Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jesus Teaches and Calls us to Follow Him (Mark 10.1-52)

Scripture: Mark 10.1-52
Translation: 10.1And when He got up from there He went into the mountains of Judah on the other side of the Jordan. And the crowds traveled together to Him. And as He was accustomed he taught them. 2And as they were approaching, the Pharisees asked Him if it was allowed for a man to divorce a woman, for the purpose of testing Him. 3And to answer, He said to them, “What did Moses command you?” 4And they said, “Moses permitted [people] to write a scroll containing the divorce-notice and divorce.” 5But Jesus said to them, “He wrote this command for you to address your hardheartedness! 6Yet, from the beginning of creation, He made them male and female, 7Because of this a man will leave his father and mother behind [and be united to his wife], 8and the two will become one flesh, with the result that they are no longer two but one flesh. 9So, what God has yoked together, a man had better not separate!”10And in the house again the followers asked Him about this. 11And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12And if after divorcing her husband she marries another man she commits adultery.”
13And they brought children to Him, so that He would touch them. But the followers reprimanded them. 14And seeing [this] Jesus got angry and said to them, “Let the children come to Me! Don’t try to stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to these kind of people. 15Amen I say to you, whoever doesn’t welcome God’s Kingdom like a child, can never ever go into it!” 16And hugging them He blessed them by placing His hands on them.
17And when He traveled out to the road someone running up to [Him] and kneeling down asked Him, “Good Teacher, what should I do, so that I can inherit eternal life?” 18And Jesus said to him, “Why do you say I’m good? No one is good except One, God. 19You know the commands, “Don’t murder, don't commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie in court, don’t scam/reject, honor your father and mother.” 20And he said to Him, “Teacher, I’ve kept all these things from my birth.” 21But Jesus looking at him loved him and said to him, “One thing is missing for you. Go, sell whatever you have and give [it] to poor people, and then you will have treasure in Heaven, and then come you will be following Me.” 22But because he became depressed because of the message he left grieving, because he had lots of stuff. 23And looking around, Jesus said to His followers, “How difficultly those who have riches come into the Kingdom of God!” 24But the followers were amazed at His words. But Jesus to respond again said to them, “Children, how difficult it is to come into the Kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s hole than for a rich person to enter into the Kingdom of God!” 26And they were beyond shocked, saying to themselves, “Is anyone even able to be saved?” 27Looking at them, Jesus said, “For humans it is impossible, but not for God, because all things are possible for God!” 28Peter began to say to Him, “Look, we’ve left everything and followed You!” 29Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you: there is no one who left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields because of Me and because of the Gospel, 30if he would not receive a hundred times as many brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields now in this time with persecution, and in the coming era eternal life! 31But many people in first place will be last, and the last first.”
32And they were going up on the road into Jerusalem and Jesus was leading ahead of them, and they were amazed, and those following Him were scared.  And taking the Twelve aside again, He began to say to them the things that were about to happen to Him, 33“Look, we are going up into Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the high priests and the scholars. And they will condemn Him to death and hand Him over to the nations. 34And they will make fun of Him and spit on Him and whip Him and kill [Him], and after three days He will be raised up.
35And James and John the sons of Zebedee approached Him, saying to Him, “Teacher, we desire that You do for us whatever we ask You. 36And He said to them, “What do you desire that I do for you?” 37And they said to Him, “Give us that we can sit in You glory, one on your right and one on the left.” 38And Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup, which I will drink, or to be baptized with the baptism, which I will be baptized?” 39And they said to Him, “We can.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup, which I will drink, you will drink, and the baptism, which I am baptized with, you will be baptized with! 40But to sit at My right or left is not Mine to give, but who it is prepared for." 41And when they heard, the ten began to be angry about James and John. 42And summoning them, Jesus said to them, “You know that those seeming to rule over the nations lord it over them and the great ones of them abuse their authority over them. 43But it is not that way among you. Rather whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant. 44And whoever among you wants to be in first place will be a slave of all people! 45Because even the Son of Man didn’t come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many people.”
46And they came into Jericho. And when He was going out from Jericho along with His followers and a sizable crowd, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting near the road. 47And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to yell and say, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48And many people reprimanded him, so that he would be silent. But how much more he yelled, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49And Jesus standing still said, “Summon him.” And they summoned the blind man saying to him, “Cheer up. Get up. He’s summoning you. 50And taking off his robe, standing up, he went to Jesus. 51And Jesus to answer said to him, “What do you desire that I do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabbuni, that I will see again!” 52And Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has saved/healed you. And immediately he could see again and he followed Him on the road.
