Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible
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Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible
Mark Chapter 10

Mark 10:1-12 "And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again. 2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. 3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? 4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

See this question about divorce explained in the notes at Matthew 19:1-12.

 

Mark 10:12 "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

And if a woman shall put away her husband - It would seem, from this, that a woman, among the Jews, had the power of separating herself from her husband, yet this right is not given her by the law of Moses. There is not, however, any positive evidence that females often claimed or exercised this right. Cases had occurred, indeed, in which it had been done. The wife of Herod had rejected her former husband and married Herod. And though instances of this kind "might" have been attempted to be defended by the example of Pagans, yet our Saviour was desirous of showing them that it did not free them from the charge of adultery. The apostles were going forth to teach Pagan nations, and it was proper for Christ to teach them how to act in such cases, and to show them that they were cases of real adultery.

 

Mark 10:13-16

See the notes at Matthew 19:13-15.

 

Mark 10:13 "And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them."

Should touch them - That is, should lay his hands on them, and pray for them, and bless them. Compare Matthew 19:13. It was common to lay the hands on the head of a person for whom a blessing was asked. See the case of Jacob (Genesis 48:14).

 

Mark 10:14 "But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."

Saw it - Saw the conduct of his disciples.

Was much displeased - Because, first, it was a pleasure to Him to receive and bless little children; and, secondly, they were doing what they were not commanded to do - interfering in a case where it was evidently improper.

 

Mark 10:15 "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."

Whosoever shall not receive - Whosoever shall not manifest the spirit of a little child.

The kingdom, of God - The gospel. The new dispensation by the Messiah, "or the reign of God through a Mediator." See the notes at Matthew 3:2.

As a little child - With the temper and spirit of a child - teachable, mild, humble, and free from prejudice and obstinacy.

Shall not enter therein - Shall not be a Christian; shall not be a "real" member of the family of Christ on earth. though he may be a "professor," and shall never enter heaven.

 

Mark 10:16 "And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them."

Took them up in his arms - These were small children.

Blessed them - Prayed for them, sought a blessing on them, or gave them the assurance of his favor as the Messiah. How happy would it be if all parents thus felt it to be their privilege to present their children to Christ! The question with a parent should be, not whether he ought to present them by prayer, but whether he "may" do it. And so, too, the question respecting infant baptism is not so much whether a parent ought to devote his children to God in this ordinance, as whether he may do it. It is an inestimable privilege to do it; it is not a matter of mere stern and iron-handed duty; and a parent with right feelings will come to God with his children "in every way," and seek his blessing on them in the beginning of their journey of life. Our children are given to us but for a little time. They are in a world of danger, sin, and woe. They are exposed to temptation on every hand,

If God be not their friend, they "have" no friend that can aid them in the day of adversity, or keep them from the snares of the destroyer. If he is their friend they have nothing to fear. The "proper expression, then, of parental feeling," is to come and offer them early to God. A parent should ask only the "privilege" of doing it. He should seek God's favor as the best inheritance of his children; and if a parent may devote his offspring to God - if he may daily seek his blessing on them by prayer - it is all that he should ask. With proper feelings he will rush to the throne of grace, and daily seek the protection and guidance of God for his children amid the temptations and snares of an ungodly world, and implore Him to be their guide when the parent shall be laid in the silent grave. So children who have been devoted to God - who have been the daily objects of a father's prayers and a mother's - tears who have been again and again presented to Jesus in infancy and childhood - are under the most sacred obligations to live to God. They should never forget that a parent sought the favor of God as the chief blessing; and having been offered to "Jesus" by prayer and baptism in their first days on earth, they should make it their great aim to be prepared to meet "him" when he shall come in the clouds of heaven.

 

Mark 10:17-31

See this passage illustrated in the notes at Matthew 19:16-30.

 

Mark 10:17 "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"

Gone forth - From the place where he had been teaching.

Into the way - Into the road or path on his journey.

Running - Thus showing the intensity with which he desired to know the way of life. Zeal to know the way to be saved is proper, nor is it possible that it should be too intense if well directed. Nothing else is so important, and nothing demands, therefore, so much effort and haste.

 

Mark 10:19 "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother."

Defraud not - Do not take away your neighbor's property by fraud or dishonesty. To "cheat" or "defraud," supposes a covetous desire of a neighbor's property, and is usually attended with "falsehood" or "false witness" against a neighbor in obtaining it. It is thus a violation of the ninth and tenth commandments; and our Saviour very properly, therefore, "condensed the two," and expressed their substance in this - not to defraud. It is, besides, expressly forbidden in Leviticus 19:13; "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor."

