Mark 10:17-31 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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To Inherit Eternal Life
Comments for Study 18

Mark 10:17-31
Memory Verse: 21


I. "Go, Sell Everything You Have and..." (17-22)

>1. Where was Jesus? (1)

* Mark 10:1 "Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them."

* Jesus was making his way south via the Jordan river. It was the most popular route for the Jews did not like going through Samaria. The Jews and the Samaritans had hatred toward each other since Solomon's reign almost a thousand years earlier.

* Jesus was continuing his final trip to Jerusalem where he would be arrested, tried, crucified, die, and buried.

>As Jesus started out for Jerusalem and the cross again, who came to him? (17a)

* Mark 10:17a "As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him."

* The man lacked something.

>With what attitude?

* "ran up to him" -He was desperate.

* "fell on his knees before him" -He was humble.

* "Good teacher" -Respect.

* The man might have heard Jesus words in 10:1-16. Jesus had talked about hell.

>With what question? (17b)

* Mark 10:17b ""Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?""

* This man's question was a good one compared to the Pharisees. He wanted to know. He was not testing Jesus.

* 'inherit" -Implies that sons received as a gift from their father. The father does all the work to establish and gives it to his children.

* "eternal life" -The man did not want to die.

* "must I do" -He and many other thinks that we can do something to inherit eternal life.

>What does Matthew and Luke say about him? (Mt. 19:20; Lk. 18:18,21,23)

* Matthew 19:20 ""All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?""

* Luke 18:18 "A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?""

* Luke 18:21 ""All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said."

* Luke 18:23 "When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth."

* He was young, a ruler, noble and pure from youth, and had great wealth.

* He was successful in every way, yet he wanted to know how to inherit eternal life. He knew he lacked something.

* His cry was similar to Solomon's, "I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted. " (Ecc. 1:12-15) And "When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun." (Eccl. 2:11)

>What might be this man's problem(s)?

* He wanted to know what he must do to have eternal life. He wanted to know which action or lack of action on his part is needed.

* All teachings and religions except Christianity teach that by living a good life and avoiding even we can enter heaven, that is, have eternal life.

* Many wrongly believe that God weighs our life on a scale to see how much good verses how much bad we do to determine if we will be allowed to enter the kingodm of God.

* Many others wrongly believe that God compares our life according to what others do and then grades on a curve. They believe that the best behaved children will go to heaven even though they are not completetly correct in all that they do and don't do.

* Many others believe that we will be punished for a while after we die until we have paid for the wrong and lack of good that we should have done in this life before we are alowed into heaven.

* Everything in this man's life according to what many believe pointed to the fact that God was pleased with him and thus blessed him.

>2. What did Jesus say to him? (18)

* Mark 10:18 ""Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone."

* Jesus didn't say a word about all the good things and successes the man did in his life.

>How and why did Jesus direct his attention toward goodness and God?

* He needed to look at himself before God.

* He needed to look at God's definition of good, of righteousness.

* Nowhere in the man's question of eternal life was God brought up.

* Jesus didn't say that he wasn't good. Rather he asked by did he call Jesus, or anyone for that matter good. In other words, what is the definition of good?

* God is pure, without blemish. Light is used to describe God because God is pure.

* "No one is" -No exceptions. It could be asked, "Then what about Jesus?" Jesus did not inherit Adam's sinful tendency because Adam wasn't his father, God was his father. Mary was a virgin. As the Son of God Jesus was the second Adam as Paul describes.

* Purity is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit and renewal in Jesus. (2 Cor. 6:6, and 1 Ti. 4:12, 5:2, Col. 3) The bride hopes is Jesus who will finish what he has started in us; that sin's seed and pulling power will completely be removed and we will resist as he did in the desert. (1 Cor. 10:13)

* All are born in sin, in Adam and Eve's sin as 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 states. Romans 3:10-12 also states, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one," and verse 23 continues, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Psalm 14:3, 143:2, Isaiah 53:6 and 2 Chronicles 6:36 all states the universal sinfulness of mankind.
God's kingdom is about absolute purity. (Pro. 15:26, 22:11, Ps. 18:26, 24:1-6, and 1 Tim. 5:22, Jam. 3:17, and 1 John 3:3) If anyone who is impure were to enter the Kingdom of God then it would be flawed. Since all have sinned at least once, than none can be in the Kingdom of God unless God makes them clean. Why is the Kingdom of God based on purity? The Kingdom of God is based on an intimate relationship with the pure God. If anyone impure were to join with the pure God, if that were possible, then God would have impurity in him. That is not possible. Since God is pure, then those who join with him must also be pure. He makes his bride pure when they have faith in Jesus, in Jesus' act of selfless love for his bride, in the shedding of his blood. (1 John 1:7, Heb. 9:22)
Purity is why David wrote, "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (Ps. 103:11-12)

>3. What did Jesus say next? (19)

* Mark 10:19 "You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"

* "You know" -Jesus started from what the man knew.

