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: Have you ever had the experience where you shared something with someone else, something that was very important to you, something that you were looking for, a response, a particular response from that person, and when they began to speak, well, you realize nothing that you really said to them got through. They did not understand and they were not willing or ready or able even to make that proper response to that request. Now, I think Messiah Yeshua that he had that same experience many times when he spoke to his disciples, especially today.
Take out your Bible and look with me to the book of Mark and chapter 10. The book of Mark and chapter 10. Now, we know that Messiah, he had a discussion with a wealthy young man about the kingdom of God, and this man, he was not willing to make the necessary sacrifice so that he would have rewards, great rewards in the kingdom of God.
We talked about the fact, the reason for that is that he really didn’t believe in that kingdom enough. He may have thought perhaps there will be. If so, I’d like to be there, but to really change his life and live it properly for the reality of the kingdom of God, that kingdom will be established, he wasn’t willing to do that. He didn’t have a proper perspective of the kingdom.
The question that we need to ask ourselves, not just today, but every day, do we have that proper perspective? Do we understand what it takes for us to enter into the kingdom of God? What is that? The all sufficient sacrifice of Messiah. There is nothing more precious than that. When we identify with him, we receive him into our life, we’re going to live a sacrificial life. That’s what worship is all about.
What happens here? Well, Messiah after dealing with that young rich man, he turns and he begins to share about the sacrifice that he’s going to make, that sacrifice of laying down his life. Not just being mocked and spat upon, but as we talked about at the close of last week, he’s also going to be flogged and ultimately put to death.
Speaking about this Supreme act of love, this greatest sacrifice that the world has known, what happens? Well, remember how we began. Have you ever told someone something and you realized by their response, they caught none of it. They simply did not understand the significance of your words. That’s exactly what we’re going to see today in the life of first two disciples and perhaps all of them. Mark’s gospel, chapter 10, let’s begin with verse 35.
Immediately after sharing about this act of love, the sacrifice, his death upon the cross, what happens? Verse 35, “And coming to him, Ya’aqov,” that is James and John, “the sons of Zebedee. They came to him asking him a question. They said, ‘Teacher, we want that we should ask you to do something for us.'” They have a request.
Next verse, verse 36. “And Yeshua answered, and he said to him, ‘What do you want that I should do for you?'” Verse 37, “And they responded to him and they said, ‘Give to us,'” meaning the right, the privilege, “Give to us in order that on your right and on your left that we shall sit when you enter into your glory.”
Now they had a wrong understanding of Messiah. Now, if you heard the term Messiah and you come from a Jewish background, a rabbinical background, that term Messiah more often than not is understood as a king. These two disciples, they missed out on what he was sharing about his death. They only heard the emphasis on the kingdom, not the means of the kingdom, but the result of the kingdom. What they wanted was to be part of that kingdom in a very, very elevated way, that is to sit on his right and on his left.
Now, they didn’t have an understanding that he was just not king like David or Solomon or any of the kings of Israel. They did not know that he was the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. They did not realize that this kingdom and the throne that he was going to be setting upon. Well, for example, if you look at the book of Revelation, you’re going to see that throne of the land is also the throne of God, the Father. If they would have understood that throne, they would have never asked that they might sit upon the right and the left. They were looking at that throne from an earthly standpoint, like any other kingdom in the world, like the kings of Israel formerly, not this new kingdom, this holy kingdom, this righteous kingdom, that Messiah was going to rule over. What was his response?
Well, now look at verse 38, “And Yeshua said, you do not know what you’re asking.” Now, that’s an important statement. It verifies, it confirms that they didn’t have his identity as the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, God incarnate. They didn’t have that understanding in their minds when they asked that question. Look again at that verse, Messiah says, “You do not know what you’re asking.”
Now make a note, perhaps circle that word asking because it’s going to become very important in a few minutes. This passage of scripture really works with another passage of scripture that we’re going to look at in the second half of our study. We need to remember how important it is, this asking he puts an emphasize upon it. He says, “You don’t know what you’re asking.” He says, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am drinking or are you able to be baptized with the baptism that I’ll be baptized with?”
