Review of Mark 10

by Victor Fawole

It’s another day to take pleasure in the Word of God. Congratulations to everyone who has joined this spiritual exercise, for our growth is guaranteed by the Spirit of grace. Mark 10 is an interesting read, and I’d like us to consider five portions of the chapter. Let’s review…

Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

In their usual way with Jesus, the Pharisees came to Him again to trap Him. As at this time, divorce was a hot debate topic among the Pharisees and there were two schools of thought. The first was the more popular school of “Rabbi Hillel” that said the only ground for divorce was adultery, and the second was the less popular school of “Rabbi Shammai” that said divorce could be granted for “any indecency”, even to the point of a wife burning breakfast on fire. So, it should not surprise us that they brought this topic before Jesus. The challenge, however, was that they wanted to tempt Him. It could be that they wanted Jesus to oppose divorce or remarriage and so would offend King Herod (like John the Baptist did)… Or that they wanted Jesus to lose the majority of his crowd, as many of them were probably divorcees. It could also be that they wanted Jesus to contradict the Law. Whatever their reason(s) was/were, one thing was sure: They wanted to box the Designer of Marriage into a corner.

Jesus refreshed their minds on the law. Divorce was not commanded by God but permitted because of the hardness of their hearts. It would not be necessary if not for the hardness of their hearts. And the commandment was actually given as a protection for the divorced wife. In fact, the process of obtaining this legal document took time – probably giving time for a possible change of heart for the husband. This prevented a husband from divorcing his wife rashly or out of anger. It required a priest or Levite to write it, and the process probably required the return of the dowry. We can see that divorce was actually not God’s design for marriage. As with most other things that God designed for us, man’s heart has always been the problem.

Jesus then took them back to Genesis. This is key and instructional. But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” (v. 6-9) Before sin entered, before man fell, before man’s heart became corrupted, God’s original design was for marriages to flourish permanently.

Mark 10:13-16 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Let’s be sincere: Children can be a handful. As I read this part, I flashed back to last Saturday’s GOG Conference in Ibadan. All the children at that conference gave their parents “back to back”. I say this to help us cut the disciples some slack. They probably wanted to help Jesus conserve His energy. They probably felt that bringing children to Jesus was socially improper. But Jesus was displeased because they didn’t share His perspective on children. “Let the little children come to me!” Children need to be blessed by the Lord who wants to bless them. He is their Best Friend.

Dear Gogolights, let us “bring our children” to Jesus at an early age and teach them about Him. He loves them all – weak and vulnerable. That is why we ourselves must come to Him in childlike humility, faith, and simplicity. Bring them with their Gen Z tendencies and watch Jesus do His perfect best with them!

Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

In my teenage years, the “Whot” card game was one of my favourites. The number “14” was dreaded by everyone in the game. Anyone who had that card had the right to spoil a potential winner’s chances of winning at the moment. We called card number 14 “General Market”. Just think of a player declaring that he has his “last card”, and one of his opponents pulls out card 14, gleefully commanding “General Market!” Everyone in the game goes to the pack of cards, and picks one more. That was exactly what Jesus did with this guy. “There is still one thing you haven’t done!” When it comes to salvation by works, there will always be a general market. And guess what? We cannot play our last card before God! To learn about this section, I recommend this 2-part article by Pastor Dammy titled: “Heavenly Race”. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

In this chapter, we see Jesus giving His disciples gentle reminders on what He had taught them earlier. The first was about His suffering, death, and resurrection, which He had taught them earlier (Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31).

Mark 10:32-34 And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

The second reminder was His lesson on servanthood and humility as the pathway to greatness, which He had also taught them earlier (Mark 9:35).

Mark 10:42-45 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Jesus is not a broken record. His frequent repetitions of these things meant that they were serious matters that must sink into their hearts and sync with their consciousness.

Have you ever been ordered to “be a gentleman and keep quiet”? Have you been considered a “nuisance” because you wanted help? This was the case of Mr. Bartimaeus…

Mark 10:46-48 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

This was the only person that was healed by Jesus (not raised from dead) whose name is mentioned in the Bible. Notice that he heard that it was “Jesus of Nazareth”, but he screamed “Jesus, son of David”. Wow! “Son of David” is a Messianic title. Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah – the long-awaited Deliverer. In fact, in Luke’s account, he addressed Jesus as “Lord” (Luke 18:41). Interesting! Bartimaeus is the real guy. He warmed his way into the Lord’s heart.

“Quiet! Be a gentleman! Stop creating a scene here!” Many voices rose against him, but he raised his voice louder. They wanted to make him form a “gentleman” by force. He refused to be discouraged. His persistence is commendable. He didn’t come thinking that God owed him anything. All he wanted from Jesus was mercy. He was not pleading based on personal merit but based on Jesus’ mercy. Every soul needs the mercy of the Saviour. Jesus recognized his faith. He was healed instantly! Hallelujah!

Dear Gogolights, let us always remember that it is by the mercy of God that we are:

Psalm 103:11-12
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 130:7-8
Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit

Lamentations 3:22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

I pray for everyone reading this: Your life will be a billboard of God’s marvelous mercies in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Grace to you. Amen.

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