Mark 10:13-27

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 20, 2005

:13-16 Jesus and the children

:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased

It is thought that Jesus was in the house when the children were being brought to Him. The disciples were outside keeping the families from coming into the house. Jesus could see what was going on outside and He didn’t like it.  He’s indignant.

:15  Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child

The disciples want to keep the children away from Jesus.

Yet Jesus knows that the guys could learn a few things from the kids.

:16 And he took them up in his arms…and blessed them.

Some churches practice infant baptism. I don’t want to be argumentative, but there are no examples of this ever happening in Scripture. But what we do see is bringing our children to Jesus to let Him bless them. That’s why we dedicate our children to the Lord.


Learn from the kids

Kids can teach us a few lessons.
Lessons from kids
1.     It’s more fun to color outside the lines.
2.     Ask why until you understand.
3.     If the horse you’re drawing looks more like a dog, make it a dog.
4.     Ask for sprinkles.
5.     Save a place in line for your friends.
6.     Sometimes you have to take the test before you’ve finished studying.
7.     Just keep banging until someone opens the door.
8.     There is no good reason why clothes have to match.
9.     If your dog doesn’t like someone, you probably shouldn’t either.
10. Make your mother proud of you.
Sometimes we make life too difficult. We could learn a few things from our kids.
Kids know how to trust Jesus.  We need to also.

:17-22 Rich young ruler

:17 there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

there came one

Luke tells us that this man was a ruler (Luke 18:18)

Matthew tells us that he was a young man (Mat. 19:20)

kneeledgonupeteo – to fall on the knees, expressing reverence and honour; There seems to be sincerity in this man. He is willing to be humble as he runs and falls down at Jesus’ feet in front of other people.

inherit –If this man is a young ruler, it’s possible that he got his wealth through inheritance. Now he wants to inherit more than wealth, he wants to inherit eternal life.

:18 Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Jesus could be saying, “Don’t call me good, I’m not good, only God is good”.

Or He could be saying, “That’s interesting that you call me good. Did you know that only God is good? So what do you think that makes me? I’m God.” I think this is part of what Jesus means.

Or …

Jesus wants the man to rethink how easily he throws out the word “good”. Jesus is going to show this young man that he’s going to have to compare himself to God’s standard of good, not his own.

This is why Jesus is going to start asking him questions about the Law. The purpose of the Law is to show us how far short we fall from God’s standards. The Law shows us that we need a Savior.

:19 Thou knowest the commandments…

The Ten Commandments are divided into two groups, called the two “tables” or “tablets” of the Law. The first group of commandments dealt with a person’s relationship with God (Ex. 20:1-11). The second group deals with how we are to treat one another (Ex. 20:12-17). It’s this “second table that Jesus puts before the fellow.

:20 Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

observedphulasso – to guard; to take care not to violate

He’s saying, “I’m good too” (like in verse 17-18).

Matthew records a few more words that the young man spoke:

(Mat 19:20 KJV) The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

He was a fine, good, moral, upright young fellow.

He got along well with others.

But he was missing something. He didn’t have a connection with God because something had taken God’s place in his heart.

It’s not enough to be “good” to other people.

The thing the man lacked had to do with the other half of the Ten Commandments, the “first table”, the Laws regarding man’s relationship with God.

The very first law of the Ten Commandments was

(Exo 20:3 KJV) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
This young man had allowed something else to be his “god”.

:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him…

lovedagapao – to love, to be full of goodwill; wish well, to regard the welfare of

Jesus didn’t say this to be mean. He loved him and wanted the best for him.

:21 One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor…and follow me.

Is this the case for anyone with possessions? Is this a requirement to be saved?

Jesus isn’t saying that if the man sells his possessions he’ll gain eternal life. He’s telling this man what the requirements are for him to be a disciple, to be a follower of Jesus, to follow in the same path as Jesus.

Jesus was putting His finger on this particular young man’s problem, the very thing that was keeping him from following Jesus.

His money was his “god”. He was more willing to trust his money than God.

Eternal life comes by trusting in what Jesus did on the cross for us.

We are all sinners. We all fall far short of what God requires of us.
Jesus came to die on a cross and pay the required penalty for our sins. He died in our place.
(2 Cor 5:21 KJV) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
When we come to trust in Jesus to pay for our sins, God takes our sins, puts them on Jesus, and in return gives us the “righteousness” of Jesus in return.
That’s when we become “good”. We gain His “good” when we trust Him.

:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved

sadstugnazo – to be sad, sorrowful; metaph. of the sky covered with clouds; Some translations have “the man’s face clouded over”

Isn’t it amazing to think that there were people who were interested in Jesus, who met Jesus, who wanted eternal life, who were even “loved” by Jesus, and still walked away?


What keeps you from Jesus?