Now, what’s he talking about here? Well, remember later on in the book of Mark, we’re going to see that Messiah’s in the garden, and one of the things that he prays, he says, “If possible,” speaking to his heavenly father, “If possible, remove this cup from me.” Now, what is that speaking about? His call. What call? Well, the next thing he speaks about is baptism, and understand that rabbinically speaking and biblically speaking, there is an inherent relationship between baptism and death.
He’s talking about his call. Are you able to walk in my call? Are you able to die for the sake of the will of God? He’s asking them some very hard questions. They probably didn’t understand the fullness of those questions because they just flippantly say, “We’re able.”
Messiah says in response, “All right.” He says to them, “The cup that I drink, you’re going to drink, which means you’re going to follow in this ministry. The baptism that I was baptized with, you’re going to be baptized with,” which probably means that they’re going to be martyrs for their faith.
“Nevertheless,” he says, verse 40. He says, “But to sit at my right hand and on my left,” and by the way, there’s a change in word. There’s a difference in the word that they use for left and the word that he uses for left. The significance is to simply tell us that what they were thinking and what he was thinking were far, far different. He says, “To sit on my right and on my left, it is not possible for me to give, but rather it is to those whom it has been prepared,” meaning for those who have already been prepared for that.
Verse 41, so Messiah in this passage makes it very clear that he rebuffs their requests. They’re not going to get to sit on his right and on his left, and the disciples, they were there, those other 10 disciples, they were hearing their questioning of and request that they had to the Messiah. They heard that Messiah said no to that, and what happens? Well, look on verse 41, “And the 10 having heard, they became.” Now, some English Bible says displease, but it’s a much stronger word than that. The word is that they became angry at Ya’aqov, that is at James and at John, and Messiah seeing this division, this anger, he wanted to put them in the proper frame of mind, the proper frame for serving God, the attitude that we should have, if we’re going to be truly his disciples.
What happens? Verse 42, “He calls them,” that is Yeshua, “calls them and he says to them, ‘You know that…'” We need to stop for a moment because the next word is from the biblical word dokeo means those who seem to be. In this context, it’s speaking about those who literally, what is trying to convey those who think that they’re important, those who think that there’s something.
What do those people do? Well, they exalt themselves to positions of leadership so that they might rule over others. That’s what it says. Those who think of themselves to be something he says, “They,” and it’s speaking about the nation, the Gentiles, “they rule over the others and likewise, those who are great,” and here, it’s probably meaning a reference to powerful because those who have power, they have what? They exert authority, even over them.
What it’s speaking about is this, those who have a mindset that they’re important, they act upon it, and those who had the resources to gain power and to rule over people and exercise authority over others, they do it. What he says, he says, “But this…” Look on, verse 43. He says, “But this is not for you.” That’s not how you function. You don’t utilize your power, your authority to exalt self. Quite the contrary.
He says in verse 43, “This is not your way. But rather,” he says, “Those of you who want to be great will be your servant.” He’s calling them to one another saying, “If you want to be great, you be the servant, and if you want to be first…” That’s really what those two disciples wanting to be first among the disciples. He says, “Let you be a servant of all.” Not just serving that inner circle but serving who? A first to be a servant of all. He changed their perspective instead of trying to be great in this world to being a servant.
He gives a great example. Look at verse 45. He speaks about himself and there’s a change. Remember earlier when Messiah’s referred to, he’s called teacher. Now what happens? Well, he speaks to himself in this way. He says, “For the son of man did not come to be served,” but he says, “Rather to serve and to give his life as literally a redemption for many.” Now, that’s important because that term redemption, according to the rabbinical sages, the term redemption they say, “Without death, there is no redemption.” He underscores once again about sacrifice, that ultimate sacrifice, laying down your life.
Now, all of this that we’ve studied so far is to bring us to the last passage in this chapter because here’s where the wisdom is. Here’s the example for us. If we understand the truth that he shared, we’re going to respond like this individual that’s going to be lifted up in the texts for us to learn from him.
Move on now to verse 46. Now in verse 46, we see that there’s a transition. He is clearly now on this last journey from Jericho to Jerusalem. He’s getting close. What do we see? Verse 46, “And entering into Jericho and going out of it.” Now that’s important for two reasons. Number one, Jericho, biblically speaking, was a city that had a curse placed upon it. We see Messiah enters and medially leaves, spends no time there whatsoever. As leaving Jericho, what happens while he’s on this upward road to Jerusalem? What happens? Well, we read that there was his disciples and a great crowd of people, and then it says, “And the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus.”
Now, there’s a play on words here. In fact, there’s going to be a couple different play on words. What’s emphasized in this passage is the son of Timaeus. Now this word, Timaeus, means wealthy one. This one Bartimaeus simply means a son of a wealthy man. Now, what would you expect? Well, a wealthy man. What we see, wealth is power. They would lord themselves over people, but this man’s not doing that. Why? Well, end of verse 46, it tells us that he was blind. Because of his physical condition, he was not able to utilize his resources to be great. Quite the contrary, it says here, what was he doing? “He was sitting along the road,” and don’t miss this. “He was asking.”
Now, I realized that that most Bibles in English will say, “begging,” and that’s fine, but understand the root of that word begging in Greek has the same word as asking. There’s a prefix that changes the meaning somewhat, but what was he doing? He was on the side of the road asking. Well, the implication begging, but same word. The same thing that we see in regard to Ya’aqov and Yehochanan, James and John, that come and ask Messiah a question. He’s asking.
What happens? Verse 47, “And he heard.” That’s important because hearing is key. We all know the verse. “Faith comes by hearing,” and this man, not the disciples, this man who is blind. Now what’s unique, he’s blind physically, but not spiritually; where the disciples, they can see physically, but they’re blind spiritually. They’re not understanding who Messiah is, what he is coming to this world to do. Verse 47, “And he sees that Yeshua [Manastur 00:17:18],” that is Jesus of Nazareth, and don’t miss it. It literally says this word esteem is now again, most English Bibles will say was, like was passing by, but literally it’s simply says is. The emphasis here is on the present tense. Present tense to say that he is.
Now, why is that important? He’s going to respond to that. He’s going to respond to the fact Yeshua is. Is who? Well, we’re coming to that. Verse 47, “And he heard that Yeshua Manastur, Jesus of Nazareth is and he began to cry out and say…” Don’t miss this. Here again, many times later manuscripts, they want to change something. They want to make it more understandable or they simply change it to be placed in a way that our expectations, but we ought not do that because it literally says, “Son of David, Yeshua,” which means the Son of David. Whenever we have that term, Son of David, what should be the first thing that comes into your mind? Messiah. He’s saying Messiah is Yeshua.
When he says, “Son of David, Yeshua. The Messiah is Yeshua.” He understands, and what’s the key? Well, you go back up to that same verse hearing. He’s heard. He may be blind, but he can hear. Faith comes by seeing. No, faith comes by hearing. This man is exercising faith. He is calm. He has heard what Yeshua has done, and he has come to the proper conclusion that Yeshua is Messiah. He’s the Son of David.
What does he do? We’ll look at it. Verse 47, “He cries out and he says, ‘Be merciful unto me.'” Now, why would he say that? Well, if you think of Messiah in the traditional sense, Messiah’s King. What should I get? A good place in his kingdom? But understand that’s when Messiah returns. He’s going to return and establish his kingdom.
That’s not why he’s here. What he has said over and over in this passage. This is the third time that he’s going up to Jerusalem to lay down his life. Why? Well, remember what we talked about. He even said this in verse 45, The son of man, son of man servant, he’s come into this world to serve. Doing what? To lay down his life as a means of redemption.
Now, redemption is important because redemption produces something. Redemption produces the mercy of God. It makes the mercy of God available to us. Messiah, there’s a connection between Messiah and mercy. When this one hears Messiah Manastur, Yeshua is coming, he understands he’s the Son of David that he’s going to establish a kingdom. He understands Mashiyach, King, but he also understands a preliminary role of Messiah and that is to be an instrument of grace, an instrument of mercy.
Now, one of the questions that we should ask ourselves, not just today, but every day, and that’s this, when was the last time you beseeched the Lord for mercy. Messiah, he has laid down his life so that we can be a recipient of his mercy. All too often, we asked for this and we asked for that. We have this want and that desire. We deal with these problems and these things going on in our life, but we never really beseech him for mercy. Well, this was not the case with this man, Bartimaeus. He cries out, “Yeshua, Son of David, be merciful to me.”
