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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Mark 10

Verses 1-12

Jesus Teaches on Marriage and Divorce in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 19:1-12 ) Mark 10:1-12 gives us the account of Jesus teaching on marriage and divorce in the Kingdom of God. John Nolland explains that many Jews of the first century were loose in their practice of divorce according to Deuteronomy 24:1, while some devout Jews were more rigid by limiting divorce only on the grounds of adultery. Although a Jewish man was allowed to divorce his wife under the Law with a bill of divorcement (Deuteronomy 24:1), Nolland says the Jewish woman could not legally initiate a divorce. [118] In the Kingdom of Heaven the rules are not as flexible as they were in this first century Jewish society. Jesus clarifies the rules of adultery in the Kingdom for the Pharisees following the stricter view, stating that putting away one’s wife and remarrying another, or marrying a wife who has been divorced, constituted adultery. In other words, Jesus made it clear to the Pharisees that the Law was still of utmost importance in the Kingdom of Heaven. However, it is important to note that in the Sermon on the Mount, when addressing the multitudes, Jesus allowed divorce on the unique grounds of adultery (Matthew 5:31-32).

[118] John Nolland, Luke 9:21-34 , in Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 35B (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), explanation on Luke 16:18.

Deuteronomy 24:1, “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.”

Matthew 5:31-32, “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

Mark 10:1 And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

Mark 10:1 Comments Jesus had moved from the regions of Galilee to Judaea, so the crowds were new. The phrase “he taught them again” means that when He moved to a new region, He began to repeat what He taught in other regions of Palestine.

Mark 10:5 Comments Jesus makes it clear that any marriage can be successful. It is the hardness of the heart that makes a marriage fail.

Mark 10:6 Comments In the phrase “from the beginning,” we find a clear refutation of the theory of evolution, which states that man evolved from monkeys.

Mark 10:8 Comments Marriage was never ordained to be polygamous. Such arrangements are destined to fail as far as God’s intended purpose is concerned.

Mark 10:6-9 Comments God Hates Divorce - The point is that God desires that a divorce never take place once a man and a woman marry.

Mark 10:6-9 Comments - The Creation of Woman In Mark 10:7-8 Jesus quotes Genesis 2:23-24, which is found in the passage on the creation of woman. God created the woman in a unique way, different from any beast or even Adam. He did this in order to establish the institution of marriage. While the animals and beasts mated indiscriminately among the herds, Adam recognized that the woman was a part of himself because God took her from his rib, someone to be cherished; thus, her name became woman. The manner in which God created the woman caused the man to see themselves as one, one flesh in union with one another. In this way, intimacy was formed between the man and the woman. Had the woman been created separate from Adam, he might have viewed his relationship with her casually, as the beasts did with one another. Instead, they became united in heart and mind as well as the physical union used to create the woman, creating the institution of marriage that is held sacred between a man and a woman.

Mark 10:10-12 Comments Jesus Explains His Comments to His Disciples Such marriages are viewed as adulterous because God has not honored their separation and second marriage.

Verses 1-52

Glorification In Mark 10:1 to Mark 13:37 the emphasis moves from perseverance to glorification, where Jesus makes many references to His Second Coming.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

Verses 1-52

Glorification In Mark 10:1 to Mark 13:37 the emphasis moves from perseverance to glorification, where Jesus makes many references to His Second Coming.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

Verses 13-16

Jesus Blesses the Little Children (Matthew 19:13-15 , Luke 18:15-17 ) Mark 10:13-16 gives us the account of Jesus blessing the little children.

Mark 10:14 Comments I have seen my father become greatly displeased at the behavior of his children, my siblings. In Mark 10:14 Jesus expresses both loving patience as well as the strength and wisdom to address the problem.

Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Mark 10:15 Comments A child has several characteristics that please God. First, a child is trusting. He will trust his parents in anything that they tell him. His trust is pure and totally devoted to his parents. Second, a child is genuine in how he relates to others. He does not hide his feelings under hypocrisy. A child’s behaviour is a genuine expression of his inner feelings. Third, a child is loving. They naturally give much affection and attention to their parents. Fourth, a child is dependent upon their parents. They look entirely to their parents for their every need. God wants us to look to Him on a daily basis for our every need. Fifth, a child is forgiving and holds no grudges. Although he may get into a fight with his playmates, he quickly forgets and makes friends again.

