|Mark 10 |
1 Then he arose from there, and went into the region of Judea across the Jordan; and the people came to him again, and as was his custom, he taught them.
2 And the Pharisees came to him and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?" They were testing him.
3 And he answered them, "What did Moses command you?"
4 And they said, "Moses allowed a man to write a bill of divorce and to put her away."
5 Then Jesus said to them, "Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.
7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife;
8 And the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no more two, but one flesh.
9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put aside."
10 Now in the house his disciples asked him again about the same matter.
11 And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her.
12 And if a woman divorces her husband and is married to another, she commits adultery."
13 Now they brought young children to him, so that he might touch them; and his disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was displeased and said to them, "Allow the little children to come to me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it."1
16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them and blessed them.
17 Now when he was going on his way, a man came running, and kneeling asked him, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"2
18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God.
19 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'" [Notice! Jesus did not say that you must keep all the commandments; He listed only those that make up the moral core of the Law, which is included in the law that is written on every man's heart, by which all men shall be judged by God, and which has never been annulled or canceled.]
20 Then he said to him, "Master, I have observed all these from my youth."
21 And Jesus looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack, go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor,3 and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me." [To have eternal life, (which is the life of God), we must follow the moral commandments, (the same as the law on every man's heart), give to the poor, and then follow Him. We follow Him by exposing ourselves to hear his commands and then obey them; we deny our will and submit to His commands — that is the cross all men must bear to the death of self, to attain salvation, to attain eternal life. From the Word of the Lord within: "You must have a devotion to the law that is on every man's heart; you must listen; and you must obey."]
22 And he was sad at these words, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into the kingdom of God!"
24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again, and said to them, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."4
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?" [Notice! Jesus has just linked three events in verses 17-26 that all occur together: 1) eternal life, 2) the Kingdom of God, and 3) being saved, which is salvation. Salvation is to be freed from all sin, even the desire to sin; when you have been saved, you are translated into the Kingdom of God to enjoy eternal life, while on earth and forever.]
27 Then Jesus looking upon them said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."
28 Then Peter began to say to him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed you."
29 And Jesus answered and said, "Truly I say to you, there is no man who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake and the gospel's,
30 Who will not receive a hundred times as much now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, along with persecutions; and in the world to come, eternal life.
31 But many who are first shall be last; and the last first."
32 Now they were on the way going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus walked before them; and they were amazed. And those who were following were afraid. Then he took the twelve aside again, and began to tell them what would happen to him,
33 Saying, "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes; and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles;
34 And they will mock him, and will scourge him, and will spit upon him, and will kill him; and the third day he will rise again."
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him, saying, "Master, we want you to do for us whatever we ask."
36 And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
37 And they said to him, "Grant to us that we may sit, one on your right hand and the other on your left hand, in your glory."
38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask; can you drink the cup that I drink? And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
39 And they said to him, "We can." And Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; [The cup of which Jesus shall drink is to suffer crucifixion, and the baptism is his death in the flesh.]
40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; it will be given to those for whom it is prepared."
41 And when the ten heard it, they were very displeased with James and John.
42 But Jesus called them to him, and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority over them.
43 But it will not be so among you; for whoever wishes to be great among you, will be your servant;
44 And whoever of you wishes to be the greatest, will be servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man did not come to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
46 Then they came to Jericho, and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway begging.
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 warned him that he should be quite; but he cried all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me."
49 Then Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Be of good comfort! Rise; he calls you!"
50 So casting away his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
51 And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "Lord, let me receive my sight."
52 And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you whole." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
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1 whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it. To be as a little child is to return to being innocent, as a little child is innocent, until corrupted by the world. A little child is innocent of lust, pride, hate, envy, greed, etc. The Lord must cleanse our selfish, evil hearts, making us pure again and capable of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. It is impossible to please God walking in the flesh; flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Therefore mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body that are of the earthly life: fornication, impurity, inordinate affections, evil lusts of the flesh, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Col 3:5.
2 what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Jesus is asked what must a man do to inherit eternal life. Notice Jesus did not say to the man, you have eternal life, because you believe in me. Rather, Jesus said to enter into life, (the eternal life of God, directed and energized by his Spirit), you know the commandments. And then he lists those he must keep: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. Honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. He listed the moral core of the Mosaic law that is a part of the inner law on every man's heart. Then he told him he must sell his possessions, give to the poor, take up the cross,* and follow him. So where is instant salvation by saying a prayer, getting wet, and eating grape juice and bread? Not only must we keep the commandments, we must follow Jesus. How do we take up the cross and follow Jesus? We silently listen and obey him teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; so he will redeem us from all iniquity and purify us to become his special people, zealous for good works; good works as directed by him to his glory. These verses should stop the mouths of all who say, "just to believe in Jesus is enough." There is no arguing around this; Jesus has told us that to be saved, one must keep the moral core of the commandments, take up your cross, and follow him.
*the words take up your cross are not found in all manuscripts. There is no explanation as to why only the King James and New King James include them, but they were obviously not in the vast majority of manuscripts. However, to omit these words does not change the command of Christ in the least because to follow him is the cross. To follow him is to obey his commands, which are a cross to your own will. To hear his commands requires you to wait on God in silence, which also is a cross to your will. "If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23.
