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JESUS, SON OF GOD: HEADLINES FROM MARK

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SERIES: Jesus, Son of God: Headlines from Mark

TOPIC: Jesus Confronts Materialism

TEXT: Mark 10:17-31

SCRIPTURE: 

Verses 17-21 focus on “goodness.”

  • How does Jesus let the man know who he is speaking to?
  • What is the man’s perspective of his own goodness?
  • Spend some time discussing verse 25, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Read this note from The Gospel Coalition Commentary: Some commentators have tried to soften Jesus’s words, claiming that there was a gate in Jerusalem known as the ‘Needle’s Eye Gate,’ which a camel could get through only with great difficulty. But this is a myth. The earliest reference to such a gate comes from a commentary 1,000 years after the time of Christ!”

ACCOUNTABILITY:

  • Talk about verse 21, “Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Those were hard words for the man to hear. But in what context did Jesus speak His words? 
  • How can that same context help us when we need to have a difficult conversation?
  • In Bible times (and now, too) wealth was seen as a sign of favor or blessing. It makes sense that the disciples were surprised at Jesus’ words in verse 24, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” What is Jesus saying?

TRANSFORMATION:

  • When reading this passage, it can be very easy to look at someone else as “wealthy,” and believe this passage is for them. But compared to the rest of the world, no matter the size of our bank account, we are all wealthy. What does this passage mean for us (remembering Jesus spoke these words in love)? 
  • What does it mean for our time, treasures and talents?
  • Have my possessions become an idol?
  • How can I avoid my wealth becoming a hurdle in my relationship with Jesus? 

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”  Amy Carmichael

This is a passage which can be difficult to personalize. Sometimes it can help to seek out a spiritual friend who can help you process what this passage means for your life.

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