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17: A Serving Attitude (Mk 10:32-52)
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I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Jesus continued His journey to Jerusalem. On the way, He repeated in greater detail the prophecy of His suffering, death, and resurrection (compare 10:33-34 to 8:31; 9:31). Still, the twelve disciples were blind to the fact that Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (10:45).

B.     Key Verse

            “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (10:45).

            “What do you want Me to do for you?” (10:36, also 10:51)

C.     Did You Know…?

1.      Gentiles (10:33): Non-Jews in general. In this verse, it refers specifically to the Romans because the Jews lacked political power to exercise capital punishment and must defer to the Roman government.

2.      Chief priests (10:33): Also called “high priests.” They were revered civil and religious dignitaries. Aside from his religious office, a chief priest was also the chairman of the Sanhedrin (Jewish high court) and head of political relations with the Roman government. During Jesus’ time, the chief priests were Annas and Caiaphas, who later recommended putting Jesus to death (Jn 11:49-50) and persecuted the early church (Acts 4:6; 5:17-18).

3.      “Drink the cup” (10:38): The cup was a common Jewish metaphor either for joy (Ps 23:5) or for divine judgment (Jer 25:15).

4.      Jericho (10:46): A very ancient city located 5 miles (8 kilometers) west of the Jordan and about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northeast of Jerusalem. In Jesus’ time, the Old Testament Jericho was largely abandoned, but a new city, south of the old one, had been built by Herod the Great.

5.      Begging (10:46): Beggars were commonly found in public places. The prevalence of begging was due to the lack of a relief system, to the lack of a cure for common diseases, and to the impoverishment under the excessive taxation of the Roman government.

II.    Observation

A.     Outline










B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1a. List the titles used to identify Jesus in this passage? How does each illustrate Jesus’ character?

1b. How did Jesus demonstrate His identity as a servant in this passage? In the book of Mark? In the Bible? In your life?

1c. What do you identify yourself as? How does your identity influence what you do?

2.   Contrast James and John’s initial request (35) to Bartimaeus’ (47). Compare them to the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14.

3a. Why should we ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” To whom can you ask this question?

3b. What is your answer when Jesus asks, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     10:32-34

1. In the NKJV, verse 32 implies that the disciples were also amazed and afraid. Why do you think the disciples were amazed and afraid?

2. Why did Jesus tell the twelve disciples what would happen to Him?

B.     10:35-45

3. What does James’ and John’s request for glory (37) tell you about their self-identity? What does this teach us about our attitude in serving God?

4a. What did James and John think was Jesus’ glory?

4b. What is the true meaning of sitting at Jesus’ right and left? (cf. Rom 8:17; 2Tim 2:12).

5a. What did James and John think was Jesus’ cup and baptism?

5b. What was Jesus’ cup and baptism? (cf. Did You Know 3).

6. Based on verses 42-44, how should church organization be different from secular organization?

7. How does Jesus give His life as a “ransom for many” (45)? A ransom for what?

8. Verse 43 repeats the lesson Jesus taught in 9:35. How many times does Jesus repeat a lesson before you understand? What does this tell you about your faith?

C.     10:46-52

9. Why do you think the people rebuked Bartimaeus (48)? Compare them to the disciples who rebuked those who brought little children to Jesus (10:13).

10. Bartimaeus called Jesus “Son of David.” What does this tell you about his faith?

11. Bartimaeus said to Jesus, “I want to see” (NIV; emphasis added) as opposed to, “I hope I can see” or “It would be nice if I could see.” Why did he dare to ask so forcefully? What does this teach you about praying for God’s mercy?

12. Contrast this healing to the one in 8:22-26. What do the differences tell you about Jesus’ ministry at this point in time?

13. What can we learn from Bartimaeus’ persistence?

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