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Mark-Lesson 15

  • Thomas Klock Harvest Ministries
  • 2007 21 Sep
Mark-Lesson 15

Lesson 15

Transition and Servanthood

Mark 10:32-52


Knowing the Scriptures

Studies in Mark’s Gospel



The first half of Mark 10 was a collection of Jesus’ teachings during this time period.  He first addressed marriage, surprising the religious leaders with His radical answer to their question about divorce.   He next logically addressed children and rebuked His disciples for trying to keep them from His blessing, warning them that those who wish to enter the Kingdom must have a child’s same simple trust.  Thirdly Jesus addressed the vanity of religion when the rich young ruler came to Him, asking what work or effort he had to accomplish to enter eternal life, but of course without faith in the finished work of Christ for us, no religious effort will ever lead us to salvation. Finally, Jesus addressed the commitment needed by those who follow Him.  It is true that He will bless us both now and in the Kingdom for what we sacrifice for Him, but also there will be struggle, persecution, and self-denial along the path of our pilgrimage toward heaven.


This week we will complete Mark 10 and examine the transition toward the last part of the Gospel, as well as Jesus’ definition and example of servanthood.  Mark obviously and on purpose left out some of the other events that took place during this part of His earthly ministry, so on Day Five we’ll take a look at a few of these things.


DAY ONE:  Jesus Predicts His Sufferings

Please carefully read Mark 10:32-34 and answer the following questions.


1.  Jesus now is journeying toward Jerusalem, and is accompanied by the crowds.  What was their reaction to His guidance (v. 32)?

NOTES: Jesus leading the way for His followers was actually a good picture of their inability to understand the events coming, and this terminology is only used by Mark.[i]  Whenever one traveled to Jerusalem, it was considered going up.  This could be taken literally because the road climbs about 3,300 feet in the twenty miles from Jericho to Jerusalem, but almost certainly it is used in the common way as a technical term for going to the Holy City on a pilgrimage or for some other important purpose.[ii]


2.  Jesus then drew the twelve disciples aside.  What did He plainly tell them (v. 32b-33)?

3.  To what extent did He describe His coming sufferings (v. 34)?


4.  Jesus was very clear and certain in describing what awaited Him, using eight future tense verbs.[iii]  We will save discussion of the suffering Servant, Jesus, for the third part of these studies, but what clear parallel can be seen in Psalm 22:6-8, 14-18 and Isaiah 50:6 to what He would experience?


Scripture Memory:  This week we will be memorizing what most Bible scholars believe is the theme of this Gospel, Mark 10:45.  Review the passage several times throughout the day each day this week, and by the end of the week, you should have it memorized completely.


For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.  Mark 10:45 (nkjv)


DAY TWO:  An Amazing Request

Please carefully read Mark 10:35-40 and answer the following questions.


1.  After this clear proclamation of what faced Jesus in Jerusalem, what did James and John, the Sons of Thunder, unbelievably ask Him (v. 35-37)?


NOTE: Matthew 20:20, 21 added that their mother came with them and spoke for them. She was probably a sister of Jesus’ mother (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40; John 19:25), making James and John Jesus’ first cousins. Perhaps they hoped their family ties would help their cause.[iv]  One thing is clear: They didn’t understand what they were asking of Him. 


2.  How did Jesus respond to their request (v. 38)?


3.  When they told Jesus they could share in His “cup” and “baptism,” what was made known to them, and how did Jesus redirect them (v. 39, 40)?


4.  In your glory as it is used in Greek shows that “they were looking for a Jewish world empire with apocalyptic features in the eschatological culmination of the Messiah’s kingdom. That dream brushed aside all the talk of Jesus about his death and resurrection as mere pessimism.”[v]  As Warren Wiersbe well pointed out, James, John, and their mother didn’t understand that it costs something to get answers to prayer. For Jesus to grant their request, He would have to suffer and die, not establish an earthly Kingdom at that time in which they’d rule.[vi]  What are some things that the following passages remind us about seeing prayer answered?


Psalm 106:15; 1 John 5:14,15

James 4:2,3


Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.


