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Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, [1834], at

Mark Chapter 10

Mark 10:1

mar 10:1

See this question about divorce explained in the notes at Mat 19:1-12.

Mar 10:12

And if a woman shall put away her husband - It would seem, from this, that a woman, among the Jews, had the power of separating herself from her husband, yet this right is not given her by the law of Moses. There is not, however, any positive evidence that females often claimed or exercised this right. Cases had occurred, indeed, in which it had been done. The wife of Herod had rejected her former husband and married Herod. And though instances of this kind "might" have been attempted to be defended by the example of Pagans, yet our Saviour was desirous of showing them that it did not free them from the charge of adultery. The apostles were going forth to teach Pagan nations, and it was proper for Christ to teach them how to act in such cases, and to show them that they were cases of real adultery.

Mark 10:13

mar 10:13

See the notes at Mat 19:13-15.

Mar 10:13

Should touch them - That is, should lay his hands on them, and pray for them, and bless them. Compare Mat 19:13. It was common to lay the hands on the head of a person for whom a blessing was asked. See the case of Jacob, Gen 48:14.

Mar 10:14

Saw it - Saw the conduct of his disciples.

Was much displeased - Because, first, it was a pleasure to Him to receive and bless little children; and, secondly, they were doing what they were not commanded to do - interfering in a case where it was evidently improper.

Mar 10:15

Whosoever shall not receive - Whosoever shall not manifest the spirit of a little child.

The kingdom, of God - The gospel. The new dispensation by the Messiah, "or the reign of God through a Mediator." See the notes at Mat 3:2.

As a little child - With the temper and spirit of a child - teachable, mild, humble, and free from prejudice and obstinacy.

Shall not enter therein - Shall not be a Christian; shall not be a "real" member of the family of Christ on earth. though he may be a "professor," and shall never enter heaven.

Mar 10:16

Took them up in his arms - These were small children.

Blessed them - Prayed for them, sought a blessing on them, or gave them the assurance of his favor as the Messiah. How happy would it be if all parents thus felt it to be their privilege to present their children to Christ! The question with a parent should be, not whether he ought to present them by prayer, but whether he "may" do it. And so, too, the question respecting infant baptism is not so much whether a parent ought to devote his children to God in this ordinance, as whether he may do it. It is an inestimable privilege to do it; it is not a matter of mere stern and iron-handed duty; and a parent with right feelings will come to God with his children "in every way," and seek his blessing on them in the beginning of their journey of life. Our children are given to us but for a little time. They are in a world of danger, sin, and woe. They are exposed to temptation on every hand,

If God be not their friend, they "have" no friend that can aid them in the day of adversity, or keep them from the snares of the destroyer. If he is their friend they have nothing to fear. The "proper expression, then, of parental feeling," is to come and offer them early to God. A parent should ask only the "privilege" of doing it. He should seek God's favor as the best inheritance of his children; and if a parent may devote his offspring to God - if he may daily seek his blessing on them by prayer - it is all that he should ask. With proper feelings he will rush to the throne of grace, and daily seek the protection and guidance of God for his children amid the temptations and snares of an ungodly world, and implore Him to be their guide when the parent shall be laid in the silent grave. So children who have been devoted to God - who have been the daily objects of a father's prayers and a mother's - tears who have been again and again presented to Jesus in infancy and childhood - are under the most sacred obligations to live to God. They should never forget that a parent sought the favor of God as the chief blessing; and having been offered to "Jesus" by prayer and baptism in their first days on earth, they should make it their great aim to be prepared to meet "him" when he shall come in the clouds of heaven.

Mark 10:17

mar 10:17

See this passage illustrated in the notes at Mat 19:16-30.

Mar 10:17

Gone forth - From the place where he had been teaching.

Into the way - Into the road or path on his journey.

Running - Thus showing the intensity with which he desired to know the way of life. Zeal to know the way to be saved is proper, nor is it possible that it should be too intense if well directed. Nothing else is so important, and nothing demands, therefore, so much effort and haste.

Mar 10:19

Defraud not - Do not take away your neighbor's property by fraud or dishonesty. To "cheat" or "defraud," supposes a covetous desire of a neighbor's property, and is usually attended with "falsehood" or "false witness" against a neighbor in obtaining it. It is thus a violation of the ninth and tenth commandments; and our Saviour very properly, therefore, "condensed the two," and expressed their substance in this - not to defraud. It is, besides, expressly forbidden in Lev 19:13; "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor."

