Gospel of Mark: Chapter 10

Gospel of Mark:

Commentary on Chapter 10

  • v. 1 – Jesus is progressing southward from Galilee in the north to Judea in the south.
  • v. 2 – This topic was extremely controversial at this time in Jewish history. Some believed one could divorce one’s wife for any reason while others maintained that divorce could only occur in adulterous situations.
  • v. 5 – The commandment allowing adultery was not God’s perfect intention, but rather an allowance for sinful mankind.
  • v. 6 – Jesus is quoting from Gen. 1:27 and 5:2.
  • vv. 7-8 – Here Jesus is again quoting from Genesis – this time 2:24.
  • v. 9 – Jesus indicates now the perfect intention of God – that man and woman remained married.
  • vv. 10-12 – These verses and other verses in Scripture on divorce are extremely controversial. Some believe that Jesus forbids divorce under any circumstances,[1] some believe that a provision for adultery is made,[2] and some see even a further exception for those who have unbelieving spouses.[3]
    •  Others would argue that Jesus is attempting to highlight the importance of marriage, not set down a set of laws regarding acceptable conditions for divorce.
  • vv. 14-15 – What is it about children that makes them so worthy of entering the kingdom of heaven? Some believe it is their innocence, others their simplicity, and others their abundant trust (faith).
  • v. 17 – Notice that the man runs (not dignified) and kneels (showing respect and honor to Jesus).
    • This is the only instance where Jesus is referred to as ‘Good Teacher.’
  • v. 18 – Jesus is not rejecting His position as God but rather highlighting to the man the implications of his statement.
  • v. 19 – Interestingly, Jesus only gives the man the last five commandments – those directed towards other people. The first five He neglects – which are explicitly or implicitly focused on one’s relationship to God.
  • vv. 20-21 – It seems that the man was being honest from his perspective about his ‘goodness’ – though from an objective standpoint, as Jesus had just said, no one but God is good.
    •   Note that Jesus loves this man and what he states is thus stated out of love.
    • Jesus tells him to get rid of something (possessions) to gain something (discipleship).
  • vv. 23-24 – The disciples are amazed because the wealthy are seen as being blessed by God. Thus if it is hard for them to get into the kingdom, how hard will it be for those with less who in the disciples minds are less blessed by God?
  • v. 25 – The camel was the largest animal in Judea while the eye of a needle was the smallest hole.
  • vv. 29-30 – This statement contains three truths (a) one receives adoption into the body of Christ (the Church), (b) one’s persecutions may increase from both human and spiritual foes, and (c) all the suffering and loss one experiences is not to be compared to the life which God bestows.
  • v. 37 – James and John are still thinking in earthly kingdom terms.
  • v. 38 – A drink is oftentimes symbolic in Scripture of suffering or punishment.
  • vv. 43-45 – Note the progression, to be great is to serve, to be greatest is to be slave, and the greatest of all is Jesus who not only serves but also gives his life.
    • A ransom is an amount paid to free someone from slavery, usually after they have been captured in war or enslaved because of their inability to pay their debts.
  • v. 47 – Bartimaeus is unique in Mark in calling Jesus ‘Son of David.’
  • v. 52 – Note that Jesus tells Bartimaeus to go his own way and Bartimaeus chooses to make that way following Jesus.

Author: David Mackey

Revision: 1.0 5/6/13


[1] Including adultery and physical abuse situations.

[2] See Jesus’ words in Matt. 5:32 and 19:9.

[3] See 1 Cor. 7:15.