For even the Son of Man did not _____________ to be served, but to ________________, and to give His life a ____________________ for many.  Mark 10:45 (nkjv)


DAY THREE: The True Servant

Please carefully read Mark 10:41-45 and answer the following questions.


1.  How did the rest of the disciples react when they heard about this request, and how did Jesus begin to redirect them all (v. 41, 42)?

NOTE: The word displeased is aganakteo,, which comes from two words meaning to feel pain, to grieve, or to be indignant, which is far stronger than being displeased.[vii]


2.  Rather than following the world’s ways of seeking preeminence and getting ahead of the other guy, what did Jesus tell the disciples about how Christians must be far different from the world (v. 43, 44)?


3.  How is Jesus the ultimate example of the true servant, the theme and message of this Gospel according to Mark (v. 45)?


4.  Whoever aspires to be first, Jesus tells them, must be a slave (Greek doulos), one who forfeits his own rights in order to serve others, not his own interests, voluntarily and sacrificially.[viii]  How did some of His followers a bit later demonstrate how they lived this principle (for example, Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:10; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1)?


5.  It is vital for us to understand the concept of Jesus giving His life as a ransom for many.  The word ransom is lutron, occurring only here and in Matthew 20:28, meaning the price for redeeming, the ransom paid for slaves. The word for is anti, meaning instead of.  Jesus paid the ransom money for slaves of sin who could not pay it themselves, namely, His own precious blood.  Jesus was speaking about the substitutionary aspect of His atonement. What are some of the things that the following passages tell us about what He has done for us by ransoming us?


Romans 6:16, 20-22

Hebrews 2:14, 15; 4:14-16

1 Peter 1:18-23

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.


For even the Son of Man did not _____________ to be ___________________, but to ________________, and to _________________ His life a ____________________ for many.  Mark 10:45 (nkjv)


DAY FOUR:  He is Calling for You

Please carefully read Mark 10:46-52 and answer the following questions.

1.  Jesus now traveled to the Jericho area.  Jericho is five miles west of the Jordan River, six miles north of the Dead Sea, and fifteen air miles and twenty-one road miles northeast of Jerusalem. It was considered to be a Judean city. Therefore Jesus had crossed back over the Jordan and was nearing the completion of his journey to Jerusalem. The Jericho of New Testament times was about two miles south of the one of the Old Testament period and before. The former had been built by Herod the Great (37–4 B.C.) as a winter palace.[ix]  Who did Jesus come across on the road, and how did he react when he heard Jesus was nearby (v. 46, 47)?


The Son of David

When Bartimeus called Jesus Lord he used the title Rabboni, “my Master.” The only other person in the Gospels who used it was Mary (John 20:16). The beggar twice called him Son of David, a national messianic title, but Rabboni was an expression of personal faith[x]. The title Son of David designated the Messiah as David’s Descendant (2 Samuel 7:8-16) and became a recognized title of the Messiah.  Bartimeus, despite physical blindness, “saw” and believed Jesus was Israel’s Messiah. Jesus did not silence him, implying He accepted the title.[xi]  In an odd twist to this story, there is an apocryphal book called The Testament of Solomon, in which it was believed as the literal son of David, Solomon could magically prevent problems, was an exorcist, and a healer; some have thought that Bartimeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah because of an association with Solomon, or perhaps thought it was Solomon himself come back again, so he called Him the Son of David.[xii]  More likely, other travelers had told him about Jesus and His healing work, and Bartimeus trusted that Jesus was his Messiah as the Bible predicted.  By faith God honored his request, as we’ll see below.


2.  How did the people actually try to discourage Bartimeus, but how did he persist and find reward for his faith (v. 48-50)?


3.  What did the man ask of Jesus, and what was the result of this all (v. 51, 52)?


4.  When Bartimeus heard the news that Jesus was calling him, the text says he rose, in Greek anastas, but that really means he jumped up, leaped up, sprang up.  This Greek word is the root of the word from which we get resurrection, anastasis.  This man was in route to experiencing his personal resurrection from death in sin to life in Christ, from walking in darkness to walking in the light.  What was it that made the difference for this man?  Kenneth Wuest well stated it:


The words of the crowd, changing quickly from those of rebuke to those of friendliness, are terse, “Courage, rise, He calls you!” no superfluous words, just as a crowd would speak. Expositors say: “Graphic description of the beggar’s eager response—mantle thrown off, jumping to his feet, he comes, runs, to Jesus. Though blind, he needs no guide, led by his ear.” [xiii]


It was the gracious call of Jesus that encouraged him to take this step of faith.  Often we speak of how we found God, or us receiving Christ, etc., but what a blessing to know that He called us, found us and received us as His own, though we were lost in the darkness of sin.  What are some things that these passages tell us about this?