It’s possible that some of you this morning are a little reluctant to turn your life completely over to Jesus.
What’s more important? Your “stuff” or Jesus? Is there something or some one that’s keeping you from following Jesus like you should?
Jesus talked about seed that was sown among thorns
(Mat 13:22 KJV) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
This man has been choked by his own wealth.
Money and wealth can be a dangerous thing:
(1 Tim 6:3-11 KJV) If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; {4} He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, {5} Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. {6} But godliness with contentment is great gain. {7} For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. {8} And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. {9} But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. {10} For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. {11} But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Do you know who George Beverly Shea is?  He’s one of Billy Graham’s closest partners in ministry.  One of the things that changed Bev’s life was the words of a poem.  As he began to compose a melody for these moving lines, he decided to devote his singing talent to God’s glory alone.
Growing up with devoted Christian parents, Bev was encouraged to use his fine singing voice often in the services of the Wesleyan Methodist churches of which his father was a minister. Financial needs of the family made it necessary for him to leave college and work in an insurance office. However, he continued singing in churches and for Christian radio programs. Unexpectedly he was offered an audition for a secular singing position in New York City and passed the test. The opportunity for a substantial salary and wide recognition made Bev’s decision very difficult.
One Sunday as Bev went to the family piano to prepare a song for the morning service, he found there the poem “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” His mother, who collected beautiful quotations and literary selections, had begun to leave some of them around the house for her son to read, hoping to guide him spiritually. Bev was deeply moved with the challenging message of this text. Immediately he began to compose the music for the lines and used the song that same day in his father’s church service.
Bev Shea comments: “Over the years, I’ve not sung any song more than ‘I’d Rather Have Jesus,’ but I never tire of Mrs. Miller’s heartfelt words.” As a young man of 23, Bev allowed the message of this text to guide him wisely to a wonderfully productive and worthwhile life of service to Christ as he shared his musical “theme song” with audiences around the world—

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His than have riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land; I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand:

Refrain: Than to be the king of a vast domain or be held in sin’s dread sway! I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause; I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause; I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame; I’d rather be true to His holy name:

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom; He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb; He’s all that my hungering spirit needs—I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead  [1]

:23-27 Difficulty for the rich getting into heaven

:24 And the disciples were astonished …Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

astonishedthambeo – to be amazed; to be frightened

childrenteknon – offspring, children; Jesus isn’t belittling the guys here – this is a term of compassion and endearment.

hardduskolos (“difficulty” + “food”) – hard to find agreeable food for; it’s a word used to describe a child that is picky about what it eats; difficult

Some of the newer translations leave out the phrase “for them that trust in riches”. That’s a shame. It’s a key thought.

What does it mean to “trust” in riches?

trustpeitho – persuade; i.e. to induce one by words to believe; to make friends of, to win one’s favour, gain one’s good will, or to seek to win one; to listen to, yield to

We could say “persuaded by riches” or maybe even “seduced by riches”

It’s not just “having” (vs. 23) riches, but “trusting” (vs. 24) in them that causes the problems.

Paul had instructions for those who were wealthy:

(1 Tim 6:17-19 NLT) Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. {18} Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. {19} By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of real life.
Here the instruction wasn’t to sell everything. The instruction was to not trust money but to trust God. He told them to use their money to do good things.
How many times do we say to ourselves, “Life would sure be better if I just had a little more money”?

:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle

The Jews also had another similar saying, “an elephant going through the eye of a needle”, also carrying the same idea.  It’s not easy getting a big animal through the tiny eye of a sewing needle.  In fact it’s impossible.

It’s impossible for a person who is trusting in their money to go to heaven.

:26 And they were astonished out of measure

astonishedekplesso – to strike out; they were totally blown away with these thoughts.

:28-31 Rewards for sacrifice

:28 Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

It seems that Peter is feeling pretty good about what he and the other disciples have done. They’ve done what this rich young ruler could not have done. They’ve left everything to follow Jesus.

:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time …with persecutions

Rewards – you can’t out-give God. Whatever you give up for Him, He will pay you back many times over.

How do we receive 100x of houses, brethren, etc.? When we come to Jesus, we are adopted into a great big new family. God’s family.

But wait! There’s more! We not only get rewards, but we get persecution too.

:31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

Jesus has been trying to change the way His disciples think.

I wonder if Peter and the disciples aren’t wondering if their great sacrifices didn’t qualify them for being “first”.

Jesus says the last shall be first.

:27  With men it is impossible …for with God all things are possible.

with … with … withpara – alongside, beside, in the presence of

When you’re standing by the side of men, it looks impossible for a rich man to get saved. When you’re standing by the side of God, all things are possible.

It all depends whose side you’re standing next to.


Get next to God

That’s the big thing. The rich young ruler walked away.
The disciples should know this.  They’ve been with Jesus and seen many impossible things happen.  People raised from the dead.  Storms calmed.  People walking on water.  Multitudes being fed.  Demons being cast out.
When you’re next to Jesus, things get done.
Barbara Walters of 20/20 did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked about 5 paces behind their husbands. She returned to Kabul recently and observed that women still walk behind their husbands, but now seem to walk even further back and are happy with the old custom. Ms. Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, “Why do you now seem happy with the old custom that you used to try to change?” “Land mines,” said the woman.
Whether it’s walking behind Him or walking next to Him, we need to stay as close to Jesus as possible.  It’s when we’re next to Him that we find that “impossible” things become “possible”.

[1]Osbeck, K. W. (1990). Amazing grace : 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions. Includes indexes. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications.