READ: Mark 10
BACKGROUND: This is a section that contains Jesus’ preaching in an area known as Perea, in which he covers a number of topics.
4 – Certificate of Divorce is explained in Deuteronomy 24:1-4.
9 – Divorce is not God’s design. He created us to pursue intimacy and oneness in marriage.
14 – We’re never going to understand God completely. He is WAY to big for us to possibly comprehend. And this means, that in some respects, we have to approach faith like children. We have to believe because of who he is and not because we have it all figured out.
18 – The word for “good” here was a word reserved for God. Jesus was reacting to being addressed as such from someone who didn’t know that he was God.
21 – Jesus’ goal here is to show this man that his love of money actually violated the law and made him a sinner.
25 – Jesus is using a dramatic illustration to make a point here; he’s not actually saying that it is impossible.
32 – Going up – Jerusalem is more than 2500 feet above sea level.
33 – This is the 3rd time in Mark that Jesus has predicted his death
39 – James did end up dying as a martyr (Acts 12:2) and they kept on trying to kill John and failing so he ended up suffering in exile (Revelation 1:9).
52 – His faith made him well. This is a common theme in Jesus miracles.
THINK: Reread verses 17-22. Take a minute or two and write down a couple of the things that hit you when you read this. How are you similar to the rich man? How are you different?
Jesus knows that, though the rich man is morally good, he still has strings attached to his heart that will keep him from being a devoted follower.
Take an internal inventory of your heart. What things are deeply attached to your heart that must be relinquished for you to be a wholehearted follower of Jesus? They may be possessions, but they may also be thoughts, relationships, activities, and so on.
Later in the passage, Jesus basically says this about anyone’s chance of getting into God’s kingdom: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.” Based on these words from Jesus, write down, in your own words, a short description of the grace God offers to each one of us.
PRAY: Reflect on God’s grace. Thank God for the grace he extends to you. Confess the times when you have abused his grace. Offer God the strings of your heart, those that keep you from completely following Jesus. Ask God to help you sever those strings and replace them with fray-proof connections to him.
LIVE: Live in freedom and follow Jesus.
Adapted from Eugene Peterson in Solo