* The man's problem was his understanding of the meaning of the commandments and the nature of man.

* Elsewhere Jesus taught the spirit behind all these commandments. He taught that man's heart is what God looks at. Motive is more important than the act.

* The Pharisees and the teachers of the law taught (some still do) the need obeying the law in action, but do not teach the heart (spirit) of it.

>Why did Jesus teach about the commandments concerning love for neighbor? (Ex. 20:12-16; Lv. 19:18)

* Exodus 20:12-16 ""Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. "You shall not murder. "You shall not commit adultery. "You shall not steal. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

* Leviticus 19:18 "'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD."

>If he kept the laws perfectly, could he have life? (Dt. 30:16)

* Deuteronomy 30:16 "For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess."

* Yes.

>Is this possible?

* No, because of our inherit sinful nature.

* No one can keep it perfectly. He thought he did and Jesus was about to show his otherwise.

>4. What did the rich young man declare to Jesus? (20)

* Mark 10:20 ""Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy.""

* He thought he was a good guy and others told him he was as he grew up.

* His wealth and success made it look like he was blessed and honored by God.

>Did he think he was truthfully answering?

* Yes, this man felt he was sincere.

* However, he knew he missed something so he ran up to Jesus. When he heard Jesus' teaching on hell he was afraid. Fear is the beginning of wisdom because we realize that something is wrong with us even though we don't know what it is. This drives us, or should drive us to God for cleansing.


* He had kept the law by the letter.

>In his heart, did he truly love his neighbor?

* Not really.

* Jesus was about to display that.

>What about his life shows that he selfishly kept the law?

* He was a man of great wealth. Although being wealthy is not a sin, most of those who are wealthy are not sacrificial for the sake of others. Also, many grow wealthy off of the suffering and hard work of others.

* Jesus does not believe in communism. He teaches mercy, grace, and truth.

* Paul wrote of his old-self, "though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless." (Phil. 3:4-6) And, "I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers." (Gal. 1:14) When he meet Jesus he realized he was, "the greatest of all sinners." (1 Tim. 1:15-16, and 1 Cor. 15:9-10)

>5. What was Jesus' attitude toward this man when he saw his sincerity and eagerness? (21a)

* Mark 10:21a "Jesus looked at him and loved him."

* "loved him" -Jesus does want us to keep his commandments. He does want us to seek him for answers. He loves when we are sincere. However, just because we are all these thinks does not meet that we are correct. God desires a relationship with him above all things.

>What was the first thing Jesus told him to do? (21b)

* Mark 10:21b ""One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."

* "Go sell everything" -All that he was blessed with he was to give up. selling everything would have taken time. To make it a quick deal he would have to sell at really low prices. The apostles and other disciples who had been following Jesus had given up everything to follow him. Peter brought this up (28).

* "give to the poor" -The poor are often so because of the greed of the rich.

* "and you will have treasure in heaven" -worth much more than riches in this life. We seldom receive rewards in this life for sacrifices for the gospel and Jesus.

* Jesus did not tell everyone to sell everything. However, all those who traveled him had to leave everything.

* Jesus' words did not expect this answer at all. He expected an answer like the one that he gave. He would have heard his answer as a direction to him for his whole life. He thought that Jesus was going to say what he always heard. He did not.

* Jesus' words was indeed love for this man. If he would have obeyed he would have seen Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. The prophets, Abraham, Noah, and Adam looked forward to what this man could have witnessed if he would have accepted Jesus call to sell everything. What would I, what would you pay to see what this man could have witnessed?

>What does this tell us about applying the law to our life?

* The law is costly. Following Jesus costs even more. The rewards to following the law is limited. The laws to following Jesus is endless.

* when we come to Jesus in prayer asking for direction, we should be prepared for an answer and direction that we do not expect and will seem costly to us.

* Applying the spirit of the law is harder than the letter of the law. That is why so many chose the latter and then feel good about themselves.

>What was the second thing Jesus told him to do? (21c)

* Mark 10:21c "Then come, follow me.""

* The call to be Jesus' disciples will cost.

* Noone ever knows where Jesus will bring us and what we will see when he calls us. He just says come.

>What does this tell us about trusting God? (Compare Mt. 13:44-46)

* Matt. 13:44-46 ""The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."

* The value of following Jesus has non-monetary value.

* Trusting Jesus is practical.

