Wherever Jesus travels, crowds are drawn to him. As you read, notice how people come to him for different reasons and how he takes time to address the particular needs and questions of each one.
It was not uncommon for a rabbi during Jesus’ time to travel the land with his talmidim (disciples/students) teaching from the Scriptures. Mark 10 tells us it was Jesus’ custom to teach the crowds when they came to him. In verse 2, some Pharisees approach him with a sticky question. Although divorce was acceptable under Jewish law, there was a heated dispute between the rabbinic schools of Shammai and Hillel over the interpretation of Moses’ teachings. They were trying to pull Jesus into the controversy but he refers them back to the scriptures that affirm God’s original plan for marriage to be a blessing between a man and a woman. Later, away from the crowds, Jesus is happy to address his disciples’ further questions on the subject.
In the next encounter, children are held out to Jesus to receive a blessing. Just as Jacob understood the power in the blessing he stole from his brother Esau, these parents demonstrate desperate faith in Jesus’ power to transform their children’s lives with his words.
The young man in verse 17 had a question. In answer to Jesus’ reply, he probably should have responded, “There is no way I can keep the law of God perfectly – I need a saviour!” Instead of challenging the young man’s claim, Jesus, filled with compassion, takes him further down his own path. In other words, if you think you can gain salvation by doing the right things, then here, do it all. Unfortunately, the young man did not understand and turned away from the one who was the answer to his question!
Jesus took his disciples to one side, away from the crowds to teach them intimate details about the near future. Despite all Jesus had just shared with them about his coming suffering, James and John are still expecting him to establish a political Kingdom and ask for the most prestigious places of honour in his administration. Jesus turns it into an opportunity to teach about servant leadership.
Finally, a blind beggar cries out to Jesus and is not discouraged by those around him. He knew he needed Jesus’ mercy – he is persistent but humble. Jesus asks him to speak out his request and the beggar’s determined faith results in healing.
Jesus is waiting for you to approach him with your questions – nothing is too insignificant, nothing is too difficult. Jesus asks you, “What do you want me to do for you?”