God’s Guiding Word: Discipleship
Mark 10:13–34: Children are brought to Jesus and are blessed by him. An encounter with a rich man provides Jesus with an opportunity to teach his followers about the cost of discipleship. The reading concludes with Jesus speaking about his death for the third time.
13 Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples scolded the people. 14 When Jesus noticed this, he was angry and said to his disciples, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them, and blessed them.
17 As Jesus was starting on his way again, a man ran up, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; do not cheat; respect your father and your mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” the man said, “ever since I was young, I have obeyed all these commandments.”
21 Jesus looked straight at him with love and said, “You need only one thing. Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.” 22 When the man heard this, gloom spread over his face, and he went away sad, because he was very rich.
23 Jesus looked around at his disciples and said to them, “How hard it will be for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were shocked at these words, but Jesus went on to say, “My children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 It is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”
26 At this the disciples were completely amazed and asked one another, “Who, then, can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked straight at them and answered, “This is impossible for human beings but not for God; everything is possible for God.”
28 Then Peter spoke up, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.”
29 “Yes,” Jesus said to them, “and I tell you that those who leave home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and for the gospel, 30 will receive much more in this present age. They will receive a hundred times more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields—and persecutions as well; and in the age to come they will receive eternal life. 31 But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first.”
32 Jesus and his disciples were now on the road going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was going ahead of the disciples, who were filled with alarm; the people who followed behind were afraid. Once again Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and spoke of the things that were going to happen to him. 33 “Listen,” he told them, “we are going up to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn him to death and then hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will make fun of him, spit on him, whip him, and kill him; but three days later he will rise to life.”
Today’s Key Verse: Mark 10:15
[Jesus said]: “I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Why did the disciples seek to prevent the people from bringing the children to Jesus? How did Jesus respond? Jesus speaks of receiving the Kingdom of God like a child (verse 15). What does this mean to you? What did Jesus say to the rich man (verse 21)? How did the rich man respond (verse 22)? What does verse 27 teach you about God? Today’s reading includes a proverb (verse 31) that appears in other places (Matthew 19:30, 20:16; Luke 13:30) and points back to Mark 9:35 (see yesterday’s reading) and Jesus’s teaching on being “the servant of all.” What is your understanding of verse 31?
Loving God, grant me a childlike faith, totally trusting in you. I yield my life to you. May your kingdom come, Lord. Amen.
Mark 10:35–52: Two disciples approach Jesus with a request, and Jesus heals a blind man.