Mark 10:16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Mark 10:16 Comments The laying on of hands is a part of the blessing and implies an impartation or anointing, just as there was an impartation of the anointing into those who touched Jesus in faith (Luke 6:19). The doctrine of the laying on of hands is one of six foundational doctrines of the New Testament Church (Hebrews 6:1-2).

Luke 6:19, “And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.”

Hebrews 6:1-2, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

Verses 17-31

The Story of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-30 , Luke 18:18-30 ) Mark 10:17-31 tells us the story of the rich young ruler. He was a rich man and was so because he had been following the laws of God that bring prosperity. We know this because he said that he was keeping all of the Ten Commandments that Jesus listed before him. However, he was lacking in one important area, which was a liberal heart and he was not taking care of the poor. He had become covetous. When Jesus told him to give to the poor, He was trying to lead this young man into a higher realm of prosperity, but the rich young ruler saw it as a great financial loss. Therefore, he was grieved. Grief is the result of a feeling of loss. The rich man felt that he had to give up his possessions in order to serve God; but in fact, the rich man would have been “sowing” into the Kingdom of God in order to receive greater riches.

Jesus Christ loved him and wanted him to prosper. This is why Jesus says in Mark 10:29-30 when the man departed, “There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” The rich man was not losing, but was rather sowing.

Mark 10:19 Comments Jesus does not list the commandments in the order that they are listed in Exodus 20:12-16 and Deuteronomy 5:16-20. The phrase “Defraud not” is unique to the Gospel of Mark, and does not necessarily reflect one of the Ten Commandments. We do find a similar commandment in Leviticus 19:13, “Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.”

Mark 10:21 Comments Jesus knew that the young man had to deal with covetousness. Jesus knew his true heart.

Mark 10:24 Comments Jesus answers again and gives further clarification. It is not riches in themselves that are evil, but the love of those riches that corrupts man’s heart towards God (1 Timothy 6:10); for God gives us richly all things to enjoy (1 Time Mark 6:17).

1 Timothy 6:10, “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.”

1 Timothy 6:17, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”

Mark 10:29-30 Comments God is a God of prosperity. I believe God prospered Zebedee, the father of James and John, for the sacrifice he made in giving his two sons to work for the Lord (Mark 1:19-20). God delights in the prosperity of His servants (Psalms 35:27).

Psalms 35:27, “Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.”

Mark 10:31 Comments Those who trust in this world’s riches, as did the rich young ruler (Mark 10:22), will be last in the Kingdom of God; but those who trust God and serve Him will have riches both in this life and in the life to come and be made first in Heaven.

Verses 32-34

Jesus’ Third Prediction of His Death and Resurrection (Matthew 20:17-19 , Luke 18:31-34 ) Mark 10:32-34 gives us the third account of Jesus predicting to His disciples how He will be killed and then resurrected from the dead. Jesus has revealed His future Passion to the disciples on two previous occasions in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31).

Mark 8:31, “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”

Mark 9:31, “For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.”

Mark 10:32 And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,

Mark 10:32 “and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid” - Comments Why would Jesus’ disciples be amazed and afraid when observing their Master? If we read the parallel passage in Matthew and Luke, it does not contain this statement, so these passages give us no clue. The next sentence tells us that Jesus took them aside and explained to them (for the third time) about His pending death and resurrection. This description of these future events in Mark 10:32-34 emphasizes the sufferings that Jesus is about to undergo. Therefore, we can imagine that Jesus’ countenance was very different from what they were accustomed to observing. When He was known to walk in peace and joy, He now walked slowly and with a heavy spirit. Perhaps this change in their Master’s countenance invoked uncertainty in themselves as well, since a leader’s strength or weakness affects the courage and emotions of those who follow. As they followed Him, which Mark 10:33 states, they partook of His heaviness and it caused them amazement and then fear, being confused as to what was happening to Him.

Mark 10:32 “And he took again the twelve” Comments When Jesus began to discuss His impending Passion, He took the Twelve aside and told them privately, but He did not disclose this matter to the others. We know from the context that Jesus was travelling with other of His disciples (Mark 10:23-24), giving the Twelve a distinction from this group.