Acts 2:38, 39

Romans 5:6-8; 8:28-30

1 Corinthians 1:9, 24

Ephesians 2:4-10; 1 John 4:19


Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.


For _________________ the Son of Man did not _____________ to be ___________________, but to ________________, and to _________________ His _____________ a ____________________ for many.  Mark 10:45 (nkjv)


DAY FIVE: Other Events from the Time

Please carefully read the selected passages and answer the following questions.


So we close out the middle section of the Gospel of Mark.  As we have seen, Mark is very focused on reaching the main point of his Gospel, seeing the Son of Man fulfill His ultimate service for mankind, ransoming us out of the pits of sin to walk with and follow Him.  Having reached this point, Mark went on to the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  But he also omitted a few things interesting to us that happened at this time.  Due to limited time let’s take a brief look at three of them here.


1.  The Story of Zacchaeus, Luke 19:1-10


Zacchaeus was a wee little man; a wee little man was he. So goes the Sunday School song.  Yet his encounter with Jesus shows the power of God to change even the most hardened and unlikely person.  Read through these verses and briefly record some things you learn from this, and how it also fits into the theme that Mark presented.

2. The Parable of the Ten Minas, Luke 19:11-27


Luke told us here that many thought the Kingdom of God would come immediately, so Jesus used this parable to teach the people more about the growth and conclusion of the time before He returns to set up that Kingdom on earth.  Read through this passage; write down some of the facts of the parable.  What does it seem to mean for others and yourself as we wait for Jesus to return?


 3.  The Raising of Lazarus, John 11:1-44


This is probably the most convincing and undeniable sign that Jesus did that was selected by John to help us believe that Jesus is the Christ and salvation comes through Him alone (John 20:30, 31).  Jesus delayed His coming to Bethany although He knew Lazarus was ill, and then left after he had died.  This was confusing to His followers, as it is when God allows tragedy to strike and it seems like God maybe doesn’t care about us.  Read John 11:17-44 and record your thoughts about this incident.  How do the reactions of the people involved here differ?  What can you learn from this personally?

Scripture Memory:  Can you write out this week’s passage by memory here below?  Give it a try, and keep reviewing the passage several times throughout the day.


Mark 10:45:



Following Christ


So much is contained in Mark 10 that we might have missed if we didn’t slow down to take a more intense look at it.  This week we can see several things that apply to our lives in general, and no doubt you took home something that spoke to your life personally.  Think about the following questions, record your thoughts, and share your answers with your group so you can help build each other up in Christ.


1.  Amazement and fear often are intertwined with each other.  Jesus no doubt shocked His men with the news of His coming suffering.  Yet without this suffering there is no hope for us to escape the penalty of our sins.  Sometimes though fear will short-circuit our logic and keep us from effectively following Christ.  What are some things that you have found helpful in dealing with fears in your own life, real or imagined?  What is it that makes you the most fearful, something that you dread?  Please read the following truths that Oswald Chambers shared, then record your thoughts:

At the beginning we were sure we knew all about Jesus Christ, it was a delight to sell all and to fling ourselves out in a hardihood of love; but now we are not quite so sure. Jesus is on in front and He looks strange. “Jesus went before them: and they were amazed.”

There is an aspect of Jesus that chills the heart of a disciple to the core and makes the whole spiritual life gasp for breath. This strange Being with His face set like a flint and His striding determination strikes terror into me. He is no longer Counsellor and Comrade, He is taken up with a point of view I know nothing about, and I am amazed at Him. At first I was confident that I understood Him, but now I am not so sure. I begin to realize there is a distance between Jesus Christ and me; I can no longer be familiar with Him. He is ahead of me and He never turns round; I have no idea where He is going, and the goal has become strangely far off.

