Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Mark 10 – More than a Verse of the Day

Of these two texts the first presents a real challenge of interpretation.

Here we see two men coming to Jesus, the first “running” to him, the second one most likely walking with assistence since he is blind.

Mar 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

We also see:

Mar 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

The key here is he seems to recognize Jesus’ authority, but contrast that the blind man who has faith that Jesus is the one only to give him mercy.

Mar 10:47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
Mar 10:48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Again it was the second who Jesus actually called. yet the first had kneeled and called him good, but also had taken the inititive to begin the process of getting to heaven through his own efforts. See above v17.

Mar 10:49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
Mar 10:50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

He immediately responded to the call, and maybe cast away all he had “his garment” and came when called. Interesting Jesus had stopped certainly making it easier for the blind man to approach.

Mar 10:51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

And note the emphasis of his request is phrased an What Jesus should do, not what he himself should do v17.

Mar 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

The faith he had been given, to call out to Jesus for mercy. We know from other texts that this faith comes from God alone. It is a saving faith, although in this text it doesn’t mention eternal life.

In Luke it says: Luke 18:43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

Two other examples of mercy cry’s are:

Luk 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Even worse than the rich man above…as they not only affirmed they were righteous but despised others and didn’t even bother to even ask for what else they still could do.

Luk 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luk 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

Notice the I statements.

Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Just like the blind man he came to God asking for mercy and for saving from his sin (blindness).

Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

The other example was the man on the cross:
Luk 23:40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
Luk 23:41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
Luk 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
Luk 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Luke 23:42 Gill

And he said unto Jesus, Lord,…. Acknowledging him to be the Messiah, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; the Lord of all, and especially of his church and people, and his own Lord. So the Syriac and Persic versions read, “my Lord”: however, he said this by the Spirit of God, who enlightened his understanding, and wrought faith in him to believe in Christ; see 1Co 12:3 “remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom“; or rather in thy kingdom, as in Mat 16:28 for this man had not only faith in the kingdom of Christ, as being of a spiritual nature, and not of this world, and not coming with outward pomp and observation; in which respect his faith exceeded that of the apostles themselves, who were looking for, and expecting a temporal kingdom; and he not only was without all doubt, or scruple, about Christ’s entering into his kingdom and glory after death, but he had knowledge of, and faith in his second coming, when his glorious kingdom should appear, or his kingdom appear in glory; and when he desired he might be remembered by him, have favour shown him, and he share in the glories and happiness of it. This was great faith indeed to be exercised on Christ at such a time as this, when he was under the greatest reproach and ignominy; while he was insulted and derided by all sorts of people; and when he was forsaken by his own apostles, and was suffering a shameful punishment, and now dying.

As for the first man, Jesus initially reinforced what we are all commanded to do.

Mar 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Mar 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

But here the man, stepped out and tried to justify himself. But Jesus reached into the core of his heart and told him the one thing he could not do, implying no man has the power to be perfect.

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Mar 10:20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Mar 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

Mar 10:23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Mar 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Of the messages here it seems clear that trying to be perfect, or working to get into heaven and trusting in our deeds or riches, will not get us there. There is however a better way…..

Mar 10:26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
Mar 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Two other verses come to mind:

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Yet we can’t do this on our own….
Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Matthew 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

As seen in the text this is not possible.
Last question does Jesus command us to give up all our wealth? The answer is yes and no. It may be in a specific situation he does. That is his sovereign call. But the examples in the Bible of people with goods and houses of their own is more likely the norm. Giving geneoously both in alm’s and to support the gospel ministry is a good thing. But can’t get to heaven by doing this work….even if we attempted. It is better to show forth love…

1 Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

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