Mark 9:30-10:31 – Jesus Teaches on His Passion and Resurrection for the Second Time
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).