From Today in God’s Word
Gen 40; Mark 10; Job 6; Rom 10
God’s word is rich and we should be on a treasure hunt each time we approach it (Prov 2:1-5). The contrast of the rich young man and blind Bartimaeus should not be missed. Consider which one comes as a child? Consider which one recognizes greatness as giving of one’s self rather than of proving one’s self? Which one was banking on the greatness of Christ vs their own greatness? Which one saw the law as a way to evidence one’s righteousness to God and which one saw it as a guardian of God’s promise to save by his own merciful hand?
Are you familiar with Romans 7:1-6 and Paul’s teaching on our need to die to the law in order to be joined to another? He teaches the analogy of a woman freed from the law of marriage after her ex-husband dies, but while he lives she would be considered an adulteress if she was joined to another. Why does the Spirit lead Mark to string together these teachings as he does in today’s reading?
vv 1-12 establishes that it is adultery to be joined in marriage to another while the legitimate spouse still lives.
vv 13-16 establishes that those who will receive the inheritance of the Kingdom of God will come as dependent children.
vv 17-22 establishes that salvation is not earned and the law is not intended as a means of demonstrating one’s own righteousness but as a guardian to expose our need of mercy and to bring us to celebrate the mercy of God in Christ (1 Tim 1:8-17, Phil 3:9, Gal 2:21, 3:21, Rom 3:20-22).
vv 23-31 establishes that one must treasure Christ above all and must sacrifice worldly gain, surrendering themselves to his cause in this world if they will enter the Kingdom of God.
vv 32-34 establishes Jesus’ work that makes him the fulfillment of God’s merciful promise to save and the epitome of greatness.
vv 35-45 establishes that greatness is not about what one receives but is about what one gives. It is about sacrifice for others. It is about devotion to God’s purpose above any other. The disciples were not seeing this, nor did the rich young ruler.
vv 46-52 establishes the correct reaction to the law and to the Savior. Recognize that the law was merely a guardian until the object of faith should arrive (Gal 3:22-26). Blind Bartimaeus saw this and he used the Messianic title “Son of David” to address Jesus, unlike the rich young man. He did not seek to use his own law-keeping as any means to receive the promises of God. He rightly used the law to know his need of the mercy of God in Christ. Like a dependent child and like a new widow, he ran to Christ as his guardian and died to the law that he was once joined to. He did not try to keep the law and be joined to Christ because this would have been the adultery perpetrated by the rich young man.
Let us come unto Jesus church, we must die to any idea of merit and we must be joined to Christ and receive the mercy of God!
Soli Deo Gloria!