1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

The Gospel According to Mark, Chapter 10

Analysis and Commentary

By

Jesus Teaches a Rich Man

Jesus Teaches a Rich Man

In the tenth chapter of Mark’s gospel, Jesus appears to be focusing on the issue of powerlessness. In the stories about children, the need to abandon material wealth, and in his response to the request of James and John, Jesus emphasizes that the only way to properly follow Jesus and get to heaven is to be receptive to powerlessness rather than seeking personal power or gain.

Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce (Mark 10:1-12)
As is usually the case wherever Jesus goes, he is accosted by large crowds of people — it’s not clear if they are there to hear him teach, to watch him perform miracles, or both. As far as we know, though, all he does is teach. This, in turn, brings out the Pharisees who are looking for ways to challenge Jesus and undermine his popularity with the people. Perhaps this confrontation is supposed to help explain why Jesus stayed away from the Judean population centers for so long.

Jesus Blesses Little Children (Mark 10:13-16)
Modern imagery of Jesus commonly has him sitting with children and this particular scene, repeated in both Matthew and Luke, is a primary reason why. Many Christians feel that Jesus has a special relationship with children because of their innocence and their willingness to trust.

Jesus on How the Rich Get to Heaven (Mark 10:17-25)
This scene with Jesus and a rich young man is probably the most famous biblical passage that tends to be ignored by modern Christians. If this passage were actually heeded today, it is likely that Christianity and Christians would be very different. It is, however, an inconvenient teaching and so tends to be glossed over entirely.

Jesus on Who Can Be Saved (Mark 10:26-31)
After hearing that it is impossible for rich people to get into heaven, Jesus’ disciples were frankly astonished — and with good reason. Rich people have always been important patrons of religion, making great shows of their piety and supporting all sorts of religious causes. Prosperity has also traditionally been treated as a sign of God’s favor. If the rich and powerful could not get into heaven, then how can anyone else manage it?

Jesus Predicts His Death Again (Mark 10:32-34)
With all of these predictions of death and suffering that would occur at the hands of political and religious leaders in Jerusalem, it’s interesting that no one makes much of an effort to get away — or even to convince Jesus to try and find another path. Instead, they all just keep following along as if everything would turn out alright.

Request of James and John to Jesus (Mark 10:35-45)
Jesus uses this occasion to repeat his earlier lesson about how a person who wants to be “great” in the kingdom of God must learn to be the “least” here on earth, serving all others and putting them ahead of one’s own needs and desires. Not only are James and John rebuked for seeking their own glory, but the rest are rebuked for being jealous of this.

Jesus Heals the Blind Bartimeus (Mark 10:46-52)
I wonder why, at the beginning, people tried to stop the blind man from calling out to Jesus. I’m sure that he must have had quite a reputation as a healer by this point — enough of one that the blind man himself was obviously well aware of who he was and what he might be able to do. If that is the case, then why would people try to stop him? Could it have anything to do with him being in Judea — is it possible that the people here are not happy about Jesus?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.