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16: To Enter the Kingdom of God (Mk 10:1-31)
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I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Jesus concluded His ministry in Galilee. He headed south towards Jerusalem, first returning to the Jordan River, where He had been baptized. Jesus now focused His teachings on the things to look forward to: the kingdom of God, eternal life, the resurrection, and the last days.

B.     Key Verse

            “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (10:14).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.      Judea (10:1): The Greek and Roman equivalent to the Old Testament land of Judah the southern kingdom.

2.      Certificate of divorce (10:4): The Old Testament law (cf. Deut 24:1-4) required a husband to clearly state the reasons for divorcing his wife in a public document. It was meant to protect a wife from hasty divorce and to absolve her of legal penalties.However, there were various interpretations to what were legitimate reasons for divorcing one’s wife. On one extreme, Shammai and his followers maintained that nothing less than adultery justified a man in divorcing his wife. On the other, Hillel and his disciples contended that divorce should be granted for any reason, however small, such as the wife burning a dish or going out with loose hair.

3.      “From my youth” (10:20): “This probably refers to the age of thirteen, when a Jewish boy became “bar mitzvah” (“son of the commandment”). At that point, the boy became responsible to live by God’s commands.”

4.      Camel (10:25): The largest animal in Palestine at that time.

5.      Eye of a needle (10:25): Some identify this as a small gate in Jerusalem’s city wall. However, there is no evidence that such gates existed at that time. The vivid contrast between the largest animal (camel) and the smallest opening (eye of a needle) represents what, humanly speaking, is impossible.

II.    Observation

A.     Outline














B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

A.     10:1-12

1. How was the Pharisees’ question a test? (cf. Did You Know 2).

2a. Contrast the Pharisees’ question with Jesus’ answer. What does this teach us about marriage?

2b. What is the difference between “command” (3) and “permit” (4)?

2c. How does Jesus harmonize Moses’ law on divorce with God’s command on marriage?

3. What is the danger of focusing on what is permitted or not?

4a. Describe the ideal marriage. How does your description correspond to biblical teachings?

4b. How does/would your marriage help you serve God?

5. What does each of the following represent in the spiritual sense? What do they teach us about our relationship with God?

5a. Marriage (Hos 2:19-20; Jn 3:29; Eph 5:22-33; Rev 21:2)

5b. Adultery (Ezek 6:9; Mk 8:38; Jas 4:4)

5c. Divorce (Isa 50:1-2; Jer 3:8)

B.     10:13-16

6a. Why did the disciples rebuke people who brought little children to Jesus? Why was Jesus indignant at them?

6b. How might we make the same mistake as the disciples?

7a. How would a child react to the issue of divorce (2) or selling one’s possessions (21)?

7b. List the qualities of children that we should keep as adults.

8. What is the difference between receiving and entering the kingdom of God (15)? How do we receive the kingdom of God like a little child?

9. How do you bring children to Jesus?

C.     10:17-31

10. What does each of the following believe about the requirements of salvation?

10a. Rich man

10b. Disciples

10c. Peter

11. How do you explain Jesus’ words in verse 18? Was Jesus denying His goodness or divinity?

12. Based on this passage, what does Jesus teach about the requirements of salvation?

13. What are the rich man’s strengths and weaknesses?

14a. Jesus loved the rich man (21). How did Jesus show his love toward the man?

14b. Why did the man go away sad? What could he have done differently?

14c. What are your spiritual weaknesses? What can you do about them?

15a. How might one conclude that it is easier for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?

15b. Compare what Jesus said in verses 23 and 24. Why were the disciples amazed by what Jesus said? How does Jesus’ response (24) answer their amazement?

15c. Why is it humanly impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?

15d. Name one thing that you cannot give up. Why not? How do we apply Jesus’ command to “sell whatever you have and give to the poor” (21)?

15e. How does God make it possible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God? List examples of rich men who belong to the kingdom of God.

16. What is the hundred-fold reward in the present age?

17. How is persecution a reward?

18. Who are the first and the last?

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