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.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not
forbid them; for of such is the kingdom
of God” (10:14).
Did You Know…?
Judea (10:1): The Greek and Roman equivalent to
the Old Testament land of Judah the southern kingdom.
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.
“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
Camel (10:25): The largest animal in Palestine
at that time.
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.
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;
5c. Divorce (Isa 50:1-2; Jer 3:8)
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
10. What does each of the
following believe about the requirements of salvation?
10a. Rich man
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
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?