Translate

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mark 10 and the Kingdom of God Part Three



Mark 10 and the Kingdom of God…[1] ([2]) ([3])
“What shall we have therefore?”
Part THREE



Matthew 19:27 (KJV)
27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee;
what shall we have therefore? [4]

Mark 10:28-31
28  aPeter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.”
29  Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, athere 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  1but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in 2the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in athe age to come, eternal life.
31  “But amany who are first will be last, and the last, first.”[5]

To begin today, I’d like to share something I posted on social media; it does pertain to our lesson – in fact all the lessons we learn in life.
Hebrews 12:1-17 (NET)
12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,1 we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, 12:2 keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.2 12:3 Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. 12:4 You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed3 in your struggle against sin. 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons?
My son, do not scorn4 the Lord’s discipline
or give up when he corrects5 you.
12:6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.6
12:7 Endure your suffering7 as discipline;8 God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 12:8 But if you do not experience discipline,9 something all sons10 have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. 12:9 Besides, we have experienced discipline from11 our earthly fathers12 and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life?13 12:10 For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. 12:11 Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful.14 But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness15 for those trained by it. 12:12 Therefore, strengthen16 your listless hands and your weak knees,17 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet,18 so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.
12:14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness,19 for without it no one will see the Lord. 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God, that no one be like a bitter root springing up20 and causing trouble, and through him many become defiled. 12:16 And see to it that no one becomes21 an immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.22 12:17 For you know that23 later when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no opportunity for repentance, although he sought the blessing24 with tears. [6]

“…Have any of us considered these verses as they relate to your (or my) life? ALL of God's lessons, be they great or small first have a very limited audience - either to yourself or in this case myself first.. Look around you today - today you and I are surrounded by a great "cloud" or a "company" of witnesses - those who either by word or deed testify to the love of God and to the salvation He gives through His Son, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. All around us are those involved in the race - the race to the finish. Some are mighty in God, some are just beginning. Some are seeing the manifestation of blessings, some, like myself are seeing correction in their walk. Some of us today are in the fire - and it could be emotional, spiritual, physical - but fire it is and we don't know how or when the fire will be put out. It is only through fire though that gold and silver can be purified and refined; though it is not pleasant the righteousness that will be obtained from the experiences will be worth it on the other side. We are in the process of being set apart - sanctified - made holy; this we need for where there is no holiness, there is no God. If we want to see God, we have to be made holy.  Only the race to the finish can produce this in us. Whatever the trial, some of us have let the root of bitterness take hold - and thus we are defiled, made unworthy of the holiness God seeks to create in us.
Have you ever seen a runner at the end of the race? He leans over, hands on his knees, gasping for breath - he is weary. He is tired. This life - nay, this world - beats us down, robs us of our peace, our joy, our safety and comfort. It is then we just want to quit, to stop, unfortunately well short of the finish line - too tired to go on. Have you felt that way?  I have and do. The end looks so far away - and the weight of this world is so heavy - it feels as if it will crush me if I go another step; and so the root of bitterness sinks deep into the ground, holding me in the spot where I stopped.... But the race is not over. The quality of our lives is not measured in whether or not we are the first to cross the finish line - it is measured by the fact that despite the pain, the emotional and physical abuse, the whatever, we lift feeble hands off our knees and take one more step - then another - till we pull that root of bitterness out of the ground and we strive on, the goal to cross the line. We are not to be as Esau for our birthright is Messiah!  We know He is the Holy Root - of peace, joy, mercy, forgiveness, grace truth and righteousness. There is nothing bitter in Him at all, no matter the circumstances we are in.

Is there fire in your life? Rejoice.
Is there weeping in your soul? Repent and reach to Him.
Is the burden too heavy? Lay it down.

O lift up the hands that hang low, stand tall on feeble knees; Messiah Yeshua is our redeemer; He awaits us at the finish line - keep going, the race is not over... Reject the profane of this world, embrace the sacred of God and rejoice, yea I say rejoice for our salvation draws nigh...”

This study has been a hard lesson.  Since we have started this lesson, the truth of Yeshua’s words have hit home: “…1but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in 2the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions…”  There has been much persecution, much trouble, many trials for your author.  When you write about truth, it goes without saying, stuff happens.  Life, in all its forms – good or evil, has a way to rear up and test you, to see if one will stay the course or not.  It also bares a man’s heart or burdens it.  Both have been such in my case; as soon as I purposed to sit at the keyboard and write, the trouble began.  On top of recovering from surgery, I chose to take in an adult son and his family that have been struggling and in turn have to deal with the complications that goes with that decision.  This has, in retrospect, presented hurdles I failed to anticipate.  In spite of a rough (and I do mean very rough) start and a lot of soul searching, I press on.  My brethren, most will not write to you of the “warts and wrinkles” in their life; but I will.  Not to bore you or seek your sympathy (or condolences), but to offer myself up before you as – a human being, just like you.  I used to put teachers on a pedestal, like they “ oh wow!”, knew something I didn’t. But in the end, they put their pants on as me, one leg at a time, they hunger, they thirst, they make mistakes, they get angry, they get bushwhacked by bad decisions – they are human.  So this is how I come before you, as one of you; not to dazzle you with my “brilliance [lol]” or befuddle you with b-s…. I just come to you to let you know I struggle also, but God, in His wisdom and mercy, in His infinite patience and grace, gives me a way through it all.  That way is taking shape in the form of this epistle, to write, to encourage, to hope with you that in some way I can help you shape a greater image of Yahveh’s greatness, and understand more the depth and richness of His Love.  This is my catharsis, God’s way of helping me conquer the trials in my life; thanks be to Him and you for letting me share with you.

