Inevitably the action of James and John aroused deep resentment among the other ten
    • Jesus called them to Him and made quite clear the different standards of greatness in His kingdom and the kingdoms of the world
    • In the kingdoms of the world, the standard of greatness was power
      • How many people does a man control
    • In the kingdom of Jesus the standard was that of service
      • Greatness consisted not in reducing others to one’s service, but in reducing oneself to their service
      • The test was not what service can I extract, but what service can I give
      • The basic trouble is that it is human nature to want to do as little as possible and to get as much as possible
      • It is only when we are filled with the desire to put into life more than we take out that life for ourselves and for others will be happy and prosperous
      • The world needs people whose ideal is service—it needs people who have realized what sound sense Jesus spoke
    • He had come, He said, to give His life as a ransom for many
      • This saying of Jesus is a simple and pictorial way of saying that it cost the life of Jesus to bring men and women back from their sin into the love of God
      • It means that the cost of our salvation was the cross of Christ
      • Beyond that we cannot go
      • We know only that something happened on the cross which opened for us the way to God
  • Mark 10:46-52
  • 46 They came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many warned him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, “Have mercy on me, Son of David!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up; he’s calling for you.” 50 He threw off his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Rabboni,” the blind man said to him, “I want to see.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has saved you.” Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road.
    • For Jesus the end of the road was not far away
      • Jericho was only about fifteen miles from Jerusalem 
      • Jesus was on His way to the Passover
      • When a distinguished Rabbi or teacher was on such a journey, it was the custom that he was surrounded by a crowd of people, disciples and learners, who listened to him as he discoursed while he walked
      • It was the law that every male Jew over 12 years old who lived within 15 miles of Jerusalem must attend the Passover, but this simply wasn’t feasible
      • Those who were unable to go were in the habit of lining the streets of towns and villages through which groups of Passover pilgrims must pass to bid them godspeed on their way
      • So then the streets of Jericho would be lined with people
    • Jericho had one special characteristic
      • There were attached to the Temple over 20,000 priests and as many Levites
      • Very many of these priests and Levites resided in Jericho when they were not on actual temple duty
    • At the northern gate sat a beggar, Bartimaeus
      • To those listening to Jesus’ teaching as He walked, the uproar of Bartimaeus was offensive
      • They tried to silence him, but on one was going to take from him his chance to escape from his world of darkness, and he cried with such violence and persistence that the procession stopped, and he was brought to Jesus
        • In this story we see the sheer persistence of Bartimaeus
          • In the mind of Bartimaeus there was not just a vague, wistful, sentimental wish to see Jesus
          • It was a desperate desire, and it is that disparage desire that gets things done
        • His response to the call of Jesus was immediate and eager, so eager that he threw off his coat to run to Jesus
          • Many people hear the call of Jesus but say in effect, “Wait until I have done this or have finished that.”
          • Certain chances only happen once
          • So ver often we do not seize the moment to act on it—and the chance is gone, maybe forever
        • He knew precisely what he wanted—his sight
          • It should be so with us and Jesus
          • And that involves the one thing that so few people wish to face—self-examination
          • When we go to Jesus, if we are as desperately definite as Bartimaeus, things will happen
        • Bartimaeus had a quite inadequate conception of Jesus
          • Son of David was a messianic title, but it has in it all the thought of a conquering Messiah, a king of David’s line who would lead Israel to national greatness
            • Bartimaeus had faith though
            • The demand is not hat we should fully understand Jesus
            • The demand is for faith
        • Bartimaeus may have been a beggar by the wayside but he was a man of gratitude
          • Having received his sight, he followed Jesus
          • He did not selfishly go on his way when his need was met
          • He began with need, went on to gratitude, and finished with loyalty—and that is a perfect summary of the stages of discipleship

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