Mark 10.46–52: Teacher, I want to see (7 February 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.

Read

Read

Joseph Interprets the Prisoners' Dreams

1Some time later the king of Egypt's wine steward and his chief baker offended the king. 2He was angry with these two officials 3and put them in prison in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same place where Joseph was being kept. 4They spent a long time in prison, and the captain assigned Joseph as their servant.

5One night there in prison the wine steward and the chief baker each had a dream, and the dreams had different meanings. 6When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were upset. 7He asked them, “Why do you look so worried today?”

8They answered, “Each of us had a dream, and there is no one here to explain what the dreams mean.”

“It is God who gives the ability to interpret dreams,” Joseph said. “Tell me your dreams.”

9So the wine steward said, “In my dream there was a grapevine in front of me 10with three branches on it. As soon as the leaves came out, the blossoms appeared, and the grapes ripened. 11I was holding the king's cup; so I took the grapes and squeezed them into the cup and gave it to him.”

12Joseph said, “This is what it means: the three branches are three days. 13In three days the king will release you, pardon you, and restore you to your position. You will give him his cup as you did before when you were his wine steward. 14But please remember me when everything is going well for you, and please be kind enough to mention me to the king and help me to get out of this prison. 15After all, I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here in Egypt I didn't do anything to deserve being put in prison.”

16When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the wine steward's dream was favourable, he said to Joseph, “I had a dream too; I was carrying three bread baskets on my head. 17In the top basket there were all kinds of pastries for the king, and the birds were eating them.”

18Joseph answered, “This is what it means: the three baskets are three days. 19In three days the king will release you — and have your head cut off! Then he will hang your body on a pole, and the birds will eat your flesh.”

20On his birthday three days later the king gave a banquet for all his officials; he released his wine steward and his chief baker and brought them before his officials. 21He restored the wine steward to his former position, 22but he executed the chief baker. It all happened just as Joseph had said. 23But the wine steward never gave Joseph another thought — he forgot all about him.

Jesus Teaches about Divorce

1Then Jesus left that place, went to the province of Judea, and crossed the River Jordan. Crowds came flocking to him again, and he taught them, as he always did.

2Some Pharisees came to him and tried to trap him. “Tell us,” they asked, “does our Law allow a man to divorce his wife?”

3Jesus answered with a question, “What law did Moses give you?”

4Their answer was, “Moses gave permission for a man to write a divorce notice and send his wife away.”

5Jesus said to them, “Moses wrote this law for you because you are so hard to teach. 6But in the beginning, at the time of creation, ‘God made them male and female,’ as the scripture says. 7‘And for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, 8and the two will become one.’ So they are no longer two, but one. 9No human being then must separate what God has joined together.”

10When they went back into the house, the disciples asked Jesus about this matter. 11He said to them, “A man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against his wife. 12In the same way, a woman who divorces her husband and marries another man commits adultery.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples scolded the people. 14When Jesus noticed this, he was angry and said to his disciples, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them, and blessed them.

The Rich Man

17As Jesus was starting on his way again, a man ran up, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?”

18“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; do not cheat; respect your father and your mother.’ ”

20“Teacher,” the man said, “ever since I was young, I have obeyed all these commandments.”

21Jesus looked straight at him with love and said, “You need only one thing. Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.” 22When the man heard this, gloom spread over his face, and he went away sad, because he was very rich.

23Jesus looked round at his disciples and said to them, “How hard it will be for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God!”

24The disciples were shocked at these words, but Jesus went on to say, “My children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! 25It is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”

26At this the disciples were completely amazed and asked one another, “Who, then, can be saved?”

27Jesus looked straight at them and answered, “This is impossible for human beings, but not for God; everything is possible for God.”

28Then Peter spoke up, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.”

29“Yes,” Jesus said to them, “and I tell you that anyone who leaves home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and for the gospel, 30will receive much more in this present age. He will receive a hundred times more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — and persecutions as well; and in the age to come he will receive eternal life. 31But many who now are first will be last, and many who now are last will be first.”

Jesus Speaks a Third Time about his Death

32Jesus and his disciples were now on the road going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was going ahead of the disciples, who were filled with alarm; the people who followed behind were afraid. Once again Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and spoke of the things that were going to happen to him. 33“Listen,” he told them, “we are going up to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn him to death and then hand him over to the Gentiles, 34who will mock him, spit on him, whip him, and kill him; but three days later he will rise to life.”

The Request of James and John

35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “there is something we want you to do for us.”

36“What is it?” Jesus asked them.

37They answered, “When you sit on your throne in your glorious Kingdom, we want you to let us sit with you, one at your right and one at your left.”

38Jesus said to them, “You don't know what you are asking for. Can you drink the cup of suffering that I must drink? Can you be baptized in the way I must be baptized?”

39“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup I must drink and be baptized in the way I must be baptized. 40But I do not have the right to choose who will sit at my right and my left. It is God who will give these places to those for whom he has prepared them.”

41When the other ten disciples heard about it, they became angry with James and John. 42So Jesus called them all together to him and said, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. 43This, however, is not the way it is among you. If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; 44and if one of you wants to be first, he must be the slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

46They came to Jericho, and as Jesus was leaving with his disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting by the road. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus! Son of David! Take pity on me!”