Let’s go on with our study.
Mark 10:29-31
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, athere 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  1but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in 2the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in athe age to come, eternal life.
31  “But amany who are first will be last, and the last, first.”[7]

What is it Messiah is saying here?  What was the “hundred fold” increase the disciples were to acquire in their lifetimes?  Does the stories of their deaths give us any clues? The Scriptures only record the death of two disciples: Judas Iscariot and James, son of Zebedee in Acts 12:2.  The story of the rest come to us through different “traditions” found in a variety of sources but here is a glimpse:

·         “…Simon surnamed Peter  died 33-34 years after the death of Christ.  According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary there is “satisfactory evidence that he and Paul were the founders of the church at Rome, and died in that city. The time and manner of the apostle’s martyrdom are less certain. According to the early writers, he died at or about the same time with Paul, and in the Neronian persecution, A.D. 67,68. All agree that he was crucified. Origen says that Peter felt himself to be unworthy to be put to death in the same manner as his Master, and was therefore, at his own request, crucified with his head downward.”
·         James the son of Zebedee (AKA James the Greater):  He was put to death by Herod Agrippa I  shortly before the day of the Passover, in the year 44 or about 11 years after the death of Christ.  From Acts 12: 1-2.
·         John (the Beloved): No death date given by early writers.  Death date is by conjecture only and is variously assigned as being between 89 AD to 120 AD
·         Andrew:  No accurate death date given. A variety of traditions say he preached in Scythia, in Greece, in Asia Minor and Thrace.  He is reported to have been crucified at Patrae in Achaia.
·         Philip:  Again, the Bible does not say when he died nor do we have accurate information.  According to tradition he preached in Phrygia, and died at Hierapolis. Update: FoxNews July 27, 2011 Tomb of the Apostle Phillip is found in Hierapolis.
·         Bartholomew: There is no information concerning his death, not even by tradition
·         Matthew: He must have lived many years as an apostle, since he was the author of the Gospel of Matthew which was written at least twenty years after the death of Christ. There is reason to believe that he stayed for fifteen years at Jerusalem, after which he went as missionary to the Persians, Parthians and Medes. There is a legend that he died a martyr in Ethiopia.
·         Thomas: The earlier traditions, as believed in the fourth century, say he preached in Parthia or Persia, and was finally buried at Edessa. The later traditions carry him farther east.   His martyrdom whether in Persia or India, is said to have been by a lance, and is commemorated by the Latin Church on December 21 the Greek Church on October 6, and by the Indians on July 1.
·         Simon the Canaanite – No information either in the Bible or by tradition…”[8]
·         Jude (Thaddeus): According to tradition, Saint Jude suffered martyrdom about 65 AD in Beirut, in the Roman province of Syria, together with the apostle Simon the Zealot, with whom he is usually connected.[9] He is by tradition brother of James the Just, half-brother to Yeshua.
·         Judas Iscariot: Shortly after the death of Christ Judas killed himself. According to the Bible he hanged himself, (Matthew 27:5) at Aceldama, on the southern slope of the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, and in the act he fell down a precipice and was dashed into pieces…”[10]
·         “…Paul: Beheaded, or torn to pieces by wild animals in the arena, during the time of Nero.
·         Luke: [though not officially an Apostle] …was the author of the Gospel which is called by his name, and also probably the Book Of Acts. One account states that he died of old age, while another says that he was hanged in an olive tree in Greece…”[11]
·         James Alpheus : (Authors Note: according to early Christian writers and tradition, some identify him as a cousin of Yeshua or as “James the Less or the Younger” . Tradition maintains he was crucified at Ostrakine in Lower Egypt, where he was preaching the Gospel. [12]
·         James the Just, brother of Yeshua: Eusebius [260-340 AD] tells of three different accounts of the death of James the brother of Yeshua [one from Clement of Alexandria 150-215 AD, one from Hegesippus 110-180 AD and from Josephus]. According to tradition, James son of Alpheus was thrown down from the temple by the scribes and Pharisees; he was then stoned, and his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club. [13]

Others we know of:

·         “…John The Baptist: was beheaded by Herod. (Matthew 14:1-12)
·         Stephen: The account of Stephen is very well documented in the Bible (Acts chapters 6 and 7). He is generally regarded as the first Christian martyr.
·         It has been estimated that about 2,000 Christians, along with Nicanor, one of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5), also suffered martyrdom during the great persecution that arose after Stephen (Acts 8:1)…”[14]

