Class Notes: 4/27/2014
Mark 10:14-22; Jesus addresses the question of the self-righteous, religious rich young ruler
In our study of Mark last time we left off in Mark 10:14; where Jesus expressed His displeasure with His disciples for rebuking the people for bringing children to Him for His be blessing.
Mark 10:14; But when Jesus saw this he was indignant. The Greek word translated "indignant" is "aganakteo" that means to be grieved greatly, incensed, offended.
Jesus had righteous indignation about this and He commanded his disciples "Send the children to Me and stop hindering them."
The Greek word translated "permit" in the NASB is the second person plural aorist imperative of "aphiemi" an intensive form if "eimi." It is a command for them to send the children to Him.
The Greek word translated "hinder" is the second person plural present active imperative of "kolyo" that means to prevent, hinder, restrain, or stop. The present imperative is a command for them to stop something they were doing. They were to stop the process of hindering the people who were bringing the children to Him.
"...because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these" Net note 21 The word "such" means "of such kind." They have trusted me, they have accepted me, and they want to be in my presence and to receive blessing from Me, for of such a category as these is the kingdom of God.
These children are believers, but they are not so little that they cannot make a decision for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mark 10:15; " I tell you the truth whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it" (Net notes 22, 23, 24, 25)
Anyone who comes to Jesus in childlike faith is given unrestricted access to Him. Whoever does not come to Him in childlike faith will (ou me) never ever no not ever enter into God's Kingdom.
Childlike faith is faith and nothing but faith. Eph 2:8-9; Children don't have capacity to do anything except believe. Entrance into God's kingdom is not the result of any kind of human achievement or merit it is entered by Faith Alone in Christ Alone.
If a helpless child can have faith in Jesus for salvation so can an adult. Adults who have a problem with this are simply arrogant because they think they can do something but anything they can do is unacceptable to God.
The arrogant subjectivity that adults develop from the assumptions that they make often keeps them from simple faith so they refuse to simply believe. If they remain arrogant Jesus states that they will never ever no not ever (ou me) enter into God's Kingdom.
It's interesting to note that the very reason that the disciples were rejecting the children and the reason Jesus that Jesus was accepting the children was the same. The children could do nothing except to believe and as a result they were complying with God's mandate.
God's kingdom is not acquired by any kind of human achievement or merit it is only received as a gift from God on the basis of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
Mark 10:16; And He embraced them and kept on blessing them laying His hands on them.
The Greek word translated "took them in His arms" is "enagkalizomai" that means to take into one's arms or to embrace.
The Greek word translated "blessing" in the NASB is the third person singular imperfect active indicative of "kateuloeo" that means he kept on blessing them until there were no more of them coming to Him to be blessed. He did not stop until there were no more children being brought to Him to be blessed.
Mark 10:17; As Jesus is about to continue his journey to Jerusalem where He will be crucified a man runs up to Him. This man is being contrasted with the children who Jesus had just received and blessed as He taught that eternal life is not earned but instead is received exclusively by grace through faith not of works. Eph 2:8-9;
The parallel passage in Luke 18:18; describes this man as a "ruler." The Greek word translated "ruler" is "archon" that means that He was in some kind of position of authority in the Jewish government so he is most likely a Pharisee.
The man kneels before Jesus and addresses Him as "Good Teacher" indicating that he respects Jesus' teaching but does not recognize Him as Messiah and asks "what can I do to inherit eternal life?
The word translated "good" is "agathos" that means good of intrinsic value so this word can only be properly used to describe God or something that comes from God.
Since he doesn't recognize Jesus as God so he shouldn't have used the word "agathos" to describe Jesus.
"Teacher" is the Greek word "didaskalos" can also be translated "Master" referring to a person who teaches things about God.
Believers called Jesus "Lord." but this man calls Jesus "Teacher" or "Master" because he was an unbeliever. He recognizes Jesus as an academic who speaks with authority but he does not recognize him as Messiah.
His question indicates that he viewed eternal life as something that could be acquired by doing good works. He then uses the interrogative pronoun, "what."
He is going to ask a question but his question is really just rhetorical because as far as he is concerned he is already saved because of his good deeds.
He has been keeping the Ten Commandments so he thinks he is saved, he just wants Jesus to confirm it by telling everyone that he is saved because of his good deeds.
He comes with a tremendous ego and false confidence with the rhetorical question "What good thing shall I do?" He immediately expresses his concept of salvation. He believes that doing good things can save you.
In his case as an unbeliever his "good" deeds can only be human good so He is depending upon his own good works for salvation, he is not depending upon the work of God, or Divine good.
When he says, "What shall I do," this is the aorist active subjunctive of the Greek word "poieo". The aorist tense means human good works that are performed during his physical life on the earth, the active voice indicates that this man is doing the works himself.
The subjunctive mood indicates that he has rejected faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and instead of believing in Jesus for salvation he is trusting in his own good deeds.
The Greek word "hina" is translated "that" or "so that" introduces a result clause " so that I might inherit eternal life?" This man thinks that eternal life is acquired on the basis of what he does rather than on the basis of what God has done.
This is an interesting principle because many people today believe the same thing that the rich young ruler did. His plan for salvation includes religion or keeping the law, self-righteousness and trying to keep the law, and dependence upon his wealth.