* The devil understands and does not obey.

* Knowing is not needed. Trust and obey is.

>6. How did the young man respond to Jesus' direction and invitation? (22a)

* Mark 10:22 "At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth."

* Jesus' words did not meet his expectations.

>Why? (22b)

* He had great wealth.

* He did not want to give his wealth up.

* He loved his wealth and comfortable life.

* He was probably dressed in fine clothes. Jesus and the disciples must have looked sun dried, ragged, and dirty after travelling all the time. After looking at them he could see the other prices he would have to pay to follow Jesus.

* He chose to seek eternal life in his own way, not Jesus' way.

II. God's Reward For his Children (23-31)

>7. What did Jesus reveal to his disciples about the man's problem? (23)

* Mark 10:23 "Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!""

* The rich have little ways to learn to live by faith.

* Jesus let the man go even though he loved him. Jesus does not force himself on anyone. If they do not want him, he lets them go.

>Why were the disciples amazed? (24a)

* Mark 10:24a "The disciples were amazed at his words."

* Because this man appeared to be perfect in every way.

What did Jesus teach them? (24b,25)

* Mark 10:24b-25 "But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

* "how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God" -Jesus did not include "the rich" this time.

* Entering the kingdom of God is hard for anyone because following God's will and desire will bring hardship, trial, tribulation, and self sacrifice. The richer a person is the more costly it seems it is. The more comfortable our life it, the harder it is to break out of our comfort zone to follow Jesus' example and reach out to others.

* "eye of a needle" -A very small opening in the Jerusalem was was called this. Camel's could go into this gate, but only if they get rid of all of their baggage and get on their knees. The rich young man did neither.

>How did they disciples respond to this? (26)

* Mark 10:26 "The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?""

* "saved" -From hell which Jesus just talked about.

>How does God save sinful man? (27)

* Mark 10:27 "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.""

* Then the issue isn't what we do, but what God can do to a man's heart when he values God more than anything.

* God's ways are not man's ways. God's ways are not what we expect, not what we would do, not that we can easily understand. This is why Isaiah explained, "Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" (Is. 53:1)

* Ephesians 2:8-9 states, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast."

>8. How did Peter respond to Jesus' teachings? (28)

* Mark 10:28 "Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!""

* Peter needed to be assured that he would be saved. He wanted Jesus to confirm that he would not go to hell.

* Some say that Peter was boasting here, exclaiming that he had done the right thing. This does not follow Mark's words that the disciples were amazed about Jesus' words about entering the kingdom of God. Nor does it explain Jesus' response to Peter.

>What does this tell us about him?

* He had a desire to enter the kingdom of God. He wanted to enter the kingdom of God.

* He also had desires to by like the young rich ruler who came to Jesus.

* The conflict of desires in him, added to his sacrifice in following Jesus and the expectation that they all had about what would happen in Jerusalem (Jesus to be king) caused a personal examination of his heart when he heard what Jesus just taught.

>About how he was like the man?

* In his heart, Peter wanted to be just like the man, even though he did not have the opportunity.

* All the disciples wanted to be like the rich young man. Human nature is to be like that man. Following Jesus goes against this flow.

* We all want to be rich and comfortable. Without faith we are then surprised when trouble hit us. We are like Job and want to meet God face to face and say, "Why me?" The problem is that we do not know what it really means to have a relationship with Jesus.

* Many expect heaven, the kingdom of heaven, to be their own special kingdom, built around their own desires and passion. In this thinking they have forgotten that it is the kingdom of God.

Jesus Mentions His Second Coming in Synoptic Gospels

>About how he was different?

* He was not able to be like the man because of his life circumstances.

* Yet Peter did leave everything to follow Jesus.

* No matter what happened, no matter what Jesus taught, even rebuking him harshly, Peter did not leave Jesus.

* The disciples were often confused and did not understand and were amazed by Jesus. The lack of understanding did not disqualify them. What qualifies Jesus' disciples is following him by faith.

>9. How did Jesus encourage the disciples? (29-31)

* Mark 10:29-31 ""I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.""

>What did he promise them?

* "no one who has left... will fail to receive a hundred time as much in this present age... and in the age to come, eternal life."

* God's reward.

>Why are persecutions blessings?

* Because they help us grow in the image of God if we have the right heart attitude.

* Romans 5:-4, 8:17

* Persecutions in this life is medication for the soul. It helps us focus our heart on Jesus.

>What are the real rewards of those who leave a worldly life to live for Jesus' sake and the gospel's?

* Eternal life.

* "But many who are first will be last, and the last first" -In this life the first are the selfishly aggressive, rich, powerful, and beautiful looking. In the next age those are not selfish.