So what was their increase?  The souls they gathered unto Yeshua.  Everywhere they went, they fulfilled Yeshua’s words:
Mark 3:31-35 (NET)
3:31 Then57 Jesus’58 mother and his brothers59 came. Standing60 outside, they sent word to him, to summon him. 3:32 A crowd was sitting around him and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers61 are outside looking for you.” 3:33 He answered them and said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”62 3:34 And looking at those who were sitting around him in a circle, he said, “Here63 are my mother and my brothers! 3:35 For whoever does the will of God is64 my brother and sister and mother.” [15]

As the Apostles taught and led many to the Messiah, so increased their houses, their mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers.  They had joy, yet many were the persecutions.  The stories of their deaths should tell us something though: what they lived had to be truth, for who among us is willing to die for a lie? If they were human like us, with all of their own “warts and wrinkles”, can we not, at least for the sake of conjecture, admit no one would  suffer or die for a lie – only truth with enable a person to do so.

It is here some of us stumble.  We act human. DCtalk had a song on their “Jesus Freak” album whose chorus went thus:
“What if I stumble what if I fall
What if I lose my step
And I've made fools of us all
Will the love continue
When my walk becomes a crawl
What if I stumble
And what if I fall”
[16]

  What if we stumble? Does that invalidate our witness?  Does it reveal us as hypocrites?  If I shame my God because of my actions, then what is my recourse?  Repent, before God and man.  Oh yes, there are setbacks: yes, there are consequences.  If we stumble in sin, there is always a consequence, one that we cannot choose.  We can choose the sin, but not the fall-out… What does this have to do with the death of the Apostles?  They were chosen for the path they all tread – even knowing the consequences.  Their Master had died – I do not believe any of them were under the delusion that the same could not happen to them.  Even in obedience, we don’t get to choose the consequence.

                There are many themes that run throughout Mark 10, but for now, there are just two we must focus on:
1.       The hardness of the heart;
2.       That we are human, and always seem to want more.

We see this in Simon Kefa’s (Peter’s) question:  “…what shall we  have therefore?...”

  This is a fairly typical – human – response.  After all, he had just heard Yeshua tell the disciples how hard it was for the rich to enter into heaven.  These men, young men with a life ahead of them, had walked away from the professions they knew; the sons of Zebedee had left their father’s boat, Kefa had a wife (and possibly other family members) to support.  Andrew and the one he was with left Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) to follow Messiah – all had given up something.  Now they wondered was it worth it?  Think about what is asked from a disciple of Messiah.  They are told, not asked, but required, to lay down their lives.  All hopes, all dreams, all future plans – gone with the decision to follow Yeshua.  This is their ultimate sacrifice: as their Master gave totally of Himself, the disciples are expected to do the same, to aim higher, to reach for perfection in this, the highest calling.  So how did Yeshua answer Peter’s question, the one in all their thoughts?

“…in athe age to come, eternal life.
31  “But amany who are first will be last, and the last, first…”[17]

Eternal life in the `olam haba[18]; persecutions in the `olam hazeh[19].  But what did He (Yeshua) mean when He said:

“…But amany who are first will be last, and the last, first…”

Vine puts it as this:
“…The combination of “first” and “last” is an idiom of completeness…”[20]

Many are the explanations of this verse; some think that the many that are first refers to those who sleep in the dust, mainly the patriarchs and prophets of old who anticipated the Messiah yet knew Him not; others feel it was a warning to the disciples not to count their chickens before the eggs (so to speak); I think we have to turn to the discourse in Matthew 20 to understand this verse…

Matthew 20:1-16 (ISV)
1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the workers for one denariusa a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock,b he saw others standing in the marketplace without work. 4He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard, too, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5So off they went. He went out again about noonc and about three o’clockd and did the same thing. 6About five o’clocke he went out and found some others standing around. He said to them, ‘Why are you standing here all day long without work?’ 7They told him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard as well.’
8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and give them their wages, beginning with the last and ending withf the first.’ 9Those who were hired at five o’clockg came, and each received a denarius. 10When the first came, they thought they would receive more, but each received a denarius as well. 11When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last fellows worked only one hour, yet you have made them equal to us who have endured the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’ 13But he said to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m not treating you unfairly. You did agree with me for a denarius, didn’t you? 14Take what is yours and go. I want to give this last man as much as I gave you.h 15I am allowed to do what I want with my own money,i am I not? Or is your eye evilj because I am good?’1
16In the same way, the last will be first, and the first will be last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”k, 2 [21]
We will have to be satisfied with Scriptures explanation.
Moving on, we get to the part of Scriptures here in Mark which illustrates my contention of two themes running throughout Mark:
Mark 10:32-37 (KJV)
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, 33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: 34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again. 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. 36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? 37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. [22]