 

Mark 10:21 "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me."

Jesus beholding him, loved him - What occurred afterward showed that the young man did not love the Saviour, or was not a true disciple; so that this expression denotes simply natural affection, or means that Jesus was pleased with his amiableness, his morality, and his "external" regard for the law of God. At the same time, this was entirely consistent with deep sorrow that he would not give his heart to God, and with deep abhorrence of such a love of the world as to blind the mind to the beauty of true religion, and to lead to the rejection of the Messiah and the destruction of the soul.

One thing thou lackest - When the young man came to Jesus he asked him, "What lack I yet?" (Matthew 19:20). This "question" Mark has omitted, but he has retained the "answer." The answer means, there is "one thing" yet wanting. Though all that you have said should be "true," yet, to make the system complete, or to show that you "really" are disposed to keep the commands of God, go and sell your property. See whether you love "God" more than you do your "wealth." By doing that you will show that your love of God is supreme; that your obedience is not merely "external" and "formal," but "sincere" and "real;" the thing now "lacking" will be made up.

 

Mark 10:24 "And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!"

Children - An expression of affection, perhaps also implying a reproof that their slowness of understanding was like that of children. When they should have seen at once the truth of what he said, they were slow to learn it. It became necessary, therefore, to "repeat" what he had said.

How hard - With how much difficulty.

 

Mark 10:26 "And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?"

Out of measure - Very much, or exceedingly. The Greek means no more than this.

 

Mark 10:30 "But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life."

An hundred-fold - One hundred times as much.

In this time - In this life. In the time that he forsakes all.

Houses ... - This cannot be taken literally, as promising a hundred times as many "mothers, sisters," etc. It means, evidently, that the loss shall be a hundred times "compensated" or made up; or that, in the possession of religion, we have a hundred times the "value" of all we forsake. This consists in the pardon of sin, in the favor of God, in peace of conscience, in support in trials and in death, and in raising up "friends" in the place of those who are left - "spiritual brethren, and sisters, and mothers," etc. And this corresponds to the experience of all who ever became Christians. At the same time. it is true that godliness is profitable "for all things," having the promise of the life that is, as well as of that which is to come. See the notes at 1 Timothy 4:8. "The favor of God" is the security for every blessing. Obedience to his law secures industry, temperance, chastity, economy, prudence, health, and the confidence of the world - all indispensable to success in life, and all connected. commonly, with success. Though the wicked "sometimes" prosper, yet the "surest" way of prosperity is to fear God and keep his commandments. Thus will all "needed" blessings descend on us "here," and "eternal" blessings hereafter.

With persecutions - Persecutions, or the contempt of the world, and bodily sufferings on account of their religion, they "must" meet. Jesus did not conceal this; but he consoled them. He assured them that "amid" these, or perhaps it should be rendered "after" these, they should find friends and comfort. It is well to bear trial if "God" be our Friend. With the promises of the Bible in our hand, we may hail persecutions, and thank God that, amid so many sorrows, he has furnished such abundant consolations.

 

Mark 10:32-34

See the notes at Matthew 20:17-19.

 

Mark 10:32 "And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,"

Jesus went before him - In the manner of an intrepid, fearless leader and guide, exposing "himself" to danger and death rather than his followers.

And they rather amazed ... - They were afraid that evil would befall him in the city; that the scribes and Pharisees, who had so often sought to kill him, would then do it. Their fear and amazement were increased when he told them what would befall him there. They were amazed that, when he knew so well what would happen, he should still persevere in going up to the city.

 

Mark 10:35-45

See the notes at Matthew 20:20-28.

 

Mark 10:35 "And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire."

And James and John ...came unto him - They did this through the instrumentality of their mother. They did not come in "person," but they got their mother to make the request for them. Compare the notes at Matthew 20:20.

 

Mark 10:46-52

See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 20:29-34.

 

Mark 10:46 "And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging."

Blind Bartimeus - Matthew says there were two. Mark mentions but one, though he does not deny that there was another. He mentions this man because he was well known - Bartimeus, the "blind man."

 

Mark 10:50 "And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus."

Casting away his garment - That is, his outer garment - the one that was thrown loosely over him. See the notes at Matthew 5:40. He threw it off, full of joy at the prospect of being healed, and that he might run without impediment to Jesus. This may be used to illustrate - though it had no such original reference - the manner in which a sinner should come to Jesus. He should throw away the garments of his own righteousness - he should rise speedily - should run with joy - should have full faith in the power of Jesus, and cast himself entirely upon his mercy.


Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible
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