48Many of the people scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, take pity on me!”

49Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up!” they said. “Get up, he is calling you.”

50He threw off his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

51“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

“Teacher,” the blind man answered, “I want to see again.”

52“Go,” Jesus told him, “your faith has made you well.”

At once he was able to see and followed Jesus on the road.

Job

1-2If my troubles and griefs were weighed on scales,

3they would weigh more than the sands of the sea,

so my wild words should not surprise you.

4Almighty God has pierced me with arrows,

and their poison spreads through my body.

God has lined up his terrors against me.

5A donkey is content when eating grass,

and a cow is quiet when eating hay.

6But who can eat tasteless, unsalted food?

What flavour is there in the white of an egg?

7I have no appetite for food like that,

and everything I eat makes me sick.

8Why won't God give me what I ask?

Why won't he answer my prayer?

9If only he would go ahead and kill me!

10If I knew he would, I would leap for joy,

no matter how great my pain.

I know that God is holy;

I have never opposed what he commands.

11What strength have I got to keep on living?

Why go on living when I have no hope?

12Am I made of stone? Is my body bronze?

13I have no strength left to save myself;

there is nowhere I can turn for help.

14In trouble like this I need loyal friends —

whether I've forsaken God or not.

15But you, my friends, you deceive me like streams

that go dry when no rain comes.

16The streams are choked with snow and ice,

17but in the heat they disappear,

and the stream beds lie bare and dry.

18Caravans get lost looking for water;

they wander and die in the desert.

19Caravans from Sheba and Tema search,

20but their hope dies beside dry streams.

21You are like those streams to me,

you see my fate and draw back in fear.

22Have I asked you to give me a gift

or to bribe someone on my behalf

23or to save me from some enemy or tyrant?

24All right, teach me; tell me my faults.

I will be quiet and listen to you.

25Honest words are convincing,

but you are talking nonsense.

26You think I am talking nothing but wind;

then why do you answer my words of despair?

27You would even throw dice for orphan slaves

and make yourselves rich off your closest friends!

28Look me in the face. I won't lie.

29You have gone far enough. Stop being unjust.

Don't condemn me. I'm in the right.

30But you think I am lying —

you think I can't tell right from wrong.

1My brothers and sisters, how I wish with all my heart that my own people might be saved! How I pray to God for them! 2I can assure you that they are deeply devoted to God; but their devotion is not based on true knowledge. 3They have not known the way in which God puts people right with himself, and instead, they have tried to set up their own way; and so they did not submit themselves to God's way of putting people right. 4For Christ has brought the Law to an end, so that everyone who believes is put right with God.

Salvation is for All

5Moses wrote this about being put right with God by obeying the Law: “Whoever obeys the commands of the Law will live.” 6But what the scripture says about being put right with God through faith is this: “You are not to ask yourself, Who will go up into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down). 7“Nor are you to ask, Who will go down into the world below?” (that is, to bring Christ up from death). 8What it says is this: “God's message is near you, on your lips and in your heart” — that is, the message of faith that we preach. 9If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. 10For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved. 11The scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” 12This includes everyone, because there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; God is the same Lord of all and richly blesses all who call to him. 13As the scripture says, “Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.”

14But how can they call to him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message? And how can they hear if the message is not proclaimed? 15And how can the message be proclaimed if the messengers are not sent out? As the scripture says, “How wonderful is the coming of messengers who bring good news!” 16But not all have accepted the Good News. Isaiah himself said, “Lord, who believed our message?” 17So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ.

18But I ask: is it true that they did not hear the message? Of course they did — for as the scripture says:

“The sound of their voice went out to all the world;

their words reached the ends of the earth.”

19Again I ask: did the people of Israel not understand? Moses himself is the first one to answer:

“I will use a so-called nation

to make my people jealous;

and by means of a nation of fools

I will make my people angry.”

20And Isaiah is even bolder when he says,

“I was found by those who were not looking for me;

I appeared to those who were not asking for me.”

21But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I held out my hands to welcome a disobedient and rebellious people.”

Reflect

Daily Reflection: Mark 10.46–52

This is a deeply moving story. It portrays a man who has lost his independence with his sight, who has evidently lost any family he had (otherwise they would have cared for him and he would not have needed to beg), and who is so desperate for a solution to his problems that he offends against every rule of good manners, to the horror of his neighbours.

Jesus is not interested only in polite people. He recognises the man's need and calls him to him. But rather than simply assuming he knew what was best for him, he dignifies him with a question: 'What do you want me to do for you?' (verse 51, GNB).

There are a lot of damaged, needy people who don't make easy subjects for engagement with the gospel. They don't fit into our neat categories or tidy theologies. They can be irritating and disturbing – but they need Jesus. And here, Jesus models what all of us want in a friend or a pastor: rather than someone assuming it's obvious what's good for us, we want them to listen, without prejudging what they think we're going to say.

Deep listening leads to deep understanding, which leads to deep ministry.

Pray

Pray

God, thank you that you listen to the bruised and broken people. Help me to understand as I am understood, and to open my heart to the awkward, needy people who need a friend.

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