Here for the third time Yeshua again tells of His coming trials and death and resurrection (the previous times occurred in Mark 8:31 and in 9:31).  Pause for a moment though, look at verse 32:  “…and they were in the Way …Jesus before them…”  Going up to Jerusalem from Jericho was a distance of about 18 kilometers, with roughly an elevation gain of 3300 ft. If we go back to the beginning of Mark 10, we find that Yeshua began this journey in Capernaum; let us put the journeys of Messiah into perspective:

“…the least expensive mode of transportation was, of course, walking. Walking speed depended on the climate, season, and terrain, but one could generally walk about 20 miles in a day. Itineraries and travelogues of ancient Egyptians suggest that such a rate was typical for millennia. People walking the Persian Royal Road from Persepolis to Sardis (1,560 miles) averaged 18 miles a day, completing the entire journey in three months; government couriers changing horses at posting stations could cover the same distance in nine days. The Book of Acts recorded Peter walking 40 miles from Joppa to Caesarea in two days. Of course, Jews did not permit travel on the Sabbath, when walking was limited to 2,000 cubits (about three-fifths of a mile).
Jesus, like many of his contemporaries, crisscrossed the country numerous times. Assuming he went from Nazareth to Jerusalem annually for each of the three required annual feasts using the shortest route through Samaria, a distance of 75 miles each way, he would have walked a minimum of 13,500 miles before beginning his ministry. On at least one of his later pilgrimages, he went from Capernaum to Jerusalem by way of Jericho, 106 miles each way. Estimating conservatively, Jesus probably walked at least 15,000 miles in his lifetime…”[23]

Consider these distances when you read your Scriptures:

• Jericho to Bethany
14 miles
• Bethlehem to Jerusalem
5.5 miles
• Nazareth to

     Jerusalem via Jericho
97 miles
     Jerusalem via Samaria
75 miles
     Capernaum
20 miles
     Cana
9.5 miles
     Nain
8 miles
• Capernaum to

Jerusalem
106 miles
     Caesarea Philippi
34 miles
     Magdala
7 miles by land, 3 by boat
     Gergesa almost
6 miles by boat
     Bethsaida
4 miles
     Chorazin almost
2 miles
• Jacob's Well (Shechem) to Jerusalem
39 miles [24]

Still think that the disciples of Messiah were wizened old men?  For three and one half years they chased the Messiah around Israel – a good feat if you were as old as the Renaissance painters pictured the Apostles with Yeshua…

Anyway, here they were on the way with Messiah before them.. a picture we should get into our minds.  Too many believers today want to be in front of Messiah, choosing the way instead of the other way around.  Messiah tells them for the third time that He is to be bound, scourged, and killed… And what do the disciples do?  James and John ask for position… they ask for more. 

Messiah was weary.  His heart was heavy.  Why do I say this? Look again at the passage:

“…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…”

Why would they be amazed?  Why would they be afraid?  I believe, and this is only my opinion, they noticed a change in Yeshua.  They saw maybe His walk slow a bit, His shoulders slump from the stress of what He knew was to take place.  Let us never forget He was a man.  O let us never forget our Messiah’s humanity!  This is what makes Him so special – one like us, yet One with God…  But He’d get hungry; He’d get tired.  He could swing back and forth in emotion, He could laugh and He could weep.  And He loved, oh so completely, without reservation or hesitation.  O the weight that was on those shoulders!  O the heaviness of heart because of the knowing what was ahead..  Can you put yourself in His sandals for just a minute – knowing the weight of the sins of all mankind were to rest upon you, that the peoples deliverance from the bondage of sin and death depended upon you sacrificing your life?  I dare wonder how many of us would have just turned the other way and ran off into the wilderness, to hide ourselves from this horrible fate.  Yet He pushed on, trudging up the road, one foot in front of the other, on to the destiny that was His from before the foundation of the world.  Yes, the weight that He felt had to have been palatable... I would have been afraid also.

And in the midst of all He felt – here were two trusted friends, students who shared all with Him – and they asked for more.  I can almost hear the sigh in His voice as He looked upon these two and said: 

What would ye that I should do for you?

O I weep at these words.  How many times have I tried to negotiate with God and with His Son knowing that even in my selfishness He would answer me?  How often have I asked for more out of the hardness of my heart instead of asking Him “O my precious Lord – what may I do for you?”  O how I cry even now, as I sit here, knowing that so often I forget that He was and is a Man of Sorrows, that weight still upon Him as He strives to get just one more lost sheep into the fold, while I’m asking for the sun, the moon and the stars… 
O brethren, my heartfelt wish right now is to minister to Him, instead of He ministering to me…
O forgive me my Savior, my Master, my Love…
Forgive this man with his hard heart and his coveting more..

