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Mark 10





By: Jeremy Witt

Today’s chapter has so many topics that could very well be its own devotional, and the start of this chapter deals with divorce.  You can find another account of this story in Matthew 19:1-12 and it has some aspects that Mark does not include.  The Pharisees are coming at Jesus to trap Him.  If Jesus agreed with the Pharisees procedure of the written notice for divorce, which they did not anticipate, it would upset some in the crowd who took advantage of the Pharisee’s exemption.  Politically speaking, Jesus’ answer might incur the wrath of Herod, who had beheaded John the Baptist for speaking out against adultery and divorce.  The main issue the Pharisees were seeking was to cause division among the people or to get the government involved against Jesus, so that their agenda could move forward.  Does that sound familiar today? 


The Pharisees saw marriage as a legal issue rather than a spiritual one.  People do that today too.  If a couple goes into a marriage with this idea, odds are that divorce will result.  Why?  Marriage is not just meant to be between a man and a woman.  It is meant to be made with God in the center.  But caught in the midst of this debate, Jesus is looking after women.  Because of this exemption by the Pharisees, divorced women would be thrown out of their homes with just a slip of paper.  This is yet another example of Jesus looking out for those the world ignored.


Notice in verse 6 how Jesus goes back to the first marriage.  God’s intent was and is a lifelong commitment.  Jesus clearly gave God’s ideal for marriage over the man-made exception.  Notice however, that Jesus did not cancel Moses’ teaching.  We see exceptions for divorce in Matthew 5:32, 19:9, and 1 Corinthians 7:15.  We see in other places that God hates divorce, but let us remember that divorce is not the unpardonable sin.  It should definitely be the last resort.  In our sinful world, divorce may be necessary due to physical survival/safety and for the well-being of children, but whenever possible, God’s ideal intent is for permanence.


Verses 13-16 shows us that Jesus cared about kids in a time when they were ignored or overlooked by many.  Jesus used this teachable moment to teach about the faith of a child is the way to enter the Kingdom of God.  The key is by faith, and adults like us need to be reminded of that.


Verses 17-22 has this great conversation with a wealthy, young man who asks Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?  This conversation, found in also in Matthew 19:16-30 and Luke 18:18-30, focused on what the man did or would have to do in order to be saved.  The world asks this question as well.  What must I do?  Do you see it?  The question is focused upon our actions or our works.  Jesus’ response in verse 21 pointed the man to what he trusted in.  It was not the Father or Jesus even, but it was his money.  Money was his god or idol.  So the question for you is the similar, what are you trusting in?  Our only hope is Jesus.  I think Ephesians 2:8-9  help speak to the answer to the question the rich, young ruler asked. 


Imagine turning and seeing the disciples’ jaws on the floor, because their reaction was utter shock.  The rich were viewed as blessed by God for being good.  The people assumed that they would have eternal life because they were good and blessed by God.  Truthfully, wealth or the lack of wealth is not a sign of faith as people then and even now believe.  Verse 27 speaks volumes to us, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible (to be saved).  But not with God.  Everything is possible with God.”  Our salvation cannot be found in ourselves but only through the LORD God, and that is by grace through faith in the LORD Jesus..


Peter makes a statement in verse 28 and Jesus’ response is in 29-31 points us to a different value system than what the disciples understood.  We see sacrifice, blessing that may not be material (verse 30) and persecution as well as serving in verse 31.


Jesus tells the disciples again about his upcoming death in verses 32-34, and then James and John spark a discussion that shows us how even those in Jesus’ inner circle missed it in verses 35-45.  The sons of thunder were seeking places of honor in heaven next to Jesus, which only caused the other disciples to be upset when they found out about the discussion. (Verse 41).  What stands out to me is quite different than the prosperity gospel that is popular today.  I see suffering predicted for followers of Jesus. (verses 38-39)  Notice also in verses 43-45 are service, humility, and sacrifice.  This was not and is not what people expected.  Nor is it what the prosperity gospel promises


Our chapter concludes with Mark sharing another miracle of Jesus and the healing of a blind beggar.  Mark continues to show us how Jesus cares for the forgotten (verse 49).  The words, “tell him to come here” rang out from Jesus to a man who was told to be quiet and had been pushed aside by the people.  But Jesus saw him.  Just as he sees you!  Call out to Jesus like the blind beggar did.  Have mercy on me! 


