MARK 10 : 32 - 52
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
The Request of James and John
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
39 “We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must 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 as a ransom for many.”
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Mark 10:32-52 is made up of 3 subjects. First - Jesus, while traveling to Jerusalem with His disciples, along the way tells them that the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and condemned to death. He then tells them that He will rise up three days later. Second - James and John petition Jesus for the right to sit at His right and left side. Jesus uses this opportunity to define being great as being a servant. He then tells them that His greatness looks like serving others, not being served, and ultimate serving is giving your life away for others. Third - As Jesus and His disciples came to Jericho, they encounter Bartimaeus, a blind man. When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was coming, he cried out for mercy, even though many rebuked him and told him to quiet down. Not giving into the naysayers, he screamed louder. Jesus stopped; asked him a question; and healed him.
While there is much to look at in these verses, let me draw your attention to the early part of today’s devotional. Verse 32 uses these words - “up to Jerusalem” and “Jesus leading the way”. Can you visualize this in your mind? Jerusalem currently sits about 2400 feet above sea level, so when the text says they were “on their way up to Jerusalem” they were literally going up. This is also an accurate picture of our life with God. It’s an up and down journey that leads us through valleys, up steep climbs and across difficult terrain. But, we are going upward into our heavenly Jerusalem. So, be encouraged - the higher we go, the simpler life gets. You don’t need a lot of things at a higher elevation. Keep your faith simple, rooted in the love God, hosting His presence, empowered by the Spirit, sharing the gospel, and love as you serve others. But notice who was leading the upward climb? It was Jesus. Our journey upward in our faith, maturing as followers of Jesus and fulfilling our God created good works is a journey that is made easier because we are not the leader. Jesus is the leader. Therefore, our role is to follow Him. Along the way, we’ll be astonished as they were. And at other times, He’ll pull us aside and say something hard to hear or understand, but it never deters from Jesus not only telling us the way, but showing us the way to Jerusalem - to greatness and to a lifestyle of compassion. Today’s a good day for a walk, so take a moment, find Jesus and follow him. It’s a rugged but beautiful walk.
Questions to ponder:
What does it mean for your life and calling, to walk upward to a higher elevation? Vision is not just about what’s on the horizon, but also from what height you see.
When you consider Jesus’ leadership, what excites you the most? What do you need the most from Him right now?
Take some time today when you pray, and share your heart with Jesus about following Him and declare your trust.
We want the power of God to live a supernatural life.