November 7th, 2006
From early childhood we are conditioned to believe that money brings happiness. The child with pocket money has the power to buy sweets and can choose friends to share them with. Children with well-off parents can have the best toys and the best clothes, and this sets them up to be the “cool” people at school. Adults with high-paying jobs can buy nice cars and go on expensive holidays and can eat in expensive restaurants. But according to Jesus, money is one of the biggest causes of people missing out on the kingdom of God.
Mark’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 10
10:1 He left there and went to the district of Judea and beyond the Jordan. Crowds gathered around him again, and he was teaching them in his normal manner. 10:2 Pharisees came to try him out, asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 10:3 He answered, “What did Moses command you?” 10:4 They said, “Moses allowed us to write a certificate of divorce and to divorce her.” 10:5 But Jesus said, “He wrote this commandment for you because of your callousness. 10:6 But from the beginning of the world God made them male and female. 10:7 This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins his wife 10:8 and the two become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. 10:9 So no one should separate what God has joined together.”
10:10 Inside the house his disciples asked him again about the same matter. 10:11 He said, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 10:12 If a woman divorces her husband and marries another she commits adultery.”
10:13 People were bringing little children for him to touch, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them. 10:14 But Jesus was angry when he saw it, and said, “Let the little children to come to me! Don’t stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to ones like these. 10:15 I can guarantee that anyone who does not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it.” 10:16 He took the children in his arms and blessed them, placing his hands on them.
10:17 As Jesus was heading down the road, a man ran up and knelt before him, asking, “Good Teacher, what must I do to earn eternal life?” 10:18 Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? God is the only one who is good. 10:19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not kill,’ ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not lie,’ ‘Do not cheat,’ ‘Honour your father and mother.'”
10:20 He said, “Teacher, I have done all these things since I was young.” 10:21 Jesus looking at him loved him and said, “You’re missing one thing. Go and sell everything you have, and give the proceeds to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.”
10:22 His face fell when he heard this and he went away disappointed, because he owned a lot of things. 10:23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “It is really difficult for people who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 10:24 The disciples were amazed at what he said, but Jesus said again, “Children, it is really hard for those who trust in riches to get into the Kingdom of God! 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 10:26 They were astounded, asking, “Then who can be saved?” 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With humans it is impossible, but not with God. All things are possible with God.”
10:28 Peter protested, “We have left everything to follow you.” 10:29 Jesus answered, “I can guarantee that anyone who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, 10:30 will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life. 10:31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
10:32 They were on the road to Jerusalem with Jesus leading them. The disciples were perplexed, and those who followed were afraid. He took aside the twelve and described to them the things that were going to happen to him. 10:33 “We are going to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the senior priests and religious lawyers. They will condemn him to death, and will hand him over to the Gentiles. 10:34 They will mock him, spit on him, whip him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came near to him, saying, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we will ask.” 10:36 He asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” 10:37 They said, “Give us the right to sit, one on your right side and one on your left side, in your glory.” 10:38 But Jesus said, “You don’t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 10:39 They said to him, “We can.” Jesus said, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink and you will be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with, 10:40 but I can’t choose who sits on my right side and my left side. Those positions have been prepared for people chosen by God.”
10:41 When the ten heard it, they were upset with James and John. 10:42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over their subjects, and their dignitaries wield power over them. 10:43 It is not like this among you. Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 10:44 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave, 10:45 just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
10:46 They came to Jericho. As he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. 10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he shouted out, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” 10:48 People told him to shut up, but he shouted out even louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
10:49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him over.” They called the blind man, “Be encouraged! Get up, he is calling you!” 10:50 He tossed his cloak aside, jumped up and came to Jesus. 10:51 Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see again.” 10:52 Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” He received his sight straight away and followed Jesus down the road.
Entry Filed under: Generosity