3 sell whatever you have and give to the poor. Does this mean you must sell everything you own and give the money away to the poor? Sell your house? Sell your car? Sell your tools? Sell your clothes? Sell your furniture? Sell your business? Sell your stocks in your 401-K? NO! Jesus was addressing a rich young man, who was very self-confident, full of pride and self-righteousness. He claimed he kept the commandments since his youth, including to love his neighbor as himself, which is impossible to completely obey without the changing power of God to rid yourself of your selfish human nature on the inward cross of self-denial, as the Spirit mortifies your selfish nature that serves your body. So Jesus showed him what still stood between himself and God — his possessions, which were many. As you seek the changing grace of God, you must come to God with no reservations in your life; we must forsake all to be his disciple, Luke 14:33. But to forsake or renounce does not mean sell them all. We must do two things in this regard:
a) We must be ready to give up anything that he asks. There must be nothing that we reserve as unable to part with. Those things that we must deny in order to progress, the Lord will tell us to get rid of them. But most things will just fade into lack of importance as we draw closer to God. From the Word of God within my heart: "Whatever God commands, whether it be dying on the cross, we obey; however financially strait, however it affects our reputation, however ruinous."
b) We must distribute liberally to the poor from our excess possessions and money. We still have to provide for our families and meet our obligations; the Lord wants us to continue to do that well. But what we have beyond our needs, we need to distribute to the poor, either directly or through charities that specifically assist the poor. We need to sell any possessions that we do not need and give the proceeds to the poor.
From the Word of the Lord within: "Practice random acts of kindness." Acts of kindness can be to our spouses, children, fellow workers in our occupation, neighbors, strangers — anyone in need of a little assistance. Notice the word random in the previous message. Random is the opposite of systematic, scheduled, continuous, periodic, etc. Why? So that you will not become so occupied with your efforts that you lose the necessary focus of seeking God with all you heart; and to sit, wait, watch, listen, and obey. Acts of kindness include giving to the poor; so with our excess we respond in secret with kindness to those in need that come in front of our face, and/or we can financially support charities; but we don't take up a cause that absorbs our time. Until you have seen Jesus appear in your heart to guide you and bring your salvation, ignore any messages you hear that order or encourage you to spend significant time away from waiting on Him.
We satisfy those randomly encountered needs only if we have excess funds to satisfy them; and if possible, we should restrain our own expenditures, so that we have excess funds available — in other words, we should always maintain savings so that we can respond randomly to those needs that we encounter randomly. Aside from being able to respond to randomly encountered needs of kindness, financial common sense is to also maintain savings to respond to periods of unemployment and unanticipated expenses necessary for our own lives; so we don't give away any of that necessary cushion of savings. Further, if we are a business owner, we also maintain significant savings so that our business can survive and/or adjust if there is a downturn in demand or some crisis that reduces our revenue; neither do we give away any of that necessary cushion of savings.
Finally, you must repeatedly be eager to know what stands in the way of your spiritual progress, eager for the Lord to show and tell you. He too is eager to teach us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, Tit 2:12.
The records of the many purified, Kingdom-dwelling, Early Quaker men and women on this site, had houses, horses, carriages, farms, businesses, etc. They had clearly not sold everything they owned to become paupers; but they also liberally distributed to the poor and to those in need, particularly to fellow Christians, but to the general population too. You cannot hold on to your excess, without sharing with those who lack the necessities of life — the poor, which does not include giving to sects or tithing. The wrong is to have excess, over and above what you need to live comfortably, while being aware of people, wherever they are, in need of the necessities of life without contributing to their relief. Perhaps you have to look beyond the borders of you own country to find those people and/or charities with genuine needs. But there is need throughout the third world for life-sustaining contributions. (Note! People in need, does not include those who refuse to take available jobs and choose to beg instead, pretending they have needs.)
4 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. But notice! This is the answer to the question that Jesus posed: "Children, how hard is it for those who trusts in riches to enter the Kingdom of God?" To trust in riches is to love money. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money. Rich or poor can love money. Rich or poor can have little regard for money. Remember, it is written, the Lord will repay what you give to the poor, Pro 19:17; and God loves a cheerful giver, 1 Tim 6:5. You will know that you love money when you struggle to write out a big check to the poor; but take heart, the more you give to the poor, the easier it is because you are slowly transferring your love from money to God. And the more you are building up treasure in heaven — permanent treasure that does not rust or get stolen, or get lost in the stock market. The reason it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven is because he is usually very attached to his wealth, and unless he learns to share very liberally, he will never be able to enter. But a rich man who sincerely seeks God will somehow either learn to give his excess money , (note! not all his money, his excess), away freely, or God will arrange for it to be taken away from him; with God there is a way, for all things are possible.
Many of the ministers today preach the gospel of prosperity; they imagine godliness is a source of financial gain; from such withdraw. God will bless a man with material wealth, but only after he has crucified his selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial; for if he blesses him while he is still living and controlled by the selfish, fleshly, sinful nature, a man would only consume the blessing on satisfying his lusts and pleasures. But after he is dead to the flesh, then God will bless him financially, knowing he will spend his blessing in noble and good deeds to the glory of God.
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