Only those words and passages which have no parallel in the First Gospel are commented upon here. For the rest the reader
should consult the Commentary on the parallel passages in Matthew.
I. THE PUBLIC MINISTRY
OF JESUS 1-13 (continued)
5. Ministry on the Journey to Jerusalem 10
2-12: The Question of Divorce. Parallel in Matt. 19, 1-9; cf. also Luke 9, 51; 16,
18. 12. Peculiar to Mark. Among the Jews it was not possible for a wife to
divorce her husband; but Christ spoke these words in the land beyond the Jordan (1), where there were many pagans
who allowed this right to women. Mark, writing for Gentile Christians, thought it well to preserve these words of Christ.
13-16: Jesus Blesses the Children. Parallels in Matt. 19, 13-15 and Luke 18, 15-17.
Mark alone, both here and in 9, 35, mentions that Jesus embraced the children.
17-31: The Danger of Riches. Parallels in Matt. 19, 16-30 and Luke 18, 18-30.
18. The man had addressed Jesus as Good Master, merely using a title of respect or perhaps
a flattering greeting in order to win a favorable answer. Our Lord does not refuse absolutely the attribute implied
in the word good, but He obscurely inculcates the true reason why He has a right to this attribute.
21. The words looking upon him, loved him, are peculiar to Mark. The Greek word for
looking upon signifies rather "gazing fixedly at"; cf. the same word in 8, 25. Jesus must have given
some external sign, or St. Peter, from whom we ultimately have this narrative, would not have known that Jesus loved him;
according to Origen the meaning here is, "He kissed him." 23 f. Note the repetition
of Christ's words, which is peculiar to Mark. It was undoubtedly for the purpose of emphasizing the importance of these
words that our Lord repeated them. 30. In Mark alone have we Christ's words by which
He included among these blessings persecution also, itself really a blessing in disguise.
32-34: The Third Prediction of the Passion. Parallels in Matt. 20, 17-19 and Luke 18,
31-34. 32. Mark alone mentions the dismay and fear of Christ's disciples. For
one of the reasons for their fear, cf. John 11, 8.16.56b. On their way: more exactly according to
the original, "on the road." Jesus walks alone in front of His disciples like a resolute leader. The text seems
to imply that there were two groups behind Him, those who were in dismay and those who were afraid; but
the Greek is so strange that some commentators consider the text corrupt here.
35-45: Ambition of James and John. Parallel in Matt. 20, 20-28; cf. also Luke 22, 24-27.
38 f. The reference to the baptism of suffering is peculiar to Mark's account here, but the same figure
of speech is used in Luke 12, 50. In the Greek of this period the expression, "to be baptized," meant originally
"to be immersed" (see Commentary on 7, 4). It is used here in the metaphorical sense of "to be plunged deep
into misfortunes, to be overwhelmed with afflictions."
10, 46-52: The Blind
Bartimeus. Parallels in Matt. 20, 29-34 and Luke 18, 35-43. 50.
This verse, peculiar to Mark, shows the vividness of his narrative. 51. Rabboni
is the Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew word "Rabbi"; both words have the same meaning, i.e., literally "My great one," but
they were used as synonymous with "teacher"; the only other occurrence of Rabboni in the New Testament is in John
1 And leaving that place, he came to the district
of Judea beyond the Jordan, and crowds again flocked to him. And as had been his custom, he again began to teach them.
The Question of Divorce
2 And some Pharisees coming up asked him, testing him, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?" 3 But he answered
and said to them, "What did Moses command you?" 4* They said, "Moses permitted us to write a notice of dismissal, and
to put her away." 5 But Jesus said to them, "By reason of the hardness of your heart he wrote you that commandment.
6 But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. 7 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and
mother, and cleave to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.' Therefore now they are no longer two, but one
flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder."
10 And in the house, his disciples again asked him concerning
this. 11 And he said to them, "Whoever puts away his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; 12 and
if the wife puts away her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery."
