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"But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler
Mark 10:17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
With God All Things Are Possible
Mark 10:23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
[Mark 10:21] Jesus is not saying that salvation is dependent on any human good work. In fact it is just the opposite (salvation is always "by grace ... through faith, and ... not of works," Eph. 2:8, 9). The rich man came and asked Jesus what he must "do" to inherit eternal life (v. 17). That he was trusting his human efforts can be seen in v. 20. Jesus wants the man to see that the kingdom of God is something that must be "received" in complete trust and dependence on God (cf. v. 15). Jesus also recognizes that this rich man's wealth has made him self-reliant; so the command to go and sell his possessions is meant to cause him to remove the obstacle that kept him from eternal life.
[Mark 10:25] Jesus is using a gentle and humorous mixture of irony and hyperbole in this epigram. Richness is not repulsive to God. However, man's tendency to trust in riches or to be absorbed totally in the pursuit of them makes the difficulty of a rich man's entering heaven profound indeed. The expression was intended as a serious warning couched in a deliberately humorous view.
[Mark 10:28] (vv. 28-31) In closing this section of teaching on discipleship, Jesus assures His disciples that all those who have made sacrifices and endured persecution for the sake of the kingdom will be rewarded, both in the present life and in the age to come.
NSRV & Believer's Study Bible (BSB) Notes
Readings for the week of October 21st
SJLC's Weekly Audio Sermon Archive
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1137 Alice Drive • Sumter, South Carolina 29150 • Tel: (803) 773-2260
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