Mark 10:33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:

Mark 10:33 “and shall deliver Him unto the Gentiles” - Comments Jesus was delivered by the Jews to Pilate, then to Herod and finally the Roman soldiers to be crucified. These were all Gentiles.

Verses 35-45

Jesus Teaches on Greatness in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 20:20-28 ) Mark 10:35-44 gives us the account of Jesus explaining to James and John about greatness in the Kingdom of God. These two close apostles of Jesus asked Him if they could sit at his right and left hand when He becomes king over Jerusalem and the Jewish people. It becomes clear that they were expecting Jesus to overthrown the Roman oppression off of their people and set up an earthly kingdom. His earthly ministry was at its highest popularity as they were approaching Jerusalem. His triumphant entry into Jerusalem would only reinforce their view of an earthly kingdom. Although Jesus has just revealed them about His impending death and suffering, it was necessary to teach them about servanthood.

Mark 10:35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

Mark 10:35 “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him” - Comments Although Mark 10:35 records James and John coming to Jesus, Matthew records their mother coming with them as she makes the request. These two parallel passages obviously record the same event. John and James were the sons of Zebedee according to Matthew 27:56.

Matthew 27:56, “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children .”

If we compare the list of names in Mark 15:40-41 to those in Matthew 27:56, it is most likely that Salome was John's mother, though there is no direct mention of this in Scripture.

Mark 15:40-41, “There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome ; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.”

If we now compare the parallel verse in John 19:25, we may conclude that Salome, the mother of Zebedee's children, is also referred to by John as “the sister of Jesus' mother”.

John 19:25, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister , Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.”

Therefore, many scholars go so far as to suggest that John was related to Jesus Christ through his mother Salome. In his Gospel, John mentions neither his own name, nor the name of Mary, the mother of Jesus, nor the name of his own mother Salome. Thus, if John is deliberately avoiding the use of these names, he may very well be referring to his mother as “the sister to the mother of Jesus”. Thus, the fact that John avoids using these particular names is an indication to his relationship to them.

Upon this premise, the two sons of Zebedee would feel that they should be given preference to become rulers with Jesus, seeing that they were blood kin.

Mark 10:36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

Mark 10:36 Comments Jesus’ response of “What would ye that I should do for you?” reveals His willingness to answer this request. God always wants to bless His children. However, He is often limited by a believer’s carnality in doing so. Although we can pray amiss, God is willing to do whatever He can within the boundaries of His will and purpose and plan to redeem humanity The epistle of James tells us that we do not receive from God when we pray amiss.

James 4:3, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

Mark 10:37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

Mark 10:37 Comments The glory that James and John were requesting to partake of was not the glory in heaven in the presence of God. Rather, they believed the kingdom of Heaven was about to be established in Jerusalem, where Jesus would throw off Roman rule, overcome the Jewish Sanhedrin, and rule and reign on earth. They wanted to be vice president and prime minister in this new, earthly kingdom.

In Matthew’s record of this event, their mother came “worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.” In worshipping Jesus, the mother acknowledges that He is the Son of God. She understood how to approach God with her petitions. Thus, we do not see Jesus denying her request, but rather doing what was within His power to grant her request. He led these two disciples into an acceptance of the cup and the baptism that He Himself was partaking of, which type of sacrifice was the only way to receive such glory. Yet, He left the final decision as to who sits at His right and left hand up to the Heavenly Father, who is the only one that can made such a decision.

Mark 10:38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

Mark 10:38 “can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?” Comments - The phrase “to drink of the cup” is used figuratively in Matthew 20:22 to refer to the cup of the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ for all the sins of mankind. Jesus will use this figurative phrase at other times in His ministry to refer to His Passion.

Matthew 26:39, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

John 18:11, “Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

The cup of wrath and vengeance and suffering is used throughout the Old and New Testaments as well.

Job 21:20, “His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.”

Psalms 11:6, “Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.”

Psalms 16:5, “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.”

Psalms 75:8, “For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.”

Isaiah 51:17, “Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.”

Isaiah 51:22, “Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:”

Jeremiah 25:15, “For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.”

Jeremiah 49:12, “For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it.”

Revelation 14:10, “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:”

Revelation 16:19, “And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.”

Mark 10:38 “and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” - Comments - The word baptism is also used to describe our identification with Christ (Romans 6:3-5). However, that is not the case in this passage. Here, Jesus is referring to a baptism of suffering.

