Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 15

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Mark 10:32-52

And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”

35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


Questions to Consider

1. In verse 32, why would the disciples and others following Jesus have been “amazed” and “afraid” that He was heading to Jerusalem? (Hint- Examine verse 32 in light of Mark 8:31. Where was the “headquarters” of the elders, chief priests, and scribes located?) Why do you think he took the Twelve aside to explain things instead of telling the whole crowd? (32)

2. Re-read verses 32-34 as though you were one of the disciples, then as though you’re a first century Gentile. How would you understand and respond to what Jesus is saying here? How might a disciple’s understanding and response have differed from a Gentile’s? How many times is this now, in Mark, that Jesus has predicted His death and resurrection?

3. Examine verses 35-45. What did James and John have to already believe about who Jesus was, His authority, position, etc., in order to make the request they made in verse 37? How was this request a demonstration of their knowledge of and faith in Christ and their ignorance (38-40) at the same time? What might have motivated them to make this request?

4. In verse 38, is Jesus talking about a literal drink and cup and a literal water baptism, or is this a metaphor for what He has just explained to the disciples in verses 33-34? When James and John replied, “We are able,” (39) do you think they were speaking more out of haughtiness, loyalty to Christ, or ignorance of what the “cup” and “baptism” would entail? How might the other 10 disciples have answered that question? (41) Considering some of the things that happened to both James and John during the church era, what did Jesus’ statement to them in verse 39 mean?

5. Summarize in your own words the main point Jesus was trying to get across to the disciples in verses 42-45. What would it have meant to first century Jews and Gentiles – for whom servants and slavery was a normal part of daily life – to hear that humility, self-abasement, and serving others is what God considers great? In what ways – then and now – is this the complete opposite of the world’s mindset? In what ways has the worldly mindset (of being “great” or “first”) crept into the church? How does 1 John 2:15 fit in this situation? In what practical ways, in your church or individually, could you follow Jesus’ example that He “came not to be served but to serve”? In addition to giving His life for our sins, what are some ways Jesus served others during His earthly ministry?

6. Study verses 46-52. Consider Bartimaeus’ social status as a blind beggar. (46,48) What did Bartimaeus have to offer Jesus for his healing? How do Jesus’ words and actions toward lowly Bartimaeus demonstrate what He taught the disciples in verses 42-45? In Lesson 14 (link above) we saw another group of people rebuked and sent away from seeing Jesus as Bartimaeus was. Who were those people? How does Jesus usually respond in the gospels when the disciples try to send away those they think aren’t important enough to see Jesus or would bother Him? What does Jesus’ compassion and willingness to be associated with the lowly tell us about the nature and character of God?

7. What were some things Bartimaeus already knew about Jesus that caused him to call out to Jesus? What else (51) might Bartimaeus have heard about Jesus that motivated him to approach Him? What are some adverbs (timidly, loudly, tentatively, persistently, etc.) you could use to describe the way Bartimaeus cried out and came to Jesus? (47-48,50-51) Why did Bartimaeus call Jesus “Son of David” (47-48)? How did this indicate Bartimaeus’ faith (52) that Jesus was the Messiah? Did Bartimaeus do any of the work of his healing, or did Jesus do all the work? How did Bartimaeus’ response to his healing (52) serve as proof of his faith?

8. What are some of the aspects of Bartimaeus’ story in 46-52 that serve as a reflection of the way Christ saves sinners? Think about Who initiates salvation (46, 49), how the sinner comes to Christ as a blind beggar with nothing to offer Him (46), hearing the gospel, understanding who Jesus is and what He can do for sinners (47-48), Christ’s call (49) and the sinner’s response (50), our confession of faith in Christ to save us (51), the fact that salvation is totally dependent on, and performed by, Christ- we contribute nothing (52), and our response to God graciously saving us (52).

9. Compare and contrast the way Bartimaeus came to Christ with the way the rich young ruler came to Christ in Lesson 14 (link above). How were their social statuses different? How were their needs similar? In what attitude of heart did each approach Christ? How did each respond to Christ? Do you know anyone who has responded to the gospel like the rich young ruler did? Like Bartimaeus did? What about your own response to Christ’s call to salvation- was it more like the rich young ruler or Bartimaeus?


Homework

Go to the website of one of the larger U.S. Christian retailers (LifeWay, Mardel, Parable, etc.) and examine their book selection in light of verses 42-45. Are there more books on leadership, success, growing a large ministry, etc., or more books that would seem to match what Jesus is teaching in this passage: servanthood, anonymity, humility, thankless work? Think of one anonymous way you could serve your church, a neighbor, a co-worker, a family member, or a friend this week, and follow in Christ’s footsteps of serving rather than being served.


Suggested Memory Verse

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45

Mark Bible Study

Mark: Lesson 14

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Mark 10:1-31

And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them.