1.      Structure
a.       Jesus Teaches on Marriage (vv.1-12)
b.      Jesus Teaches on the Children and the Kingdom of God (vv.13-16)
c.       Jesus Teaches on Eternal Life (vv.17-31)
                                                              i.      Jesus Calls the Rich Man to Repentance
                                                            ii.      Jesus Promises Rewards for Those Who leave everything to follow Him
d.      Jesus Teaches on His Immediate Future (vv.32-34)
e.       Jesus Teaches on Rank and Authority and Leadership (vv.35-45)
                                                              i.      James and John ask for the top two spots in the Kingdom
                                                            ii.      Jesus tells them real leadership and rulership is about service and sacrifice
f.       Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus (vv.46-52)
2.      Themes
a.       Faithfulness/Importance of Marriage
b.      Importance of Children
c.       Risk of Riches
d.      Reversal of Expectations
e.       Authority
f.       Humility
g.      Suffering, Death and Resurrection of the Son of Man
h.      Following Jesus
i.        Faith
3.      Doctrines
a.       Jesus died for our sins!
b.      Jesus is Humble!
c.       Church leaders should be humble!
d.      Jesus is worth losing everything!
e.       Marriage is for life!
f.       Children are precious!
g.      We have to trust that Jesus will hear and respond, despite opposition
h.      Salvation is a work of God, it does not happen because of humans, but by God: saving someone is God’s work, which means that works don’t work to save people
1.      We are rich, but in our day it may not just be money, it can be entertainment, and it can be that that we refuse to give up for Jesus. However, it is also very likely our money and stuff. We don’t use our money for the sake of others, but for ourselves. We hoard our money. We don’t give it up for God. Look, many of you may be poor, but perhaps there are others who are even more fully poor. But really the problem is a heart issue, it is that we always want more and more and we won’t let it go. How come if we make $1000 we feel like we were generous to God because we gave Him $20. How come we are not ever willing to give God enough money that we actually feel the loss? It’s not about percentages, God understands when you are going through money problems and may have given you the money He had given you specifically so you can pay your bills, and perhaps that is even how He expects you to use most of your money, but what if He gave us enough, just enough that we would still feel the tension between loving money and loving Him?
2.      Marriage is life. Divorce is a horrible thing. A lot of times when we look at people getting married we say, “Oh isn’t it so cute that these two people are getting married” but only thinking of it as a human decision and a human action and a human commitment. But marriage as far as Jesus is concerned is not a human initiated action, it is God bringing to people together and sealing them together and making them truly one unity of flesh. That is a beautiful thing. That is what makes marriage special, it is that God is doing a miracle between two people. Jesus sees every marriage as being arranged and done by God. God didn’t just make Adam and Eve perfect for each other and marry them to each other, no, as far as Jesus is concerned God does that for every marriage that ever happens! That’s why divorce is so bad, because getting a divorce is fighting God. Moreover, it is because God is the arranger of all marriages ever, that we can trust Him to give us the right person, and the kind of person that He promises for us. The Bible explains that Christians should marry Christians, and if you are all interested in someone who is not a Christian and you start acting on your attractions, it is fundamentally a rejection that God will marry you to the person best for you, and He has told us that best for you, if you are a true Christian does not include a non-Christian or someone of the same gender. Faith is just as key here as anywhere else. And it is because marriage is for life that you don’t want to marry someone who is not a Christian anyways, because you will be condemning your life to unnecessary pain, struggle, and very possibly a loss of faith. Moreover, the reason people get divorced is because they refuse to embrace what God has called them to. Hardheartedness is the same thing that Jesus says about people who won’t follow Him—the problem is the same, sticking it out and making a happy marriage and following Jesus both require that people are not hardhearted, insensitive to God’s will! Why do people reject their marriage, which is an act of God, and why do people reject Jesus, God’s Son, because they have hard hearts!
3.      Children are important, and you have to be humble and accepting and trusting like a child to be with Jesus. Jesus loves children, so please, treat them with respect! Love them! Want them! So many people say they love other people’s kids but then never want any or many of their own, that’s not how Jesus saw kids! He loved kids!
4.      Jesus is always worth the sacrifice of following Him, He will be worth it now, and for forever!
5.      Jesus is teaching us what leadership in the church is like, and what Jesus is even expecting of followers of Jesus in general: Humility, service, sacrifice! Jesus wants us to follow Him in serving others at our own expense!

6.      Jesus wants us to trust Him to answer our requests, James and John did, Blind Bartimaeus did. However, sometimes Jesus wants us to trust Him and call out to Him, even when people try to stop us, when they tell us to be quiet because God doesn’t want to hear your prayers, or that God can’t because He doesn’t exist—Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from calling out to Jesus for mercy in faith! 

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