2 Some Pharisees came forward and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He replied, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and dismiss her.” 5 But Jesus said to them, “It was because of the hardness of your hearts that he wrote this commandment for you. 6 But from the very beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, 8 and the two become one flesh.’ And so they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 When they were again in the house, the disciples once more questioned Jesus about this. 11 He said to them, “If a man divorces his wife and marries another, he commits adultery against her. 12 In the same way, if a wife divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
13 Jesus Receives Little Children.[c] People were bringing little children to him so that he might touch them, and the disciples sternly rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus became aware of this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them. For it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Amen, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up into his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
17 The Rich Young Man.[d] As Jesus was starting out on a journey, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not kill. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not defraud. Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
20 The man said to him, “Teacher, I have observed all these since I was a child.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus was moved with love and said, “You need to do one further thing. Go and sell what you own, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When he heard these words, the man’s face fell and he went away grieving, for he possessed great wealth.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who are rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were astounded on hearing his words, but Jesus insisted: “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 The disciples were even more greatly astonished, and they said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. For God all things are possible.”
28 Reward for Following Jesus.[e] Peter said to him, “We have given up everything to follow you.” 29 Jesus answered, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 30 who will not receive in this age a hundred times more houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and lands—as well as persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
32 Jesus Predicts His Passion a Third Time.[f] As they were on the road going up to Jerusalem, Jesus walked ahead of them. The disciples were amazed, and those who followed were apprehensive. Once again, he took the Twelve aside and began to tell them what would happen to him. 33 “Behold, we are now going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and put him to death. And after three days he will rise again.”
35 The Son of Man Has Come To Serve.[g] Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we request.” 36 He asked them, “What is it that you want me to do for you?” 37 They said to him, “Allow us to sit, one at your right hand and the other at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink,[h] or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 They said to him, “We can.”
Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you shall indeed drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized you shall be baptized. 40 But to sit at my right hand or at my left is not in my power to grant. Those places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the other ten heard this, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 Therefore, Jesus called them over and said, “You know that those considered to be rulers among the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 43 But this must not be so with you. Instead, whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be the servant of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
46 Jesus Heals a Blind Man.[i] Then they came to Jericho. And as Jesus, his disciples, and a huge crowd were leaving Jericho, a blind man, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus,[j] was sitting by the roadside asking for alms. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be silent, but he only shouted all the louder, “Son of David, have pity on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart! Stand up! He is calling you!” 50 Casting aside his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “Rabbi,[k] let me receive my sight.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go on your way! Your faith has made you well.” Immediately, he received his sight and followed him along the road.
- Mark 10:1 Divorce was practiced by permission of the Mosaic Law (Deut 24:1). But a permission supposes a weakness; it does not represent the law that gives life. From the beginning, God willed the unity of the couple in marriage (see Gen 1:27 and 2:24). Jesus recalls this requirement and shows, too, that the Scriptures ought to be interpreted in light of the fundamental perspectives of God’s plan and not on the basis of the changeable desires and needs of human beings.
- Mark 10:1 Region of Judea beyond the Jordan: Judea was the southern part of Palestine, which had formerly been the southern kingdom. Jesus went south from Capernaum over the mountains of Samaria into Judea and then east across the Jordan to Perea, the territory of Herod Antipas.
- Mark 10:13 This episode is common to the Synoptics, but Mark alone recounts the human traits of the divine Master, such as his indignation at the disciples’ hindering action and his affectionate attitude in embracing the children.
- Mark 10:17 See note on Mt 19:16-26.
- Mark 10:28 See note on Mt 19:27-30.
- Mark 10:32 See note on Mt 20:17-19. Gentiles, who will . . . put him to death: the predictions of the Passion in Mark’s Gospel do not mention the word “crucified.” However, crucifixion is implied by the fact that he was to be handed over to the Gentiles to be killed, since this was the customary Roman means of executing non-Romans.
- Mark 10:35 What was Christ’s own understanding of his life, of the kingdom, of what it meant to be a disciple? An answer is given in this decisive passage (see vv. 42-45). So important are these verses that Luke points up their essential context by placing them in the account of the Supper (Lk 22:24-27) and John in the explanation of the washing of the feet (Jn 13:12-17). The kingdom of God has nothing to do with ambitions for political or social power; true greatness is found not in prestige or rule but only in service.
- Mark 10:38 Drink the cup that I drink: a Hebraism for sharing someone’s fate. In the Old Testament, the “cup of wine” was a metaphor for God’s wrath against sin and rebellion (Ps 75:9; Isa 51:17-23; Jer 25:15-28; 49:12; 51:7).
Thus, the cup Jesus had to drink refers to the punishment of sins that he bore in place of all human beings (see Mk 10:45; 14:36). Baptism: an image of Jesus’ suffering and death.
- Mark 10:46 This healing is the last miracle of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel.
- Mark 10:46 Son of Timaeus is the meaning of Bartimaeus in Aramaic.
- Mark 10:51 Rabbi: means “master” (see Jn 20:16; Mt 23:7).