Hear the anguish in His voice as He gives them their answer…

Mark 10:37-45 (HCSB)
37 They answered Him, “Allow us to sit at Your right and at Your left in Your glory.” u
38 But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you’re asking. v Are you able to drink the cup w I drink or to be baptized with the baptism x I am baptized with?” y
39 “We are able,” they told Him.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with. z 40 But to sit at My right or left is not Mine to give; instead, it is for those it has been prepared for.” 41 When the other 10 disciples heard this, they began to be indignant with James and John. a
42 Jesus called them over and said to them, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles dominate b them, and their men of high positions exercise power over them. 43 But it must not be like that among you. c On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, d 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave e to all. 45 For even the Son of Man f did not come to be served, but to serve, g and to give His life h—a ransom i for many.” j k  [25]

“…The baptism I am to be baptized with…”  The true baptism – the baptism of blood…  It would be a whole other epistle if we were to get into that today.  Notice He said “You don’t know what you are asking…”   
Think about those Christians that right now are losing their lives in other countries; do you think they know what they are asking for when they come to Messiah?  We whine and plead here in America about how we are portrayed in television and movies, yet overseas believers are beaten, raped, tortured, burned alive, throats cut, beheaded..  Believe me when I say our turn is coming beloved.  It is only a matter of time.  You better be strong, for some of us will suffer unto blood for the sake of Messiah Yeshua.  I know that is not the popular preaching of today’s church, but it is the teaching of Messiah – don’t believe it? Better read Revelation again, only this time forget what you have been taught and let the Holy Spirit teach you the truth…  We must all be ready, for our lives will be given as ransom for many, sooner than we all expect if we are not watching and holding onto the Torah and commandments of God and the testimony of Yeshua.  Don’t let Him catch you as the thief in the night – be ready.

                Hang in there, we are almost finished…
Let us look at the Scriptures and then I’ll unwrap them for you…

(Mark 10:46-52 Israeli Authorized Version)
And they came to Yericho[26]: and as he went out of Yericho with his talmidim[27] and a great number of people, blind Bar-Timai[28], the son of Timai[29], sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Y'shuw`a of Natzeret[30], he began to cry out, and say, Y'shuw`a, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Y'shuw`a stood still, and Commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; He calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Y'shuw`a.
And Y'shuw`a answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?
The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Y'shuw`a said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Y'shuw`a in the way.[31]

O the wealth of insight and knowledge that is contained in just a few verses of Scripture…  Jericho, the City of priests and scribes – and also where the Messianic Writings tell us Yeshua healed two blind men – Bar-Timai being one of them.  Bar-Timai; Son –of – unclean…  reduced to begging at the gates of the priestly city.    He could hear the commotion around him, everyday travelers up and down the highway, to and from the City of God, Jerusalem.  Priests who had drawn the lots of service in the Temple of God, men who would have to be ceremonially clean to perform their duties so to touch that which was unclean?  Some who would only get the chance to serve in the Temple once in their lifetime, so this is part of the reason for the story of the Good Samaritan.  For Bar-Timai, what sounds he must of heard, what conversations were spoken in passing, bits and pieces of a world he could not partake in.  Yeshua walked this road many times – entered the city many times – healed and brought salvation to many (Zaccheus was one success story, Luke 19:1-10), yet how many times did Yeshua see Bar-Timai?  How many times did He pass him by?  So what was different this time? The beggars lined the road and sat by the gates, quietly asking for alms.  Beggars were supposed to be quiet, softly calling out for their alms – alms-giving was a way for a person to show his righteousness in helping the poor, but they didn’t want to be accosted by them.  The beggars wore the cloak – it was their shelter, their “business license”, given to identify them as worthy of receiving alms.  It was all they had, their means of support.  They would spread the cloak out to facilitate collecting the money tossed at them, and wrap themselves at night for shelter from the cold. 

Yeshua went into Jericho that day, and was coming out of the city with a large group of people, talmidim and more than likely priests and others.  As He resumed His journey to Jerusalem it was surely a boisterous occasion – and Bar-Timai heard it.  He also realized who it was that walked the road – Yeshua of Natzeret.  He wasted no time, crying out in loud voice “Yeshua Bar-David!” This shocked all on the road.  Who was this beggar to raise his voice and call out a Messianic title?  They chastised him to keep quiet.  Yet he only yelled louder: “Yeshua Bar-David! Chesed!” (“Yeshua Son of David! Mercy!”)  The Master stopped, and stood still.  The crowd hushed.  Yeshua said “Bo.” “Come.”  O the invitation… The Command: “Come.”  Others told Bar-Timai  that the Master calls for him…

What did he do?  He cast away his garment and with blind eyes and feeble legs came before the Master. And Yeshua asked:
What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?

Surely James and John cringed at that question, the same a weary Yeshua had asked them some time earlier, when they had asked for more… What answer would He give this beggar, they thought?  Would the rebuke be as sharp?  Bar-Timai responded: “Lord, Master, Rabbonai – I want to see.”  And Yeshua?

“Go thy way, thy faith has made thee whole.”

And the blind man could see, and he left all to follow him.

