This study was taught by Pastor Barry Forder at our family service on 9th September 2018.
As Jesus continues His journey toward Jerusalem for the final showdown, Mark, in his usual ‘snapshot’ style records some of the key things that occurred on the journey. In chapter 10 verse 13 we see the disciples try to stop children being brought to Jesus – presumably, they thought it was their duty to protect Jesus from this nuisance! Jesus, however, is quick to rebuke them!
It is not for us to decide who should and shouldn’t come to Jesus! We cannot allow our preconceived ideas of who we think is worthy or not to determine who should be a recipient of His grace!
We were not worthy, we did not deserve his Grace and mercy! Yet He called us and invited us into His family! (Read Ephesians 2:1-13)
We then encounter the ‘rich young ruler’ who hurries to find Jesus and then falls at His feet, calling Him ‘good Master’! His doesn’t come seeking health, or blessing, or to see a miracle; he comes to ask one of the most important questions a person can ask! He asks how he may inherit eternal life! The incredible thing is, that through his conversation with Jesus, it turns out his love for all he has achieved on this earth – his wealth and possessions – had become the very thing that prevented him from taking hold of the eternal life he sought!
Jesus makes it clear, you can gain this world, but unless you are prepared to lose it all, pick up your cross and follow him, your wealth and riches, your good works and good intentions count for nothing. Having a right relationship with God through Jesus is the ONLY way to inherit eternal life, because it is the only way to get right with God.
Following another discussion about who is going to be the greatest in Jesus’ coming kingdom, Jesus heads to Jerusalem via Jerhico and encounters a blind man named Bartimaeus. In complete contrast to the rich young ruler, Bartimaeus, though blind, can see clearly that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah; and that all our hope must be in Him alone. When Jesus called for Him, Bartimaeus abandoned everything! – his coat which he throws aside would have been used to collect alms from the passing crowd and would have also likely been used as a bed at night. Bartimaeus was willing to give up all he had to gain Christ! – and in so doing his eyes were opened too!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.
The Powerpoint slides used in these study are available for free download