NT Reading – April 22

Mark 10

Jesus’ Teaching about Divorce

10 Getting up, He *went from there to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; crowds *gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them.

Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

10 In the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again. 11 And He *said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; 12 and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

The Rich Young Ruler

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

23 And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus *answered again and *said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

28 Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”

Jesus’ Sufferings Foretold

32 They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were fearful. And again He took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him, 33 saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles. 34 They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”

35 James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, *came up to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.” 36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37 They said to Him, “Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 They said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. 40 But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

41 Hearing this, the ten began to feel indignant with James and John. 42 Calling them to Himself, Jesus *said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. 43 But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

46 Then they *came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they *called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” 50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51 And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

Satisfaction Guaranteed?

Genesis 30.

Another day in the drama which is Jacob’s life…his love-at-first-site romance with Rachel has turned into a complicated soap opera where relationships serve only to further the selfish ambitions of the actors involved.

Each of the major players (Jacob, Leah, Rachel, Laban) are looking for satisfaction…we could call it meaning or significance or fulfillment…whatever. They are pursuing things, relationships, that they believe will give them satisfaction. And like a mirage, the closer they get to it, the less satisfying it is. The story feels very earthy with nary a mention of God. Everything seems very ordinary. And we’re tempted to ask the same question we asked last week, “Where is God in all this mess?” He’s still at work… through the mess…to bring about His purposes.

Even in the ordinary, the extraordinary is going on. We see God’s extraordinary grace at work in the provision of twelve children. He even remembers Rachel. Each child is a gift from the LORD. We see His extraordinary grace at work in providing exceedingly for Jacob to the chagrin of Laban. We see His extraordinary grace at work because through this very messy situation He will bring about the nation of Israel who will carry forward His redemptive purposes. Our day-to-day activities may seem very ordinary, but when God is at work it’s always extraordinary.

Jacob and crew are neck deep in the mess that they’ve created…many of us are in the same boat. We are neck deep in the messes we’ve created. Can’t blame anyone else. Some of us are still looking for satisfaction in things or people that cannot satisfy…anytime we attempt to find fulfillment, satisfaction, meaning in life apart from a relationship with Jesus, it’s a mirage. It’s destined to bring disappointment, despair, depression. Just ask Robin Williams. World famous comedian. Academy award-winning actor. All around good guy…but it wasn’t enough. Any pursuit that doesn’t have a kingdom focus…“seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”…will leave you empty. But one that starts there…“and all these things will be added to you” satisfies at a soul level. You may feel like you’ve blown up your life, made such a mess of things that you wonder whether or not there is hope this side of eternity. The good news…there is. God is not done. He’s not done with Jacob’s story, and He’s not done with ours. He can and does work through our messes. Jacob, Leah, Rachel, Laban. His grace abounds. And we can experience His grace knowing His amazing love for us.

May we be a people, who, in the midst of our messes, is able to trust Jesus to work through our messes to bring about the incredible destiny He has for us, and may that spur us on to love and good deeds, finding satisfaction in Him and loving in crazy ways.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster