According to Mark 10:1-52

10  From there he got up and came to the borders* of Ju·deʹa across the Jordan, and again crowds gathered to him. As he was accustomed to do, he again began teaching them.+  And Pharisees approached, intent on testing him, and they asked whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife.+  He answered them: “What did Moses command you?”  They said: “Moses allowed the writing of a certificate of dismissal and divorcing her.”+  But Jesus said to them: “Out of regard for your hard-heartedness,+ he wrote this commandment for you.+  However, from the beginning of creation, ‘He made them male and female.+  For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother,+  and the two will be one flesh,’+ so that they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore, what God has yoked together, let no man put apart.”+ 10  When they were again in the house, the disciples began to question him about this. 11  He said to them: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery+ against her, 12  and if ever a woman after divorcing her husband marries another, she commits adultery.”+ 13  People now began bringing him young children for him to touch them, but the disciples reprimanded them.+ 14  At seeing this, Jesus was indignant and said to them: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such ones.+ 15  Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a young child will by no means enter into it.”+ 16  And he took the children into his arms and began blessing them, laying his hands on them.+ 17  As he was going on his way, a man ran up and fell on his knees before him and put the question to him: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?”+ 18  Jesus said to him: “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good except one, God.+ 19  You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder,+ do not commit adultery,+ do not steal,+ do not bear false witness,+ do not defraud,+ honor your father and your mother.’”+ 20  The man said to him: “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth on.” 21  Jesus looked at him and felt love for him and said, “One thing is missing about you: Go, sell what things you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come be my follower.”+ 22  But he grew sad at the answer and went away grieved, for he had many possessions. 23  After looking around, Jesus said to his disciples: “How difficult it will be for those with money to enter into the Kingdom of God!”+ 24  But the disciples were surprised at his words. Jesus then responded: “Children, how difficult it is to enter into the Kingdom of God! 25  It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”+ 26  They became still more astounded and said to him: “Who possibly can be saved?”+ 27  Looking straight at them, Jesus said: “With men it is impossible but not so with God, for all things are possible with God.”+ 28  Peter began to say to him: “Look! We have left all things and followed you.”+ 29  Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, no one has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the good news+ 30  who will not get 100 times more now in this period of time*—houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields, with persecutions+—and in the coming system of things, everlasting life. 31  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”+ 32  Now they were going on the road up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going ahead of them, and they were astonished, but those who followed began to fear. Once again he took the Twelve aside and started to tell them these things that were about to happen to him:+ 33  “Look! We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and hand him over to men of the nations, 34  and these will mock him and spit on him+ and scourge him and kill him, but three days later he will rise.”+ 35  James and John, the sons of Zebʹe·dee,+ approached him and said to him: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”+ 36  He said to them: “What do you want me to do for you?” 37  They replied: “Grant us to sit down, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”+ 38  But Jesus said to them: “You do not know what you are asking for. Can you drink the cup that I am drinking or be baptized with the baptism with which I am being baptized?”+ 39  They said to him: “We can.” At that Jesus said to them: “The cup I am drinking, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am being baptized, you will be baptized.+ 40  However, to sit down at my right hand or at my left is not mine to give, but it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared.” 41  When the ten others heard about it, they became indignant at James and John.+ 42  But Jesus called them to him and said to them: “You know that those who appear to be ruling* the nations lord it over them and their great ones wield authority over them.+ 43  This must not be the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister,+ 44  and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all. 45  For even the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister+ and to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.”+ 46  They then came into Jerʹi·cho. But as he and his disciples and a considerable crowd were going out of Jerʹi·cho, Bar·ti·maeʹus (the son of Ti·maeʹus), a blind beggar, was sitting beside the road.+ 47  When he heard that it was Jesus the Naz·a·reneʹ, he started shouting and saying: “Son of David,+ Jesus, have mercy on me!”+ 48  At this many began rebuking him, telling him to be silent, but all the more he kept shouting: “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49  So Jesus stopped and said: “Call him to me.” So they called the blind man, saying to him: “Take courage! Get up; he is calling you.” 50  Throwing off his outer garment, he leaped to his feet and went to Jesus. 51  Then Jesus said to him: “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him: “Rab·boʹni,+ let me recover my sight.” 52  And Jesus said to him: “Go. Your faith has made you well.”*+ And immediately he recovered his sight,+ and he began to follow him on the road.


Or “frontiers.”
Or “in the present time.”
Or “those who are recognized as rulers of.”
Or “has saved you.”

Study Notes

the borders of Judea across the Jordan: This apparently refers to Perea, a region on the E side of the Jordan River, and especially the parts of Perea bordering on Judea. Jesus left Galilee and only returned there after his resurrection.​—See App. A7, Map 5.

the borders of Judea across the Jordan: This apparently refers to Perea, a region on the E side of the Jordan River, especially the parts of Perea bordering on Judea.​—See study note on Mt 19:1 and App. A7, Map 5.

certificate of dismissal: Or “certificate of divorce.” By requiring a man who was considering divorce to prepare a legal document and likely to consult the elders, the Law gave him time to reconsider such a serious decision. The intent of the Law was evidently to prevent rash divorces and to provide women with a measure of legal protection. (De 24:1) But in Jesus’ day, religious leaders had made divorce easy to obtain. The first-century historian Josephus, himself a divorced Pharisee, suggested that divorce was allowable “for any cause whatsoever (and many such causes happen among men).”​—See study note on Mt 5:31.

certificate of dismissal: See study note on Mt 19:7.

the beginning of creation: Evidently referring to the creation of mankind. Jesus here describes how the Creator instituted marriage between a man and a woman, thus forming the nucleus of human society.

He: Some ancient manuscripts make the subject specific and read “God.”

one flesh: This expression is a literal rendering into Greek of the Hebrew term at Ge 2:24 and could also be rendered “one body” or “one person.” It describes the closest bond possible between two humans. It not only refers to sexual relations but extends to the whole relationship, making the two individuals faithful and inseparable companions. Such a union cannot be broken up without damage to the partners bound by it.

one flesh: See study note on Mt 19:5.

sexual immorality: The Greek word por·neiʹa is a general term for all sexual intercourse that is unlawful according to the Bible. It includes adultery, prostitution, sexual relations between unmarried individuals, homosexuality, and bestiality.​—See Glossary.

divorces his wife: Or “sends his wife away.” Jesus’ words as recorded by Mark must be understood in the light of the more complete statement at Mt 19:9, which includes the phrase “except on the grounds of sexual immorality.” (See study note on Mt 5:32.) What Mark wrote in quoting Jesus regarding divorce applies if the grounds for obtaining the divorce is anything other than “sexual immorality” (Greek, por·neiʹa) committed by the unfaithful marriage partner.

commits adultery against her: Jesus here rejects the prevailing Rabbinic teaching that allowed men to divorce their wives “on every sort of grounds.” (Mt 19:3, 9) The concept of committing adultery against his wife was alien to most Jews. Their rabbis taught that a husband could never commit adultery against his wife​—only a woman could be unfaithful. By putting the husband under the same moral obligation as the wife, Jesus dignifies women and elevates their status.

if ever a woman after divorcing her husband: With this phrase, Jesus recognizes the right of a woman to divorce an unfaithful husband​—something that was evidently not acceptable to the Jews of his day. According to Jesus, however, under the Christian system, the same standard would apply to men and women.

young children: The children may have been of varying ages, since the Greek word here rendered “young children” is used not only of newborns and infants (Mt 2:8; Lu 1:59) but also of Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter (Mr 5:39-42). However, in the parallel account at Lu 18:15, which describes Jesus’ interaction with this group of young ones, Luke uses a different Greek word, one that refers only to very small children, or infants.​—Lu 1:41; 2:12.

like a young child: Refers to having the desirable qualities of young children. Such qualities include being humble, teachable, trustful, and receptive.​—Mt 18:5.

took the children into his arms: Only Mark’s account includes this detail. The Greek word for “take into one’s arms” occurs only here and at Mr 9:36 and could also be rendered “embrace.” Jesus exceeded the expectations of the adults who brought these children to Jesus so that he might merely “touch” them. (Mr 10:13) As the oldest of a family of at least seven children, he understood the needs of young children. (Mt 13:55, 56) Jesus even began blessing them. The Greek word used here is an intensified form of the word for “to bless,” which could be understood to mean that he tenderly and warmly blessed them.

Good Teacher: The man was evidently using the words “Good Teacher” as a flattering and formalistic title, since such honor was usually demanded by the religious leaders. While Jesus had no objection to being properly identified as “Teacher” and “Lord” (Joh 13:13), he directed all honor to his Father.

Nobody is good except one, God: Jesus here recognizes Jehovah as the ultimate standard of what is good, the One who has the sovereign right to determine what is good and what is bad. By rebelliously eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, Adam and Eve sought to assume that right. (Ge 2:17; 3:4-6) Unlike them, Jesus humbly leaves the setting of standards to his Father. God has expressed and defined what is good by means of what he has commanded in his Word.​—Mr 10:19.

felt love for him: Only Mark records Jesus’ sentiments toward the rich young ruler. (Mt 19:16-26; Lu 18:18-30) Peter, himself a man of deep emotion, may have been the source of this description of Jesus’ feelings.​—See “Introduction to Mark.”

easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye: Jesus is using hyperbole to illustrate a point. Just as a literal camel cannot go through the eye of an actual sewing needle, it is impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God if he continues to put his riches ahead of his relationship with Jehovah. Jesus did not mean that no wealthy person would inherit the Kingdom, for he went on to say: “All things are possible with God.”​—Mr 10:27.

to him: Some manuscripts read: “to one another.”

the coming system of things: Or “the coming age.” The Greek word ai·onʹ, having the basic meaning “age,” can refer to a state of affairs or to features that distinguish a certain period of time, epoch, or age. Jesus is here referring to the coming era under God’s Kingdom rule, in which everlasting life is promised.​—Lu 18:29, 30; see Glossary, “System(s) of things.”

going on the road up to Jerusalem: The city was about 750 m (2,500 ft) above sea level, so the Scriptures often speak of worshippers going “up to Jerusalem.” (Lu 2:22; Joh 2:13; Ac 11:2) Jesus and his disciples were about to ascend from the Jordan Valley (see study note on Mr 10:1), which at its lowest point is about 400 m (1,300 ft) below sea level. They would have to climb some 1,000 m (3,330 ft) to reach Jerusalem.

the borders of Judea across the Jordan: This apparently refers to Perea, a region on the E side of the Jordan River, especially the parts of Perea bordering on Judea.​—See study note on Mt 19:1 and App. A7, Map 5.

spit on him: Spitting on a person or in his face was an act of extreme contempt, enmity, or indignation, bringing humiliation on the victim. (Nu 12:14; De 25:9) Jesus here states that he would experience such treatment, which fulfilled a prophecy regarding the Messiah: “I did not hide my face from humiliating things and from spit.” (Isa 50:6) He was spat on during his appearance before the Sanhedrin (Mr 14:65) and by the Roman soldiers after his trial by Pilate (Mr 15:19).

sons: A few manuscripts read “two sons,” but the shorter reading has strong manuscript support.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him: According to Matthew’s account, the mother of James and John approaches Jesus with this request, but her two sons are evidently the source of the request. This conclusion is supported by Matthew’s report that on hearing about this request, the ten other disciples “became indignant,” not at the mother, but “at the two brothers.”​—Mt 20:20-24; see study notes on Mt 4:21; 20:20.

James . . . and his brother John: James is always mentioned along with his brother John, and in the majority of instances, he is mentioned first. This may indicate that he was the older of the two.​—Mt 4:21; 10:2; 17:1; Mr 1:29; 3:17; 5:37; 9:2; 10:35, 41; 13:3; 14:33; Lu 5:10; 6:14; 8:51; 9:28, 54; Ac 1:13.

Zebedee: Possibly Jesus’ uncle by marriage to Salome, the sister of Jesus’ mother, Mary. If so, John and James were Jesus’ cousins.​—See study note on Mr 15:40.

mother of the sons of Zebedee: That is, the mother of the apostles James and John. According to Mark’s account, James and John are the ones who approach Jesus. (Mr 10:35) They are evidently the source of the request, but they make the request through their mother, Salome, who may have been Jesus’ aunt.​—Mt 27:55, 56; Mr 15:40, 41; Joh 19:25.

one at your right hand and one at your left: Here both positions indicate honor and authority, but the place of greatest honor is always on the right.​—Ps 110:1; Ac 7:55, 56; Ro 8:34; see study note on Mt 25:33.

on his right hand . . . on his left: In some contexts, both positions indicate honor and authority (Mt 20:21, 23), but the place of greatest honor is always on the right (Ps 110:1; Ac 7:55, 56; Ro 8:34). However, here and at Mt 25:34, 41, there is a clear contrast between the place of favor at the King’s right hand and that of disfavor at his left.​—Compare Ec 10:2, ftns.

drink the cup: In the Bible, “cup” is often used figuratively of God’s will, or the “assigned portion,” for a person. (Ps 11:6; 16:5; 23:5) To “drink the cup” here means to submit to God’s will. In this case, the “cup” involved not only Jesus’ suffering and death under the false charge of blasphemy but also his being resurrected to immortal life in heaven.

drink the cup: See study note on Mt 20:22.

be baptized with the baptism with which I am being baptized: Or “be immersed with the immersion that I am undergoing.” Jesus here uses the term “baptism” in parallel with “cup.” (See study note on Mt 20:22.) He is already undergoing this baptism during his ministry. In his case, he will be fully baptized, or immersed, into death when he is executed on the torture stake on Nisan 14, 33 C.E. His resurrection, which includes a raising up, will complete this baptism. (Ro 6:3, 4) Jesus’ baptism into death is clearly distinct and separate from his water baptism, for he had completely undergone water baptism at the beginning of his ministry, at which time his baptism into death had only begun.

drink the cup: In the Bible, “cup” is often used figuratively of God’s will, or the “assigned portion,” for a person. (Ps 11:6; 16:5; 23:5) To “drink the cup” here means to submit to God’s will. In this case, the “cup” involved not only Jesus’ suffering and death under the false charge of blasphemy but also his being resurrected to immortal life in heaven.

lord it over them: Or “dominate them; are masters over them.” This Greek term is used only four times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. (Mt 20:25; Mr 10:42; 1Pe 5:3; and at Ac 19:16, where it is rendered “overpowered”) Jesus’ counsel brought to mind the hated Roman yoke and the oppressive domination by the Herods. (Mt 2:16; Joh 11:48) Peter evidently got the point, later urging Christian elders to lead by example, not by domination. (1Pe 5:3) A related verb is used at Lu 22:25, where Jesus expresses a similar idea, and it is also used at 2Co 1:24, where Paul says that Christians are not to be “masters over” the faith of fellow believers.

life: The Greek word psy·kheʹ, traditionally rendered “soul,” is here used in the sense of “life.”​—See Glossary, “Soul.”

Jericho: The first Canaanite city W of the Jordan River to be conquered by the Israelites. (Nu 22:1; Jos 6:1, 24, 25) By Jesus’ time, a new city had been built about 2 km (a little over a mile) S of the old city. This may explain why Lu 18:35 says of the same incident that “Jesus was getting near to Jericho.” Perhaps Jesus performs the miracle while leaving, or going out of, the Jewish city and approaching the Roman city, or vice versa.​—See App. B4 and B10.

Jericho: See study note on Mt 20:29.

a blind beggar: Matthew’s account (20:30) of this event states that two blind men were present. Mark and Luke (18:35) each mention one, evidently focusing on Bartimaeus, whose name appears only in Mark’s account.

the Nazarene: A descriptive epithet applied to Jesus and later to his followers. (Ac 24:5) Since many Jews had the name Jesus, it was common to add a further identification; the practice of associating people with the places from which they came was customary in Bible times. (2Sa 3:2, 3; 17:27; 23:25-39; Na 1:1; Ac 13:1; 21:29) Jesus lived most of his early life in the town of Nazareth in Galilee, so it was natural to use this term regarding him. Jesus was often referred to as “the Nazarene,” in different situations and by various individuals. (Mr 1:23, 24; 10:46, 47; 14:66-69; 16:5, 6; Lu 24:13-19; Joh 18:1-7) Jesus himself accepted the name and used it. (Joh 18:5-8; Ac 22:6-8) On the sign that Pilate placed on the torture stake, he wrote in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek: “Jesus the Nazarene the King of the Jews.” (Joh 19:19, 20) From Pentecost 33 C.E. onward, the apostles as well as others often spoke of Jesus as the Nazarene or as being from Nazareth.​—Ac 2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14; 10:38; 26:9; see also study note on Mt 2:23.

Son of David: Addressing Jesus as “Son of David,” blind Bartimaeus openly acknowledges him as the Messiah.​—See study notes on Mt 1:1, 6; 15:25.

did obeisance to him: Or “bowed down to him; paid him homage.” By calling Jesus “Son of David” (Mt 15:22), this non-Jewish woman evidently recognizes him as the promised Messiah. She renders obeisance to him, not as to a god or a deity, but as to a representative of God.​—See study notes on Mt 2:2; 8:2; 14:33; 18:26.

David the king: Although several kings are mentioned in this genealogy, David is the only one identified by the title “king.” Israel’s royal dynasty was referred to as “the house of David.” (1Ki 12:19, 20) By calling Jesus “son of David” in verse 1, Matthew emphasizes the Kingdom theme and identifies Jesus as the heir of the kingship promised in the Davidic covenant.​—2Sa 7:11-16.

son of David: Indicates that Jesus is the heir of the Kingdom covenant made with David that is to be fulfilled by someone in David’s line.​—2Sa 7:11-16; Ps 89:3, 4.

spoken through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene”: Evidently referring to the book written by the prophet Isaiah (Isa 11:1), in which the promised Messiah is referred to as ‘a sprout [Hebrew, neʹtser] out of the roots of Jesse.’ Since Matthew speaks of “prophets” in plural, he may also have been referring to Jeremiah, who wrote about “a righteous sprout” as an offshoot of David (Jer 23:5; 33:15), and to Zechariah, who describes a king-priest “whose name is Sprout” (Zec 3:8; 6:12, 13). The term “Nazarene” became an epithet applied to Jesus and later to his followers.

Nazareth: Probably meaning “Sprout-Town.” Nazareth was the town in Lower Galilee where Jesus lived most of his earthly life.

Rabboni: A Semitic word meaning “My Teacher.” It may be that “Rabboni” was originally more respectful or conveyed more warmth than the form “Rabbi,” a title of address meaning “Teacher.” (Joh 1:38) However, when John did his writing, perhaps the first person suffix (“-i” meaning “my”) on this word had lost its special significance in the title, for John translates it “Teacher.”​—Joh 20:16.


East of the Jordan​—Perea
East of the Jordan​—Perea

This photograph shows part of the area known as Perea. This region was located east of the Jordan River. It extended to Pella in the north and to east of the Dead Sea in the south. The term “Perea” does not appear in the Bible. However, the term comes from a Greek word meaning “the other side; across; beyond.” This Greek word is used several times in the Bible and sometimes with reference to the region of Perea. (Mt 4:25; Mr 3:8) People from Galilee at times traveled through Perea on their way to Jerusalem. Toward the end of his ministry, Jesus spent some time teaching in Perea. (Lu 13:22) Later, Jesus again traveled through Perea on his way to Jerusalem.​—Mt 19:1; 20:17-19; Mr 10:1, 32, 46.

(1) Jordan River

(2) Plains east of the Jordan River

(3) Mountains of Gilead