Again, following a pattern established in the second major section of the Gospel according to Mark, Jesus announces his passion and resurrection then teaches about discipleship.
The setting of Jesus' second announcement is in Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, as he and his disciples draw closer to Jerusalem (9:30-31). The misunderstanding that follows, when the disciples discuss who among them is the greatest (9:33-35), creates the setting for Jesus to teach about discipleship. His words focus on the paradox that those who would be first "must be last of all and servant of all" (9:35-37). Jesus continues to teach his disciples about the acceptance of others who exorcize in his name (9:38-41), gives warning about the reality of sin (9:42-48), and calls the disciples to be like the seasoning property of salt (9:49-50).
The setting of Jesus' teaching moves into the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan River, where Jesus teaches on marriage and divorce, interpreting the true intent of the law (10:1-12). Jesus teaches the disciples that the acceptance of children is a true sign of receiving the kingdom of God (10:13-16). A rich man who knows the law is blinded by his wealth, unable to see the true treasure of the call to follow Jesus (10:17-22). Jesus draws upon his encounter with this man as an example showing how riches get in the way of entering the kingdom of God (10:23-27). The paradox of first and last concludes this cycle of passages as Jesus teaches the disciples the reality of leaving family to follow him (10:28-31).
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again. 32But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, What were you arguing about on the way? 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all. 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.
38 John said to him, Teacher, we saw someone* casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us. 39But Jesus said, Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. 40Whoever is not against us is for us. 41For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
42 If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me,* it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. 43If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell,* to the unquenchable fire.* 45And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell.*,* 47And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell,* 48where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
10He left that place and went to the region of Judea and* beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
2 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife? 3He answered them, What did Moses command you? 4They said, Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her. 5But Jesus said to them, Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. 7For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,* 8and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11He said to them, Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.
13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. 16And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? 18Jesus said to him, Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19You know the commandments: You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother. 20He said to him, Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth. 21Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money* to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me. 22When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 24And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, Children, how hard it is* to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. 26They were greatly astounded and said to one another,* Then who can be saved? 27Jesus looked at them and said, For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.
28 Peter began to say to him, Look, we have left everything and followed you.
29Jesus said, Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news,*
30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this agehouses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutionsand in the age to come eternal life.
31But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
10 February 2011