Shalom and welcome to V’ahavtah Yisroel. A Hebrew phrase, which means you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.
Dr. Baruch: Make no mistake about it. Money is important. And oftentimes when you hear someone who teaches the Bible speak about money, the first thing they want to teach you are principles of stewardship. But before we can learn these principles, or at least before we can put them into action properly, we need to make sure that our attitude or our perspective concerning money is correct. And here’s the truth that I want to share with you today. It is only when we have a proper perspective for the kingdom of God only then will we have a proper perspective in regard to money.
Now, money is important. It’s impossible to eat. It’s impossible to sleep in a place that’s warm in the winter and cold in the summer without money. Almost everything we do requires some degree of finances. And therefore we need to learn how to look at money so we can use it wisely in a way that manifests our faith in Messiah Yeshua. Take out your Bible and look with me, if you would, to the book of Mark in chapter 10. The book of Mark in chapter 10.
Now last week, we finish in the myths of a discourse between Yeshua and a very wealthy young man. And because of this man’s love of money, more so than the kingdom, he walked away from Messiah. And many times I fear that Messiah is putting before us an opportunity to serve him, to glorify him, to be used by him. But because we don’t have a kingdom perspective, we have a worldly perspective, we walk away from that opportunity and that good deed, that blessing that God wants to bring to someone else through us is left undone.
Now, Messiah was talking about the kingdom and he was talking about finances. And when he spoke this, it was very hard for the disciples to receive it. They didn’t understand it. So let’s pick up where we left off last week, as I said in Mark’s gospel chapter 10, and let’s begin with verse 23. Now in this passage, after making that statement to that young, rich individual, it says in verse 23, that Yeshua looked around and he said to his disciples, “How difficult for those having wealth to enter into the kingdom of God?”
Now the problem is this. Oftentimes people have wealth because they pursued it, and they achieved it oftentimes through ungodly methods. And they acquired a lot rather than using it for the kingdom purpose. So Messiah makes a general principle. How hard it is for those who have wealth? Now, some Bibles will use another text that says, those who trust in riches or trust in wealth. The word literally means to have faith in money. How hard it is for them to enter into the kingdom of God.
But what I want you to see is the response of the disciples. Look onto the next verse, verse 24. But the disciples, it tells us here, the disciples, they were amazed at his word. Now, why was that? Well today, many people, they teach the Bible and they speak about money. And many people will tell you that if you are faithful to the degree that your faith increases, so will your prosperity. And perhaps that’s exactly what the disciples were hearing and had heard from many of the teachers back then.
There’s a connection between spirituality and wealth. And now Messiah is saying, there is adverse relationship between wealth and the kingdom of God. Now, of course, that’s how someone looks at wealth. So the disciples heard this. Look again at verse 24. And we find that they were amazed at his word and Yeshua again answered. And he said to them, and don’t miss this next word, the word children. Now last week, I talked about that in this passage that we began last week, that the word child or children was used a few times. And the first time remember when Messiah said, allow the children to come unto me for such is the kingdom of God, he uses a word child or children.
Now what’s important to note in most English Bibles, both places, the one that we’re looking at now, and the one that we looked at last week, they’re translated with the same English term. But in the biblical language, in Greek, there’s two different words. The first time when he says, allow the children to come unto me, he uses a word that refers to a very young child, even a toddler, someone who is two, three, four, five years of age, someone who is what? All that just believe anything that someone tells them, especially those whom they look up to.
But now we’re dealing with a different word. When Messiah speaks to his disciples, he uses the word children. That oftentimes, simply has to do with someone who is a student or someone that needs to learn. And that’s what he’s talking about here. He’s speaking to them and he’s saying, “You need to learn, that is, you need to mature.” Let’s just stop for a moment. When we talk about our view of money, how we view finances, do we need to mature? Do we need to learn certain things? And let me tell you, whatever we learn. I mean, there can be principal after principal, we can buy books, we can hear teachings, we can go to seminars, but until we have a right perspective of the kingdom of God, we’ll never be able to utilize those principles in a way that are pleasing to God.
