Mark 10:23-31 God Makes Salvation Possible.

Mark 10:23-31 God Makes Salvation Possible.

The previous man was an example of “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God” (v. 23 vv. 17-22 Cf. 4:19; Mt. 19:23-30; Lk. 18:24-30). Jesus also said that those who put their trust in riches could be likened unto a camel going through the eye of a needle (vv. 24-25 Cf. Job 31:24-28; Pss. 52:7; 62:10; Pr. 11:28; Mt. 13:22; I Tim. 6:17). Some have speculated that this is a reference to a gate entrance to a city, where the camel would have to bow down to get through, but it is more likely that Jesus sought to depict how impossible it is for anyone to do this for themselves. This is why the disciples wondered among themselves as to who then could be saved, and Jesus’ response (v. 26). “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible” (v. 27 Cf. Job 42:2). Salvation is impossible for any human being, it is only possible as a sovereign act of God (Cf. Lk. 1:37; Eph. 2:8-9). It would seem that Peter may have thought that he and his fellow disciples had chosen to follow Jesus on their own. They had left all to follow Jesus (v. 28).

However, Jesus makes clear that all who follow him will have a hundredfold more in following him than they would without doing so – albeit with persecutions, but also eternal life (vv. 29-30 Cf. II Chr. 25:9; I Th. 3:3; II Tim. 3:12; I Pet. 4:12-13). Perhaps the disciples still had the lingering pride that was present when they discussed who among themselves would be the greatest (9:33-37), and they were given the example of infants. In that instance Jesus said, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (9:35). It may also be the case that what Jesus is referring to in verse 31 is the reality that many among the nation of Israel, who first received the oracles of God, and the blessings of the covenant, would in fact not ultimately receive the substance. Matthew appears to have expanded on the same words he records at 19:30, with what he follows with at 20:16. “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.” So also Luke makes the same reference to the final judgment (13:30). Humble faith and service are the marks of those chosen.

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