In the final story of “Act 2” in Mark’s Gospel, we encounter Bartimaeus, who, although physically blind, has greater insight into who Jesus is than the disciples who have spent the last 3 years with Jesus. A poor, blind beggar proves to be more of the ideal disciple than those closest to Jesus! Through the example of Bartimaeus, we can better learn what it means to follow Jesus.
What does it mean to be great? Jesus teaches his disciples another lesson on discipleship after James and John make a request that has more significance than they realize. If they want to be great in the kingdom, they have to walk the path of humility. A path that leads to the cross.
In Mark 10:13-31, Mark gives us two stories– a story of children and a story about a wealthy and righteous man. Seemingly unrelated, Jesus uses these two encounters to teach his disciples and us once again about His Kingdom. Specifically, in these passages, we see two different postures people display toward the Kingdom of God. One posture ensures the reception of His Kingdom, while the other posture ensures the rejection of His Kingdom.
What does marriage have to do with discipleship? In Mark 10:1-12 Jesus is confronted once again by the Pharisees who are trying to get him killed. They ask him a question about the allowance of divorce in the law. Jesus responds with a question and then eventually gives an answer that they were not expecting. Jesus both exposes the hardness of their hearts and shows that they have completely missed God’s heart in marriage.