Mar 10:21

Jesus beholding him, loved him - What occurred afterward showed that the young man did not love the Saviour, or was not a true disciple; so that this expression denotes simply natural affection, or means that Jesus was pleased with his amiableness, his morality, and his "external" regard for the law of God. At the same time, this was entirely consistent with deep sorrow that he would not give his heart to God, and with deep abhorrence of such a love of the world as to blind the mind to the beauty of true religion, and to lead to the rejection of the Messiah and the destruction of the soul.

One thing thou lackest - When the young man came to Jesus he asked him, "What lack I yet?" Mat 19:20. This "question" Mark has omitted, but he has retained the "answer." The answer means, there is "one thing" yet wanting. Though all that you have said should be "true," yet, to make the system complete, or to show that you "really" are disposed to keep the commands of God, go and sell your property. See whether you love "God" more than you do your "wealth." By doing that you will show that your love of God is supreme; that your obedience is not merely "external" and "formal," but "sincere" and "real;" the thing now "lacking" will be made up.

Mar 10:24

Children - An expression of affection, perhaps also implying a reproof that their slowness of understanding was like that of children. When they should have seen at once the truth of what he said, they were slow to learn it. It became necessary, therefore, to "repeat" what he had said.

How hard - With how much difficulty.

Mar 10:26

Out of measure - Very much, or exceedingly. The Greek means no more than this.

Mar 10:30

An hundred-fold - One hundred times as much.

In this time - In this life. In the time that he forsakes all.

Houses ... - This cannot be taken literally, as promising a hundred times as many "mothers, sisters," etc. It means, evidently, that the loss shall be a hundred times "compensated" or made up; or that, in the possession of religion, we have a hundred times the "value" of all we forsake. This consists in the pardon of sin, in the favor of God, in peace of conscience, in support in trials and in death, and in raising up "friends" in the place of those who are left - "spiritual brethren, and sisters, and mothers," etc. And this corresponds to the experience of all who ever became Christians. At the same time. it is true that godliness is profitable "for all things," having the promise of the life that is, as well as of that which is to come. See the notes at Ti1 4:8. "The favor of God" is the security for every blessing. Obedience to his law secures industry, temperance, chastity, economy, prudence, health, and the confidence of the world - all indispensable to success in life, and all connected. commonly, with success. Though the wicked "sometimes" prosper, yet the "surest" way of prosperity is to fear God and keep his commandments. Thus will all "needed" blessings descend on us "here," and "eternal" blessings hereafter.

With persecutions - Persecutions, or the contempt of the world, and bodily sufferings on account of their religion, they "must" meet. Jesus did not conceal this; but he consoled them. He assured them that "amid" these, or perhaps it should be rendered "after" these, they should find friends and comfort. It is well to bear trial if "God" be our Friend. With the promises of the Bible in our hand, we may hail persecutions, and thank God that, amid so many sorrows, he has furnished such abundant consolations.

Mark 10:32

mar 10:32

See the notes at Mat 20:17-19.

Mar 10:32

Jesus went before him - In the manner of an intrepid, fearless leader and guide, exposing "himself" to danger and death rather than his followers.

And they rather amazed ... - They were afraid that evil would befall him in the city; that the scribes and Pharisees, who had so often sought to kill him, would then do it. Their fear and amazement were increased when he told them what would befall him there. They were amazed that, when he knew so well what would happen, he should still persevere in going up to the city.

Mark 10:35

mar 10:35

See the notes at Mat 20:20-28.

Mar 10:35

And James and John ...came unto him - They did this through the instrumentality of their mother. They did not come in "person," but they got their mother to make the request for them. Compare the notes at Mat 20:20.

Mark 10:46

mar 10:46

See this passage explained in the notes at Mat 20:29-34.

Mar 10:46

Blind Bartimeus - Matthew says there were two. Mark mentions but one, though he does not deny that there was another. He mentions this man because he was well known - Bartimeus, the "blind man."

Mar 10:50

Casting away his garment - That is, his outer garment - the one that was thrown loosely over him. See the notes at Mat 5:40. He threw it off, full of joy at the prospect of being healed, and that he might run without impediment to Jesus. This may be used to illustrate - though it had no such original reference - the manner in which a sinner should come to Jesus. He should throw away the garments of his own righteousness - he should rise speedily - should run with joy - should have full faith in the power of Jesus, and cast himself entirely upon his mercy.

Next: Mark Chapter 11