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them.14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


Questions to Consider

1. What does verse 1 say it was Jesus’ “custom” (notice also the words “and again”) to do? Considering this verse and all we’ve studied in the previous nine chapters, which aspect of His ministry do you think Jesus considered spiritually weightier, His teaching or His miracles? Which was more temporal and which was more eternal? What are the implications of this for the church today? Should our focus be on the teaching of Scripture, which has an eternal impact, or on miracles, signs, and wonders, which (if they’re even real and biblical) only have a temporal impact?

2. What was the purpose of the Pharisees’ questions? (2) Where does Jesus point them for the answer? (3) Think back over what we’ve learned about Jesus’ authority. He not only had the authority, as God, to definitively answer the Pharisees’ questions, but He was regarded by many of the people as a rabbi (or teacher), and rabbis’ teachings were authoritative. Why do you think Jesus – who had the authority (“you have heard it said…but I say to you…”) to answer the Pharisees’ questions directly – pointed them to Scripture instead? Can you think of more situations in which Jesus pointed others to Scripture to answer them? If Jesus – God Himself – pointed people back to Scripture what does this tell us about the place and authority Scripture should hold in our own lives?

3. Examine Deuteronomy 24:1-4, what “Moses commanded” (3), and compare it with verses 4-12. Does the content and tone of the Deuteronomy passage agree with what Jesus says in these verses? How would you summarize God’s view of marriage? (5-9) What does Jesus teach about divorce in verse 11? Who is guilty of adultery in a divorce and subsequent remarriage- the spouse initiating the divorce, or the spouse who didn’t initiate the divorce? Compare Mark 10:1-11 to these passages. What are the two biblically allowable circumstances for divorce and remarriage? Is divorce required by Scripture in these situations?

4. Why do you think the disciples rebuked people for bringing their children to Jesus to bless them? (13) Which attribute(s) of God does Jesus showcase in verses 13-16? Take a look at these Greek, Roman, and other Gentile attitudes and practices toward children circa the time of Jesus. As a first century Gentile, what would this passage have said to you about God’s love and care for children? How should this passage inform us today about abortion as well as the need to nurture our children and raise them in a godly way?

5. Examine Jesus’ teaching about marriage in 5-9 and His words and actions about children in 13-16. If you were to formulate a theology of family from these verses, what would it say?

6. Compare verses 14-15 with Mark 9:35-37. How can one “receive the kingdom of God like a child”? (15) What does it mean to have a “childlike faith”? Is there a difference between having a childlike faith and having a childish faith?

7. Fill in the blanks from verse 17: “…what must __ ___ to inherit eternal life?”. Does the gospel require us to do (perform, behave) something in order to be saved? In verse 18, is Jesus denying His deity? When Jesus says, “No one is good except God alone,” (18) He is implying to the rich young ruler that by calling Him good, he is also calling Him _____. Considering the remainder of his interaction with Jesus (19-25), was the rich young ruler ready to concede that Jesus was God?

8. Take a look back at the Ten Commandments. The first table of the Law (Commandments 1-4) deals with the (vertical) relationship between people and Whom? The second table of the Law (Commandments 5-10) deals with the (horizontal) relationship between people and whom? Examine verse 19. Which table of the Law do all of these commands come from? So if what the rich young ruler says in verse 20 is true, with whom is he in a right relationship by keeping all these commands? Examine verses 21-25 and compare the man’s love of his riches (and refusal to give them up to follow Jesus) to the first table of the Law. Which Commandment(s) is he breaking? This demonstrates he is not in right relationship with Whom? What do verses 23-25 teach about the idolatry of wealth versus following Jesus?

9. Some people use verse 21 to teach that anyone who ministers to the poor is in right standing with God (i.e. saved, going to Heaven), regardless of whether or not they’ve repented and placed their faith in Christ. Examining this verse in the context of this passage and in the context of the biblical gospel, is that truly what this verse is teaching? Is verse 21 a command for all Christians to follow (a prescriptive verse) or is it simply a description of something Jesus said to this particular person to elicit a particular response (a descriptive verse)?

10. Consider verses 26-27 in their immediate context – the power of idolatry to keep people from Christ. Have you ever prayed for the salvation of someone you felt was a hopeless case, that it would be pretty much impossible for her to get saved? How does this passage offer hope about those “hard cases”? Compare with John 6:44.

11. Examine verses 28-31. Sometimes people take verses 29-30 to mean that if you follow Jesus you’ll get more houses, lands, loved ones, and wealth. Think about Peter (28), the rest of the disciples, and Paul- what they left behind to follow Jesus and to be founders of the New Testament church. Think about the hardships and martyrdom they faced. What does this passage mean in light of their suffering? Could this passage be pointing to God providing for our needs and the love and comfort of church family rather than the promise of temporal wealth?


Homework

Mark 10:1,17 again mention Jesus’ travels. Find a good Bible map of Israel during Jesus’ lifetime (there’s probably one in the back of your Bible or Google “Bible maps”), go back over Mark 1-10, and trace Jesus’ travels on the map. You might even want to print out a map you can write on and mark the various places He visited and routes He took.


Suggested Memory Verse

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45