So once again, the disciples were amazed and Yeshua responds. He takes them aside and he says, “Children, how difficult it is to enter into the kingdom of God? For what he says for verse 25, “It would be easier …” And this is the key. “It would be easier for a camel through the eye of a needle to enter than for a wealthy individual to enter into the kingdom of God.” Now, what do you think he meant when he says a camel through the eye of a needle?”
Well, if you look at most commentaries, they will tell you that cities in those days were surrounded by walls. And when someone came in to a city, they could go through the gate or there was another way. And that was a smaller entrance for individual. But if you took everything off the camel and you worked really hard, that camel could go through. And that’s what they’re talking about. You have to get rid of things.
Well, here’s the problem. I don’t know of any factual evidence. I hear people talking about it, but there’s no factual evidence for such a place, such entrance into a city. Just doesn’t exist in history. No evidence of it anywhere. I think we need to understand what Messiah is saying from the context. He makes a very, very clear statement, that it is … Let me ask you, if I gave you a needle, could you, I don’t care how young, how little that camel might be, can you get him through that eye of the needle? My answer is, absolutely not. And that’s the point.
He’s making a statement, emphasizing the impossibility of something. And it’s only when we affirm that it is impossible. Then we have a [inaudible 00:09:18] with what it says here in this passage at the end of this section. So look again, he says, “It’s easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than a wealthy person to enter into heaven.” Now, does this mean that God in some unique way, Messiah and some peculiar fashion is against wealthy people? No.
By the way, we could say that same thing for anyone. Anyone. It is impossible, and we’ll see this in a moment, for anyone to enter into the kingdom of God based upon their assets, their abilities, their wisdom their deeds, anything whatsoever, but what’s being emphasized here is this. If we’re not careful, we are going to have a wrong view of money. And the more money that we have, it’s going to lead us, the human tendency is to trust more and that then in God. That’s just that human nature. So it’s more difficult, but it’s impossible for everyone in and of themselves.
Now, why do I say that? Well, move on to the next word. Verse 26, he says, “Above this, he says, I tell you and the disciples, when they heard this, they were amazed. Once again, they marveled at it. And they said to themselves, verse 26 and who is able and they get it right. Now, oftentimes I’m pretty difficult on the disciples because I see the disciples like I see myself and like I see each of you. We tend to be far removed from God’s truth, from God’s will, from understanding what God’s up to. That’s just the definition and the character of humanity.
But here the disciples say something that is excellent. They ask the right question. They don’t say, “Well, how can I enter into the kingdom of God?” They say this, “Then who can be saved?” And it’s real important that we see that last word in that sentence, saved, why? It’s in the passive. That means something that someone receives. Salvation is not something I achieve. It is something that I receive. Someone else bestows it upon me. And the only one that can do that is Messiah, Yeshua.
So the disciples asked the right question, “Then who is able to be saved?” And verse 27, Messiah it says, ” And Yeshua looking at them speaks. And he says, concerning man, here it is. It is impossible.” How impossible? The same way that you’re going to succeed in getting into heaven yourself is exactly related to how much success you’re going to have pushing a camel through an eye of a needle. You’re not going to be successful.
So he makes it very clear, by man it is impossible, but salvation is not of man, it is of God. And that’s why it says, “But not for God, for all things are possible with God.” Now, Peter, of course, if there’s going to be disciple that speaks, who’s going to be the first one? Peter. And Peter hears this. And he responds as he normally does wanting to justify himself. And this time maybe he has something really good to say, because look at verse 28, “Peter begins to speak to him. And he says, behold, we have left all. And we have followed you. Now, understand that’s the right attitude.
I mean, if there’s anything that comes between us and obedience to Messiah, it is a great hindrance. And usually those things are not so spiritual, they’re physical. And here’s the key, the only solution to finding the power, we won’t have that power in and of ourselves, but in finding that power by means of the Holy spirit is when we have a proper perspective of the kingdom, that we understand that the kingdom is going to be us with the living God forever and ever.
Us in his presence, us experiencing intimacy with him and us knowing the very blessings of God. When we understand how valuable the kingdom of God is, everything else is going to be pale in comparison. And for the sake of the kingdom and those things related to the kingdom, we’re going to be willing to let go of anything if God would have us to let go of that. Sometimes He wants us to keep it for a different purpose, but understand if there’s anything that we’re not willing to let go of, then we have a spiritual problem.