Jesus Christ had to fathom every sin and every sorrow man could experience, and that is what makes Him seem strange. When we see Him in this aspect we do not know Him, we do not recognize one feature of his life, and we do not know how to begin to follow Him. He is on in front, a Leader Who is very strange, and we have no comradeship with Him.

The discipline of dismay is an essential necessity in the life of discipleship. The danger is to get back to a little fire of our own and kindle enthusiasm at it (cf. Isaiah 50:10-11). When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is an unspeakable joy.[xiv]

2.  We are surprised that James and John would have the audacity to ask Jesus to make them number two men in His coming Kingdom.  The other ten disciples were upset by this, probably because they hadn’t thought of it first!  We must remember that there is nothing wrong in seeking to have a place of leadership in the kingdom; “If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work” (1 Timothy 3:1, nkjv).  But Jesus’ definition of a leader is to be a servant, to deny one’s self and humbly serve others.  Talk about the opposite of the world’s definition!   How did this strike you personally?  Do you think you fit Jesus’ definition of a leader, or are you seeking to be preeminent over others?  Share your thoughts here.

In order to obey our Lord we must accumulate all possible circumstances to reinforce the right motive. It is easy to sit in a drawing-room and think about the terrible condition of things in the world, and pray and sentimentalise over it to further orders; but Jesus says, “I have given you an example, that you should go and do to others what I have done to you.” If all Jesus Christ had done was to have sat before His Father’s throne and prayed for us, we would have been exonerated for leaving things undone, but He has given us an example to follow. Never allow that your circumstances exonerate you from obeying any of the commands of Jesus. The lessons which have to be repeated are those we have not bothered our heads to learn.[xv]


3.  "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." (Mark 10:49, niv).  What a great way to close out our study this week.  Jesus is calling for you; it is time for you to leap up, arise from your state of spiritual deadness and come to life, get on your feet and serve and honor the one who alone healed us from our most deadly disability, sin.  What will you do with the advice the crowd gave the poor blind beggar that day?

When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17, tlb)


Scripture Memory:  Hopefully you now can write out this week’s passage completely by memory.  Do so now, and keep on reviewing it so you will be ready to share it with others in your group time.


Mark 10:45:

[i] Larry W, Hurtado, Mark.  In W. Ward Gasque ed., New International Biblical Commentary New Testament, Vol. 2 (Peabody:  Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1983, 1989), p. 175.

[ii] James A. Brooks, Mark.  In David S. Dockery ed., The New American Commentary Vol. 23 (Nashville:  Broadman Press, 1991), p. 166.

[iii] John D. Grassmick, Mark.  In John F. Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, 1983), p. 152.

[iv] John D. Grassmick, Mark., p. 152.

[v] A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1932, 1933, 1997).

[vi] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1 (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, Inc., 1989), p. 147.

[vii] Unless elsewhere noted, all Greek word/phrase translations are based on the following:  A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1932, 1933, 1997);  James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:  Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Electronic Edition (Ontario:  Woodside Bible Fellowship; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996); M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002); Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1984, 1997); and Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary:  New Testament, Electronic Edition (Chattanooga:  AMG Publishers, in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1992, 1993, 2000).

[viii] John D. Grassmick, Mark., p. 154.

[ix] James A. Brooks, Mark.  In David S. Dockery ed., The New American Commentary, Vol. 23 (Nashville:  Broadman Press, 1991), p. 172.

[x] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1, p. 148.

[xi] John D. Grassmick, p. 155.

[xii] J.H. Charlesworth, The Son of David:  Solomon and Jesus.  In Peder Borgen and Soren Giverson eds., The New Testament and Hellenistic Judaism (Peabody:  Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1995), p. 79-87.

[xiii] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1984, 1997).

[xiv] Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year(March 15th) . Discovery House Publishers: Grand Rapids, 1935, 1993.

[xv] Oswald Chambers, Biblical Ethics (Haunts, U.K.:  Marshall, Morgan, & Scott, 1947; in Bellingham: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).



© 2006 by Harvest Christian Fellowship. All rights reserved. Written by Thomas Klock for Men’s Bible Fellowship, 2005-2006.







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