Can you see now brethren?  Can you see the Kingdom of God?  The rich young ruler had everything, yet could give up nothing for the Kingdom.  The disciples gave everything, but wanted something in return.  Power, position, ambition – they argued amongst themselves, yet realized not that the way up is down, to lower themselves as servant, to humble themselves and let God exalt them.  The Kingdom eluded them yet.  But here on the road to Jerusalem, in front of the oldest city in all the world, a blind man saw what they still could not – Messiah, the Son of David.  He received the invitation; he heard the call “come”; he left all he had for the chance to see.  How did blind eyes see so much?  Why cannot our eyes see?  Why are most of us still blind?

Bar-Timai learned, nay, he knew where the Kingdom was.  In a softened heart, that only wanted to see.  The hard heart cannot see the Kingdom; the heart that wants more cannot enter the Kingdom.  Yeshua taught in parabolic language – not to reveal the Kingdom but to keep it from those whose hearts were hard and whose eyes were blind:

Matthew 13:10-15 (JNT)
10 Then the talmidim came and asked Yeshua, “Why are you speaking to them in parables?” 11 He answered, “Because it has been given to you to know the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it has not been given to them. 12 For anyone who has something will be given more, so that he will have plenty; but from anyone who has nothing, even what he does have will be taken away. 13 Here is why I speak to them in parables: they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. 14  That is, in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Yesha‘yahu[32] which says,
You will keep on hearing but never understand,
and keep on seeing but never perceive,
15  because the heart of this people has become dull —
with their ears they barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed,
so as not to see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart,
and do t’shuvah [33],
so that I could heal them.’g  [34]

We as believers have to have “something” to be given “more”.  We have to have a heart prepared for the Kingdom by the baptism of blood, and eyes that can see, ears that can hear for:

(Rom 10:11-21 LITV)
“…For the Scripture says, "Everyone believing on Him will not be put to shame." Isa. 28:16 For there is no difference both of Jew and of Greek, for the same Lord of all is rich toward all the ones calling on Him. For everyone, "whoever may call on the name of the Lord will be saved." Joel 2:32 How then may they call on One into whom they have not believed? And how may they believe One of whom they have not heard? And how may they hear without preaching? And how may they preach if they are not sent? Even as it has been written, "How beautiful" "the feet of those preaching the gospel of peace, of those preaching the gospel of good things." Isa. 52:7 But not all obeyed the gospel, for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" Isa. 53:1
Then faith is of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God.
But I say, Did they not hear? Yes, rather, "into all the earth their voice went out, and to the ends of the world their words." LXX-Psa. 18:5; MT-Psa. 19:4 But I say, Did not Israel know? First, Moses says, "I will provoke you to jealousy by a non-nation, by an unwise nation I will anger you." Deut. 32:21 But Isaiah is very bold and says, "I was found by those not seeking Me; I became known to those not inquiring after Me." Isa. 65:1 But to Israel He says, "All the day I stretched out My hands to a disobeying and contradicting people…" Isa. 65:2 [35]

·         The Kingdom of God is for the powerless, the helpless, those with no voice. 
·         The Kingdom of God is for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. 
·         The Kingdom of God waits for those who are blind, but just want to see. 
        The Kingdom of God waits for those who are willing to hear the invitation, “Come.”

The lessons of Mark 10 are indeed hard.  They require us to change our way of thinking, to see from God’s perspective, not our own.  We have to be like Bar-Timai and throw off our cloak, shed our garments and come humbly to the Cross while the Master still bids us “Bo – Come”.

I pray that these studies have been worthy of my Lord and Messiah, Yeshua, and have brought glory to the Father’s name, mighty Yahveh Elohim, may He be blessed forever.

May He richly bless you my beloved, Amein.