So look again, Peter says to Yeshua, “Behold, we have left everything and we have followed after you.” Verse 29, Yeshua speaks and he says, “Truly I say to you, there is no one …” And I love that expression. So many times when God speaks, He speaks in absolutes. He says, there is no one, no exception to this. Now He says that as a way of an encouragement. You mean, if I apply this to my life, this is going to be true for me? Absolutely. Never would fail? Never. No exceptions, not one.
So again, verse 29, “Truly I say to you, there is no one which has left homes and brothers and sisters and wives and fathers and children. And some manuscripts says and wives and fields. Here’s the key, on account of me.” It’s not just enough to leave them. There’s many people, many religions that want to emphasize poverty, just giving everything away. Now, it’s just not the giving away that’s important. It’s why you do it. And it’s not giving it away, it’s utilizing it.
Now we’re in that second part. It’s just not having the right view, but a proper stewardship. Giving it for what? He says, on account of me, and here’s the key, and my gospel. Now, gospel usually when we think of that, we think about the death, burial and resurrection of Messiah. No problem. That’s a good thing to associate with the gospel. But there’s another definition. And that is the gospel is good news about redemption, and redemption involves the forgiveness of sins.
Now, what I want you to see here is this. He says, “No one who has left all of these things on account of me and for my gospel, what will they receive? Here’s the key that they shall receive a hundred fold.” And the surprising thing is this. He says a hundred fold, not just in the kingdom. What does he emphasize? What comes first? He says, “Now in this, this age.” Now in this age, so I give up everything. I’m going to be a recipient of what? Notice what he says, a hundred fold of homes and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, all these things.
Now, how do I understand that? Well, let me give an example how I see it. Oftentimes, I will go someplace to speak and invariably people open up their homes. So no matter where I go, it’s like I have a home in every city. And I have people, they’re not family in the sense, biologically speaking, but there’s people that treat me like their family. They share whatever they have. I have no needs. So what we see is this, when we follow the teachings of Messiah, we’re going to find that we have family and friends and friends that are like family wherever we go. And together, we’re going to provide for one another. So what? We have an abundance.
I mean, go to some city, several people. Would you like to stay with me? It’s abundance. That’s what a hundred fold speaks of. We’re not good elect, but understand something. When He says this, that we’ll have a hundred fold of homes and brothers and sisters and parents and fields, whatever. He also says something, with what? Don’t miss this. Look at the middle of verse 30. He says, and with persecution, there’s going to be suffering. There’s going to be people that are opposed to the gospel, opposed to what God would have us to do.
And those times of persecution, well, they have manifested themselves in some places in the world, but they’re going to do so in every place. And we’re seeing evidence of that in the news. All around we’re seeing more and more evidence that intense persecution is on the way for those who live for the sake of Messiah and His gospel. Now read on. He also says, not only now, but also He says, and in the age to come, we’re going to have, and don’t miss this, eternal life. Now, here’s the problem. Most people, when they hear eternal life, they just think about the duration, but that word, that expression, eternal life, it is well known in Hebrew.
And the word for eternal is Olam. And the point is, Olam is not just a duration, but it can also be according to the rabbis, speaking about a unique quality. And that’s what should be emphasized, not just duration. It is eternal, without end. But also the quality of that life, and the quality of that life eternal life is going to be inherently related. It is going to be defined. The character of that light life is going to be in association with the kingdom. And when we talk about the kingdom, it’s a kingdom of righteousness, of peace, of justice. It is a kingdom of no end. In any sense, there’re no limitations. There’s no lacking.
For example, oftentimes when we talk about the kingdom, one of the services where there are certain verses which are said, that relate to the kingdom is when we’re in the Sabbath. And that unique service called Havdalah is understood as ending the Sabbath, but with a different expectation or at least hope. And that is, as we do that, that the Sabbath would not end, but rather the kingdom would begin. And one of the things we talk about when we pour that cup of wine, we overflow it. Why? To emphasize that in the kingdom, there’s going to be no shortages.