Romans 6:3-5, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”

Mark 10:38 Comments - In His patience in training the Twelve Jesus explained that they did not really understand what they were asking. He then explained that the way to glorification is a path of suffering. He asks them if they were ready for such, and they reply in the next verse that they were ready. After all, among twelve grown men, no one was willing to say that he was not ready to endure hardship and suffering for the Master in front of his peers.

Mark 10:39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

Mark 10:39 “And they said unto him, We can” - Comments - The sons of Zebedee were talking about reigning with Jesus. However, Jesus knew that for someone to reign with Jesus, he must share in His sufferings.

Mark 10:39 “And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized” Comments - In Mark 10:39 Jesus grants His disciples their request as far as it was within His dominion and authority. He uses the phrases of drinking of a cup and being baptized figuratively to refer to their future physical suffering and martyrdom as apostles. These two disciples did in fact enter into his sufferings. James was the first of the twelve apostles to become a martyr. John was the last of the twelve apostles to die. Both were faithful. Greatness is bestowed upon those who are faithful.

Acts 12:2, “And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.”

Revelation 1:9, “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

This divine truth applies to us also, as we identify with Jesus on the Cross, as described in Romans 6:3-4.

Romans 6:3-4, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

We, too, must suffer with Him if we are to share in His glory. Suffering precedes glory.

1 Peter 1:11, “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow .”

We begin this identification with Jesus at salvation and continue to grow more and more like Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:17, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

2 Timothy 2:12, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:”

Paul experience the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10).

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

Mark 10:38-39 Comments The Cup Represents the Cross - A similar passage in Luke 12:49-50 clearly explains what Jesus is referring to in Mark 10:38-39. The drinking of the cup represented the experience on the Cross. In His prayer in Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said, “Remove this cup from Me.” (See Luke 22:42)

Luke 12:49-50, “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”

Luke 22:42, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

The baptism represented the burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We too, partook of this baptism of Jesus and drank of this cup with Jesus as Christians. How did we do this? Romans 6:0 explains this identification as believers in Christ.

Mark 10:41 Comments - Ezra Gould notes the fact that among Jesus’ chosen twelve, a noticeable rivalry erupts in Mark 10:41 because of a natural, carnal desire for positions prominence in this new kingdom. [119]

[119] Ezra P. Gould, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Mark, in The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, eds. Charles A. Briggs, Samuel R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1896), 201.

Mark 10:45 Comments - Paul will express his passion to achieve this goal in his epistle to the Philippians when he says, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Philippians 3:10)

Mark 10:42-45 Comments Denominational Papal Offices are Unscriptural - Mark 10:42-45 shows us that the Catholic and other denominations of hierarchies such as popes and bishops who rule over areas and people are not Scriptural rulers.

Verses 46-52

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus (Matthew 20:29-34 , Luke 18:35-43 ) Mark 10:46-52 gives us the account of Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus, who received his healing by prayed three times with three specific prayers. He did not choose his own way, but he chose Jesus’ way.

Illustration - Having hosted international guests overseas in the mission field, I have seen the importance of protecting these guests from the multitudes who wish to make contact with them. An effort is made to usher the guest into a church and back out to the waiting car without interruption. I am told by one person who has been an international crusade manager that sometimes the evangelist stops and ministers to an individual only if the person is persist in crying out for help, just as Bartimaeus did in this story. Otherwise, the evangelist pays no attention to weak cries for help.

Mark 10:49 “And Jesus stood still” Comments - Jesus heard the cry of faith. In the multitude of unbelief, God’s ears are always open to the cry of faith, a cry of humility and mercy.

Mark 10:50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

Mark 10:50 “casting away his garment” Comments - If anyone has ever lived in a poor nation, he knows that beggars are known to all wear similar clothing. In a developed nation, where everyone wears unique dress, this truth can be overlooked. But in a culture, the poor are given clothing to wear of a common type of cloth. Thus, the garments of Bartimaeus were a part of his identification as a beggar. He threw off his garment in faith, believing that Jesus would heal him, so that he could walk and dress like everyone else.

Mark 10:51-52 Comments - “Go thy way” - The blind man made “his way to become “Jesus’ way.” When we are saved and can see the kingdom of God, we should also make our way become Jesus’ way.

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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.
Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Mark 10". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.