[1]Authors note: Use of information from Jewish-themed websites should not be construed as these sites endorsing or confirming any thesis introduced by the author of this epistle. I present the information from their respective sites for instructional purposes only and/or to aid in the readers understanding of the subjects discussed.
[2] Author’s note:  Throughout this study I’ll be using the Net® Bible and  the Net® Notes: within the notes you’ll see symbols like this: ( א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys). These are abbreviations used by the NetBible© for identifying the principal manuscript evidence that they (authors and translators of the NetBible©)  used in translating the New Testament. Please go to  https://bible.org/netbible/ and see their section labeled “NET Bible Principals of Translation” for a more complete explanation on these symbols and other items pertinent to the way the NET Bible uses them.
[3] Author’s Note: Throughout these studies I have used the notes that come along with the passages I cite from the sources that I cite: these need a bit of a disclaimer though. As in all things, not everything that is footnoted is something that I necessarily agree with, especially if it contradicts what I believe pertains to any matters of the Torah or the commandments of God. I give you the notes as they are written by the authors of the material I cite from, so that you can see the information contained within them. It truly is not my place to edit or correct them; if they state anything that is in opposition to what I teach, then so be it. I will address these issues if requested, but for the sake of brevity (as if any of these posts of mine are brief ) I insert them and let them stand as they are. If I don’t agree with them, why do I include them you might ask? I don’t believe in censuring anyone’s opinions or scholarship; as I would not want mine censured, so I will not do to that to another. As Rabbi Hillel once stated, “What is hateful to you, do not do to another. That is the whole Torah. Go and learn it.” Torah leads me to respect others, even if I disagree; it leads me to present both sides of the coin, even if it could mean I’d lose part of the argument. That is not to say I should not challenge something I believe contradicts the truth of God’s word; that I will do in the main body of my epistles; that is where my gentle dissent belongs. Most (but not all) of the differences will come when I quote from the NET® Bible (but not exclusively); it has a decidedly Western/Greek mindset to it, but as a wise man once said “How do you eat chicken? Swallow the meat and spit out the bones..” I do though want to present the NET® notes because there is a wealth of information and research contained within them that I hope you find helpful.
[4]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
a Matt 4:20–22
a Matt 6:33; 19:29; Luke 18:29f
1 Lit if not
2 Lit this time
a Matt 12:32
a Matt 19:30; 20:16; Luke 13:30
[5] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mk 10:28–31). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
·          [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from www.bible.org, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes..  For more information see footnote #2 and 3.]
1 tn Grk “having such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.”
2 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1.
3 tn Grk “until blood.”
4 tn Or “disregard,” “think little of.”
5 tn Or “reproves,” “rebukes.” The Greek verb ἐλέγχω (elenchō) implies exposing someone’s sin in order to bring correction.
6 sn A quotation from Prov 3:11–12.
7 tn Grk “endure,” with the object (“your suffering”) understood from the context.
8 tn Or “in order to become disciplined.”
9 tn Grk “you are without discipline.”
10 tn Grk “all”; “sons” is implied by the context.
11 tn Grk “we had our earthly fathers as discipliners.”
12 tn Grk “the fathers of our flesh.” In Hebrews, “flesh” is a characteristic way of speaking about outward, physical, earthly life (cf. Heb 5:7; 9:10, 13), as opposed to the inward or spiritual dimensions of life.
13 tn Grk “and live.”
sn Submit ourselves…to the Father of spirits and receive life. This idea is drawn from Proverbs, where the Lord’s discipline brings life, while resistance to it leads to death (cf. Prov 4:13; 6:23; 10:17; 16:17).
14 tn Grk “all discipline at the time does not seem to be of joy, but of sorrow.”
15 tn Grk “the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
16 tn Or “straighten.”
17 sn A quotation from Isa 35:3. Strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees refers to the readers’ need for renewed resolve and fresh strength in their struggles (cf. Heb 10:36–39; 12:1–3).
18 sn A quotation from Prov 4:26. The phrase make straight paths for your feet is figurative for “stay on God’s paths.”
19 sn The references to peace and holiness show the close connection between this paragraph and the previous one. The pathway toward “holiness” and the need for it is cited in Heb 12:10 and 14. More importantly Prov 4:26–27 sets up the transition from one paragraph to the next: It urges people to stay on godly paths (Prov 4:26, quoted here in v. 13) and promises that God will lead them in peace if they do so (Prov 4:27 [LXX], quoted in v. 14).
20 tn Grk “that there not be any root of bitterness,” but referring figuratively to a person who causes trouble (as in Deut 29:17 [LXX] from which this is quoted).
sn An allusion to Deut 29:18.
21 tn Grk “that there not be any,” continuing from v. 15.
22 sn An allusion to Gen 27:34–41.
23 tn Or a command: “for understand that.”
24 tn Grk “it,” referring either to the repentance or the blessing. But the account in Gen 27:34–41 (which the author appeals to here) makes it clear that the blessing is what Esau sought. Thus in the translation the referent (the blessing) is specified for clarity.
·         End “NET®” notes
 [6]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
1 Lit if not
2 Lit this time
a Matt 6:33; 19:29; Luke 18:29f
1 Lit if not
2 Lit this time
a Matt 12:32
a Matt 19:30; 20:16; Luke 13:30
[7] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mk 10:28–31). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[8] From the article “What Happened To The Apostles?” by Wayne Blank  http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/whatapos.htm

[11] From the article “What Happened To The Apostles?” by Wayne Blank  http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/whatapos.htm