May our faith cause us to call out against the crowds and go to Jesus.  May our faith cause us to see Jesus like the once blind man could now see.  May we follow after Jesus like the seeing man does in verse 52.  Help us Lord and have mercy on us.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Mark 9



Thursday Aug. 2


We begin looking at verse 2 – 3 where Jesus was transfigured before three of the disciples. Peter, James, and John were considered as part of the Jesus’ inter circle and sometimes allowed to witness events that other disciples were not. Verse 2 of Mark states that Jesus led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone, this high mountain was very likely Mt. Hermon, the highest mountain in the region of Caecarea Philippi. Then this verse goes on to say, “He was transfigured in front of them, (3) and His clothes became dazzling-extremely white as no launderer on earth could have whitened them.” Now I know many of you, especially you ladies had the same thing going through your mind as I did when you first read this verse. “I wonder what detergent He used to get His clothes so white.” If only we could get a name of that detergent, maybe we could Google it. Now that that’s over with, let’s get back to the verse. Verse 3 says His clothes became dazzling white. The divine glory emanating from Jesus made even His clothes radiate brilliant, white light. Many places throughout scripture light is often associated with God’s visible presence.

In verses 5 – 7 Peter is so terrified at what he is seeing the only thing he could do was suggest making three permanent shelters or tabernacles. In the middle of Peter’s speech verse seven says a cloud appeared and overshadowed them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!” Can you say mic drop. This was God telling Peter, “Yo Peter, quiet time! My Son has the floor and has some good stuff to say, now listen!” Many times we are just like Peter, we feel that we have to say something to make what situation we or others are in better. When most of the time all we need to do is stop and listen to the Holy Spirit. Did you know that it’s ok and sometimes better to say nothing at all and let God do the talking? For me and I know I’m speaking for many of you that it’s hard to do. We live in a culture where if you don’t know what to say then you’ve not experienced life or you’re not smart enough to help someone through a crisis. Let me be the first to tell, “It’s ok to say nothing at all.” Most of the time all people want, is to know that you care enough to be there with them and actually pray for them. Let’s try that sometime.

Let us skip ahead a little ways, look at verses 42 – 50. Here we see warnings from Jesus about being stumbling blocks. The word or phrase “to stumble’ literally mean “to cause to fall.” To entice, trap, or lead a believer into sin is a very serious matter. So serious that Jesus says it would be better to tie a large millstone around your neck and jump into the sea. I don’t know about you guys but death by drowning is not something that is high on my to die list. But Jesus says it’s better to do this than to lead a believer to sin. So I would say this, don’t do it! And if your hand causes you to fall away, cut it off. If your foot causes you to fall away cut it off. And if your eye causes you to fall away gouge it out. Praise God that Jesus’ comments here are to be taken figuratively because if we are to take them literally then the world would be full of handless, footless, and eyeless humans. Could you imagine, all of us rolling around on little carts because we had no feet, bumping into each other because we couldn’t see. Oh the agony! The world is full of sin, and so are we. And there is nothing we can do about it, because Christ Jesus already has! Knowing this doesn’t give us the right to live our life the way we do. We are given a very good example of how to live, and we should live it.

So the next time we sin, think about rolling around on a cart bumping into one another. Is that what you want? I pray that it isn’t. Or when you’re trying to make a situation better but all you keep doing is stumble over your words, be quiet and let God speak. Yes I do believe God can speak through you to make a situation or crisis better, but don’t just assume that you are or you have to say something. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit and Let God!!! I promise He will.

Posted by Roy Lanten with

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