Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 340

Bible text(s)

Jesus Teaches about Divorce

1Then Jesus left that place, went to the province of Judea, and crossed the River Jordan. Crowds came flocking to him again, and he taught them, as he always did.

2Some Pharisees came to him and tried to trap him. “Tell us,” they asked, “does our Law allow a man to divorce his wife?”

3Jesus answered with a question, “What law did Moses give you?”

4Their answer was, “Moses gave permission for a man to write a divorce notice and send his wife away.”

5Jesus said to them, “Moses wrote this law for you because you are so hard to teach. 6But in the beginning, at the time of creation, ‘God made them male and female,’ as the scripture says. 7‘And for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, 8and the two will become one.’ So they are no longer two, but one. 9No human being then must separate what God has joined together.”

10When they went back into the house, the disciples asked Jesus about this matter. 11He said to them, “A man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against his wife. 12In the same way, a woman who divorces her husband and marries another man commits adultery.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples scolded the people. 14When Jesus noticed this, he was angry and said to his disciples, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them, and blessed them.

The Rich Man

17As Jesus was starting on his way again, a man ran up, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?”

18“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; do not cheat; respect your father and your mother.’ ”

20“Teacher,” the man said, “ever since I was young, I have obeyed all these commandments.”

21Jesus looked straight at him with love and said, “You need only one thing. Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.” 22When the man heard this, gloom spread over his face, and he went away sad, because he was very rich.

23Jesus looked round at his disciples and said to them, “How hard it will be for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God!”

24The disciples were shocked at these words, but Jesus went on to say, “My children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! 25It is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”

26At this the disciples were completely amazed and asked one another, “Who, then, can be saved?”

27Jesus looked straight at them and answered, “This is impossible for human beings, but not for God; everything is possible for God.”

28Then Peter spoke up, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.”

29“Yes,” Jesus said to them, “and I tell you that anyone who leaves home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and for the gospel, 30will receive much more in this present age. He will receive a hundred times more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — and persecutions as well; and in the age to come he will receive eternal life. 31But many who now are first will be last, and many who now are last will be first.”

Jesus Speaks a Third Time about his Death

32Jesus and his disciples were now on the road going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was going ahead of the disciples, who were filled with alarm; the people who followed behind were afraid. Once again Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and spoke of the things that were going to happen to him. 33“Listen,” he told them, “we are going up to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn him to death and then hand him over to the Gentiles, 34who will mock him, spit on him, whip him, and kill him; but three days later he will rise to life.”

The Request of James and John

35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “there is something we want you to do for us.”

36“What is it?” Jesus asked them.

37They answered, “When you sit on your throne in your glorious Kingdom, we want you to let us sit with you, one at your right and one at your left.”

38Jesus said to them, “You don't know what you are asking for. Can you drink the cup of suffering that I must drink? Can you be baptized in the way I must be baptized?”

39“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup I must drink and be baptized in the way I must be baptized. 40But I do not have the right to choose who will sit at my right and my left. It is God who will give these places to those for whom he has prepared them.”

41When the other ten disciples heard about it, they became angry with James and John. 42So Jesus called them all together to him and said, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. 43This, however, is not the way it is among you. If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; 44and if one of you wants to be first, he must be the slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

46They came to Jericho, and as Jesus was leaving with his disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting by the road. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus! Son of David! Take pity on me!”

48Many of the people scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, take pity on me!”

49Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up!” they said. “Get up, he is calling you.”

50He threw off his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

51“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

“Teacher,” the blind man answered, “I want to see again.”

52“Go,” Jesus told him, “your faith has made you well.”

At once he was able to see and followed Jesus on the road.

The Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem

1As they approached Jerusalem, near the towns of Bethphage and Bethany, they came to the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of his disciples on ahead 2with these instructions: “Go to the village there ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a colt tied up that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3And if someone asks you why you are doing that, tell him that the Master needs it and will send it back at once.”

4So they went and found a colt out in the street, tied to the door of a house. As they were untying it, 5some of the bystanders asked them, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”

6They answered just as Jesus had told them, and the bystanders let them go. 7They brought the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the animal, and Jesus got on. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches in the fields and spread them on the road. 9The people who were in front and those who followed behind began to shout, “Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! 10God bless the coming kingdom of King David, our father! Praise God!”

11Jesus entered Jerusalem, went into the Temple, and looked round at everything. But since it was already late in the day, he went out to Bethany with the twelve disciples.

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

12The next day, as they were coming back from Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13He saw in the distance a fig tree covered with leaves, so he went to see if he could find any figs on it. But when he came to it, he found only leaves, because it was not the right time for figs. 14Jesus said to the fig tree, “No one shall ever eat figs from you again!”

And his disciples heard him.

Jesus Goes to the Temple

15When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the Temple and began to drive out all those who were buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, 16and he would not let anyone carry anything through the temple courtyards. 17He then taught the people: “It is written in the Scriptures that God said, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.’ But you have turned it into a hideout for thieves!”

18The chief priests and the teachers of the Law heard of this, so they began looking for some way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

19When evening came, Jesus and his disciples left the city.

The Lesson from the Fig Tree

20Early next morning, as they walked along the road, they saw the fig tree. It was dead all the way down to its roots. 21Peter remembered what had happened and said to Jesus, “Look, Teacher, the fig tree you cursed has died!”

22Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23I assure you that whoever tells this hill to get up and throw itself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24For this reason I tell you: when you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for. 25And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done.”

The Question about Jesus' Authority

27They arrived once again in Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the elders came to him 28and asked him, “What right have you to do these things? Who gave you this right?”

29Jesus answered them, “I will ask you just one question, and if you give me an answer, I will tell you what right I have to do these things. 30Tell me, where did John's right to baptize come from: was it from God or from human beings?”

31They started to argue among themselves: “What shall we say? If we answer, ‘From God,’ he will say, ‘Why, then, did you not believe John?’ 32But if we say, ‘From human beings…’ ” (They were afraid of the people, because everyone was convinced that John had been a prophet.) 33So their answer to Jesus was, “We don't know.”

Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you, then, by what right I do these things.”

Mark 10:1-11:33GNBOpen in Bible reader
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