Jesus Blesses the Children
13 And they were bringing little children to him that he might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw them, he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Amen I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little
child will not enter into it." 16 And he put his arms about them, and laying his hands upon them, he began to bless
Danger of Riches 17 And as he was going forth on his journey, a certain man running up fell upon his knees
before him, and asked him, " Good Master, what shall I do to gain eternal life?" 18 But Jesus said to him, "Why dost
thou call me good? No one is good but only God. 19* Thou knowest the commandments:
Thou shalt not commit adultery,
Thou shalt not kill,
Thou shalt not steal,
Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Thou shalt not defraud,
Honor thy father and mother."
And he answered and said, "Master, all these I have kept ever since I was a child." 21 And Jesus, looking upon him,
loved him, and said to him, "One thing is lacking to thee; go, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt
have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." 22 But his face fell at the saying, and he went away sad, for he had
23 And Jesus looking round, said to his disciples, "With what difficulty will they who have riches enter the kingdom
of God!" 24 But the disciples were amazed at his word. But Jesus again addressed them, saying, "Children, with
what difficulty will they who trust in riches enter the kingdom of God! 25* It is easier for a camel to pass through
the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26 But they were astonished the more, saying
among themselves, "Who then can be saved?" 27 And looking upon them, Jesus said, "With men it is impossible, but not
with God; for all things are possible with God."
28 Peter began to say to him, "Behold, we have left all and followed thee." 29* Answering,
Jesus said, "Amen I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children,
or lands, for my sake and for the gospel's sake, 30 who shall not receive now in the present time a hundredfold as much,
houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands---along with persecutions, and in the age to come
life everlasting. 31 But many who are first now will be last, and many who are last now will be first."
The Third Prediction
of the Passion 32 They were now on their way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was walking on in front
of them, and they were in dismay, and those who followed were afraid. And again taking the Twelve, he began to tell
them what would happen to him, 33 saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the
chief priests and the Scribes; and they will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will
mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and put him to death; and on the third day he will rise again."
Ambition of James
and John 35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him, saying, "Master, we want thee to do
for us whatever we ask." 36 But he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?" 37 And they said, "Grant
to us that we may sit, one at thy right hand and the other at thy left hand, in thy glory." 38 But Jesus said to them,
"You do not know what you are asking for. Can you drink of the cup of which I drink, or be baptized with the baptism
with which I am to be baptized?" 39* And they said to him, "We can." And Jesus said to them, "Of the cup that
I drink, you shall drink; and with the baptism with which I am to be baptized, you shall be baptized; 40 but as for sitting
at my right hand or at my left, that is not mine to give, but it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared."
41 And when the ten heard this,
they were at first indignant at James and John. 42 But Jesus called them and said to them, "You know that those who
are regarded as rulers among the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 43 But
it is not so among you. On the contrary, whoever wishes to become great shall be your servant; 44 and whoever wishes
to be first among you shall be the slave of all; 45 for the Son of Man also has not come to be served but to serve, and to
give his life as a ransom for many."
The Blind Bartimeus 46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving
Jericho with his disciples and a very great crowd, Bartimeus, a blind man, the son of Timeus, was sitting by the wayside,
begging. 47 And hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy
on me!" 48 And many angrily tried to silence him. But he cried out all the louder, "Son of David, have mercy on
me!" 49 Then Jesus stopped and commanded him that he should be called. And they called the blind man and said
to him, "Take courage. Get up, he is calling thee." 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang to his feet and came
to him. 51 And Jesus addressed him, saying, "What wouldst thou have me do for thee?" And the blind man said
to him, "Rabboni, that I may see." 52 And Jesus said to him, "Go thy way, thy faith has saved thee." And at once
he received his sight, and followed him along the road.
4: Moses permitted us . . . to put her
away: the Mosaic Law permitted divorce for certain causes. In the verses immediately following here, Jesus
abrogates divorce and declares the indissolubility of marriage.
19: Ex. 20, 12-16.
25: It is easier. . . : Jesus again speaks figuratively. He does not condemn
riches as essentially evil. A rich man who is detached from his riches may be saved, with the grace of God.
29: Relatives are not to be a
stumbling-block to salvation. But Jesus does not teach the complete severance of the bonds of physical relationship.
39: The sons of Zebedee had not
yet grasped the spiritual nature of the kingdom of God.