We can waste things, it makes no difference, there’s in abundance. So this eternal life is a quality, not just a duration, but a quality of life. And then verse 31, he says, “For many shall be what? Last who are first and the first shall be last.” Now, what does he say that? Well, understand we’re talking about the kingdom and it’s a kingdom of justice. One of the things that inaugurates the kingdom is judgment. Now, there’s going to be a judgment of those who are outside the kingdom, but there’s also a judgment, and here’s the key, a judgment of rewards for those who will be in the kingdom.
And why does it say that the first shall be last and the last shall be first? Well, let me ask you a question. When you go to event, oftentimes a concert, there’s an opening act. What comes last, the main performer. You go to a boxing match and they have a series of boxing matches and then they have at last, the main event. So usually the best comes at the end. So too with judgment. He is going to take those who came to faith last, that is, who their faith is a latter faith.
And those who came to faith first, that is, their faith was a priority and their life reflect it, they’re going to come last. Why? Because that last judgment, that last aspect is where the greatest rewards are going to be in. He is going to bring up the patriarch. He’s going to bring out the great pillars of faith throughout the ages, and they’re going to get the rewards last. So this expression that the first will be last and the last will be first.
Now, he talks about this kingdom mindedness. And then what does he speak of? Well, let’s wrap up with one more section. He begins in verse 32 speaking about his going up to Jerusalem. And he goes up to Jerusalem for Passover. Passover, festival of redemption. Redemption is inherently related to the concept of death. There is no redemption without death. So he’s going up and he’s told the disciples … This is not the first time. It’s the third time that he emphasizes, “I’m going up to Jerusalem and I’m going to die.” He does that here as well, but the disciples know it.
And here’s the surprising thing. Look again, verse 32. “And as they were going up on the way into Jerusalem, it says, and he went before them.” That is Yeshua. Now why is that said? He’s going up to die. And we know it’s going to tell us that he is going to suffer greatly. He is going to be mocked. He is going to be sped upon. He’s going to be flogged and ultimately put to death by the Gentiles, that is crucified. And what is he doing? He’s hurrying. It’s emphasized in this task passage that he’s going up before them. And why is he doing this? Well, because his death redemption is inherently related to the kingdom. He’s moving forward, excitedly towards the kingdom.
Now, here’s another way of thinking of it. And that is this. We should never delay. According to Judaism, we’re told, never delay a commandment. If you have an opportunity to serve God, do it without delay at once. And that’s what Messiah is doing. It is for this reason to lay down his life that he came into this world. And now the time is at hand for him to do it. And it’s emphasized here that he goes before them. And they were, it says two things. They were amazed by this. They knew what was going to happen. And they were amazed and they followed after him. How? In fear. Fear of what? Well, fear, here again, death letting go. Death emptying.
So what he was teaching them, it just wasn’t for him. He had just taught them. Those who what? Those who forsake family, friends, wealth, everything for the sake of mine and the kingdom, well, they were all sure that they were committed as they needed to be for that kingdom. And when we doubt in faith, what’s going to happen? Fear. So they were fearful. And what did he do? Middle verse 32. And he again, takes them aside. That is the 12th. And he began to speak to them. And he says what is going to take place. Those things which are about to happen. And he says, verse 33, “Behold, we are going up into Jerusalem. And the son of man will be trade to the chief priests, to the scribes. He will be condemned. They will condemn him to death and he will be delivered over. They will deliver him to the Gentiles where he will be mocked, spat upon and flogged.
And what’s important is this. In the Greek language, we can simply say that they will mock, spit and flog him. One time, the word him. It’s very unusual here. That three times after each verb, the pronoun appears to emphasize what’s going to be done to him. Well, what we’re going to do is stop at this time. We’re going to pick up next week on this teaching about Messiah going up to Jerusalem for Passover. To lay down his life, what was going to take place to him and how the disciples responded.
And we’re going to see that these disciples, they were far removed from the attitude that they needed to have concerning the kingdom of God and therefore, they missed out on what Messiah was trying to share with them. The question is this, are we missing out on what the Holy Spirit wants to teach us. Teach us, train us so that we will be exactly where God wants us to be, doing the things that He wants us to do, so in the end, we will be people that manifest his glory and his truth to others. We’ll close with that. Until next time, have a great week.
Speaker 1: Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you and our Messiah Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him. Shalom from Israel,