[12] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James%2C_son_of_Alphaeus ; Philip Schaff, History of the Apostolic Church: with a General Introduction to Church History, page 389 (New York: Charles Scribner, 1853). Citing NikephorosHistoria Ecclesiastica II:40.
[13] Condensed from the article “James the Just” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_the_just
[14]From the article “What Happened To The Apostles?” by Wayne Blank  http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/whatapos.htm
·         [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from www.bible.org, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes..  For more information see footnote #2 and 3.]
57 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
58 tn Grk “his”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
59 sn The issue of whether Jesus had brothers (siblings) has had a long history in the church. Epiphanius, in the 4th century, argued that Mary was a perpetual virgin and had no offspring other than Jesus. Others argued that these brothers were really cousins. Nothing in the text suggests any of this. See also John 7:3.
60 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
61 tc ‡ Many mss read “and your sisters” here after “your brothers” (A D Γ 700 pm it). However, the pedigree of several of the mss which lack this phrase is considerable (א B C K L W Δ Θ f1, 13 28 33 565 892 1241 1424 2542 pm lat sy). It seems likely that this phrase was added by an early Western scribe to harmonize this statement with Jesus’ response in v. 35. NA27 has the words in brackets, indicating some doubt as to their authenticity.
62 tn Grk “Who is my mother and my brothers?” The use of the singular verb ἐστιν (estin) here singles out Mary above Jesus’ brothers, giving her special prominence (see ExSyn 401–2). This is slightly unnatural in English since the predicate nominative is plural, though, so a plural verb was used in the translation.
63 tn Grk “Behold my mother and my brothers.”
64 tn The pleonastic pronoun οὗτος (houtos, “this one”) which precedes this verb has not been translated.
·         End “NET®” notes
[15]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
[16] CCLI Song # 1919989 by “What If I Stumble” by Daniel Joseph | Toby McKeehan; © 1995 Achtober Songs (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing); Up In The Mix Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing);Pained Music (Admin. by Moon & Musky Music). For use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use. All rights reserved. www.ccli.com . CCLI License # 11157234

a Matt 12:32
a Matt 19:30; 20:16; Luke 13:30
[17] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mk 10:28–31). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[18] Hebrew – the world to come, the age to come.
[19] Hebrew - this world, this age.
a Matt 19:30; 20:16; Luke 13:30
[20] Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.
a  20:2 The denarius was the usual day’s wage for a laborer.
b  20:3 Lit. the third hour
c  20:5 Lit. the sixth hour
d  20:5 Lit. the ninth hour
e  20:6 Lit. the eleventh hour
f  20:8 Lit. and up to
g  20:9 Lit. the eleventh hour
h  20:14 Lit. to this last man as also to you
i  20:15 Lit. things
j  20:15 I.e. envious
1  Deut 15:9; Prov 23:6; Matt 6:23; Rom 9:21
k  20:16 Other mss. lack For many are called, but few are chosen
2  Matt 19:30; 22:14
[21]  International standard version New Testament : Version 1.1. 2000 (Print on Demand ed.). Yorba Linda, CA: The Learning Foundation.
  A Greek word occurs that is not directly translated in the King James Version.
Greek Strongs: 1161
[22]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[23] From the article “On the Road” by Merilyn Hargis, http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/1998/issue59/59h028.html
[24] Ibid…
u  10:37 Mt 19:28; Lk 9:26
v  10:38 Jn 11:22
w  10:38 Ps 75:8
x  10:38 Lk 12:50; Ac 22:16
y  10:38 Lk 12:50; Rm 6:3; 2Co 4:10–11; Gl 2:20
z  10:39 Ac 12:2; Rv 1:9
a  10:41 Jn 21:7
b  10:42 Ac 19:16; 1Pt 5:3
c  10:43 Mk 9:35; 10:45
d  10:43–44 Lk 22:26
  The strong Greek word doulos cannot be accurately translated in English as servant or bond servant; the HCSB translates this word as slave, not out of insensitivity to the legitimate concerns of modern English speakers, but out of a commitment to accurately convey the brutal reality of the Roman empire’s inhumane institution as well as the ownership called for by Christ.
e  10:44 Mt 10:24; Php 2:7; Rv 1:1
f  10:45 Mk 2:10
g  10:45 Jn 13:13–15; Php 2:7
h  10:45 Jn 6:51; 10:15; Gl 2:20
i  10:45 Lv 27:31; Ps 49:8; Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7
j  10:45 Or in the place of many; Is 53:10–12
k  10:45 Is 52:13–53:12; Mt 20:28
[25]  The Holy Bible : Holman Christian standard version. 2009. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[26] Jericho: Jericho was one of the cities designated for the residence of priests and Levites rostered for duty in the Temple, about 28 kilometres away. About 12,000 priests and Levites are believed to have lived there, and they were a familiar sight on the road. (http://www.seetheholyland.net/jericho/)
[27] Talmidim; Hebrew for disciples
[28] “Son of Timai”
[29] Timai: - Original: טמא
- Transliteration: Tame' - Phonetic: taw-may'
- Definition:
1. unclean, impure
a. ethically and religiously
b. ritually
c. of places
- Origin: from H2930
[30] Y'shuw`a of Natzeret: Yeshua of Nazareth
[31] Israeli Authorized Version of the Holy Bible. Electronic edition, e-Sword® version 10.2.1. Copyright ©2000-2013 by Rick Myers, n.d.

[32] Isaiah
[33] repent
Isaiah 6:9–10
[34]  Stern, D. H. (1989). Jewish New Testament : A translation of the New Testament that expresses its Jewishness (1st ed.). Jerusalem, Israel; Clarksville, Md., USA: Jewish New Testament Publications.
[35] Jay P. Green Sr. The Literal Translation of the Holy Bible. Electronic Edition, e-Sword® version 10.2.1. Copyright ©2000-2013 by Rick Myers, n.d.  Sovereign Grace Publishers, 2001.