But he is an imperfect being. Imperfect beings can only come up with imperfect plans and the best plan that he could devise will at most only work while he is physically alive. His plan will never work after he dies.
Jesus Christ is God, and as God He is perfect and therefore His plan is perfect and permanent resulting in eternal life. So here is the one facing the Savior and God of the universe and he is asking the Savior to confirm that he is saved, but the Savior can't say that because this man has rejected Him and has accepted the law and law keeping as the means of salvation.
Mark 10:18; Jesus answer is designed to convict him. "And he said unto him, why do you call me intrinsically good (agathos)?" This question deals with the person of Christ. Jesus is trying to focus attention on His identity as Messiah..
When He asks the man this question, "Why do you call me good of intrinsic value" He is trying to alert him to the fact that he had used the proper word but did he really mean it?
Jesus then says "no one is intrinsically good except God alone. The inferred question is do you mean that I am God? But the man doesn't. For him it was just a polite way to address Jesus. Jesus is trying to draw the man out in order to determine if he is really believes what the word implied. That Jesus is God.
Jesus is emphasizing the uniqueness of His person. The uniqueness of His person leads to the uniqueness of His work; "no one is good except God alone." Jesus is trying to direct his attention to His true identity, Do you accept me as God or not? but He knows that he really doesn't.
Mark 10:19; Jesus responds to him in this manner because He knows that the man has rejected His true identity, He knows that the man has accepted the philosophy of salvation by works so He tells him "you know the commandments." and he goes on to reference some of them. Net note 30
Deut 24:14; The defrauding of employees was one of the endemic sins of the rich in Judea and it also endemic in the USA today and the nation is under Divine discipline because of it. Col 4:1;
Jesus does this because He knows that this is exactly what the man is doing so Jesus is going to use commandments the guy thinks he is keeping as a trap.
Jesus knows that this man has decided that keeping the law will save him. That is what the man believes but by believing this he believes satanic propaganda. deception and lies and is disobeying God.
Rom 3:20; " by the works of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight; for by means of the law is the knowledge of sin."
Keeping the law can't possibly save you, and yet this is what the man believes.
Why did Jesus refer to the ten commandments? Why did He use the word "commandments" in the plural to distinguish from the true way of salvation?
1John 3:23a; "This is His the commandment (singular) that we believe in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ." The commandment (singular) of God for the human race is to believe on His Son Jesus Christ.
Jesus is going to trap this man with the very commandments that he believes are the way of salvation. He is going to take this man's position and demonstrate that he really is not willing to and does not really keep the commandments even though he thinks he does.
Jesus starts with four negative commandments and He specifically picks commandments that the man would agree with. He is dealing with a legalistic, self-righteous, arrogant, religious person who thinks he doesn't overtly break the law in any way
"Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness."
Jesus then goes to the fifth commandment and begins to hang him. There are two commandments that are going to trap this man. "Honor your father and mother," and "do not defraud" that is an aspect of "do not covet" and the principle of love your neighbor as yourself.
The Greek says, keep on honoring, present active imperative. And there is a reason for it, because this man is guilty of the corban gimmick that we saw in Mark 7:11;
The man is so in love with money that he is defrauding his parents and probably many other people. We are going to see that his love for money is also causing him to break the first and second commandments. Exod 20:3-5; because his wealth is his god.
James 2:10; states, If you are guilty of one point you are guilty of all. This man has offended in one point so he is caught and to maintain his hypocritical facade of self-righteousness he is now going to have to tell a lie so he does.
Mark 10:20; And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." The man contended that he had kept all of the commandments from the age of accountability, but Jesus is going to prove that he really has not kept any of them.
Mark 10:21; "Jesus looked at him and feeling love for him said to him go and sell all that you have and give to the poor." This hit the man right where he lived because he loved his money more than anything else.
"and you will have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." The word "come" is a call to faith, it is a call to non-meritorious faith in Jesus as Messiah.
Jesus is inviting him to believe. then Jesus says "follow me." "Follow" is also an expression of faith; "Me" refers to following Messiah. When Jesus said, Come follow me, it means to be born again, and you can only be born again by faith in Christ.
In addition in this case the Greek word "akoloutheo" translated "follow" is in the present imperative of command for him to immediately follow Jesus by joining Him on his journey to Jerusalem and the cross as a disciple.
This type of self denial to sell everything he owned was appropriate in this unique situation because of the call that was given but is not a normal requirement of believers who are disciples of Jesus.
Mark 10:22; "But at these words he was saddened and went away grieved. He was very upset or grieved because he was one who owned very many possessions.
We see here that the man rejects the divine solution that is the only solution for salvation and not only rejects the call to salvation by believing but also rejects a call to be a disciple of Jesus
His problem was that wealth was his god and he was devoted to it rather than God. Jesus' command was to go sell all of his assets and give it to the poor thereby removing the self righteous achievement coupled with his love for money that was blocking him from faith in Jesus for salvation and in his unique case the call to be a disciple that would result in his becoming an apostle for the Church.
This man rejected all of that at the time. The Bible does not tell us but it is possible to speculate that this man later answered Jesus' call and became the apostle Paul.
Paul actually did give up everything to follow Jesus. Phil 3:4-9;
Since giving to the poor came up in this passage, before we move on we will consider the Doctrine of the Poor.
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