Look on to verse 48. Now verse 48, there’s a play upon words, and it’s only in the biblical language that you can see this. Now, we’ve already talked about the term that is used here is Bartimaeus, son of the wealthy man. If you look at verse 48, it says, “And many rebuked him that he should be silent.” What’s the word for rebuke? Well, the root is timao, epitimao. It’s the same word that relates to his name, but understand something, even though here, and here’s a play on word, we see the dichotomy. We see the two perspectives.
This word, epitimao, it can mean two things. If you check it out in a Greek lexicon, epitimao, it can mean, like we see here in most translations, this is what they were doing, rebuking him. Literally, that word means to set value upon, and we have the perspectives of the world. When they saw this beggar, they didn’t put any significance or value upon him. In fact, he was crying out, what did they say? “Be silent.” We see it in another gospel that they were annoyed by him, and they said, “Be quiet.”
Notice the change. We’re going to see that Messiah he set value. He placed value upon what he did. Why? Well, look on verse, verse 48, “The more that they said, ‘Be quiet’ and rebuked him, the more the rather he cried out, ‘Son of David have mercy upon me.'” When he realized that Yeshua, he wasn’t going to be quiet because this is the only opportunity that he had for mercy. He was going to make the most of it, or at least give everything he had, all of his ability in seeking that mercy. What happened? Well, that type of behavior did something.
Now, remember the context. Messiah, from the pages of scripture, we see that that book of Mark is increasing. Things are moving faster. Why? It’s all coming together in Jerusalem. When he comes to Jericho, usually, and we know from a physical standpoint, if you’re at Jericho, you’re about at sea level, but when you get to Jerusalem, you’re 3000 feet above sea level. It’s not that large of, of distance. What we see here is that it’s a great incline. Why is that important? One of the things we know about ancient Jericho, it was a place to rest and relax before you made that final climb up to Jerusalem.
What did Messiah do? He comes. He enters into Jericho, and he immediately leaves. No resting. No stopping. Why? He is focused upon what he’s about to do. Remember what he says in verse 45, “The son of man did not come into this world to be served, but rather to serve and to give his life as a ransom to die for many.”
The focus is upon what he’s going to do. He’s not paying attention. He’s focused upon getting to Jerusalem, but when he hears this blind man speak out, “Yeshua, Son of David have mercy upon me,” repeatedly. It stopped him in the tracks. Why? Look at verse 49, “And Yeshua stood still, and he said, ‘You call him,’ and they call the blind man saying to him, ‘Rejoice. Get up. For he calls you.'”
Look at verse 50. Now, verse 50 tells us something very important. Not too long ago, we were looking at a passage in another class that I was teaching in regard to First Peter and there, it tells us, it gives us some counsel about girding our minds. Now, this expression, to gird, has to do with being ready to serve, and when you gird yourself, you have to do something. You take off your outer garment, just like Messiah did when he washed the feet of the disciples. You remove your outer garment, you gird your inner garments, and you’re ready for service. That’s what this one did. If you look at this passage, it says, “He cast off his garments and he jumped.” Many Bibles say, “Leap.” He may have been blind, but he was not handicap. “He leaped, and he came to Messiah.”
Why? Well, Yeshua asks him that very question. “Yeshua answered and said to him, ‘What do you want that I should do?'” The same thing that we see James and John asking. “And the blind man, he answered and said to him, ‘Rabboni.'” Now, this is a very important term. It means my great one. He understands who Messiah is. Not only is he an instrument of grace and mercy, but he’s the Lord of Lords. He says to him, “Rabboni.” He says, “That I might see.”
Now, that’s not surprising to us. We might think, well, blind man, he wants to see, but the question is, why does he want to see? Is he just tired of being blind? Being in darkness? He wants to get out of that darkness, but there’s another reason for it. He just doesn’t want a change in his life, he wants a particular change in his life.
Therefore, what do we see? Verse 52, our final verse, “And Yeshua answered and said to him, ‘Go, for your faith.'” Here’s the difference. He was acting in faith. Faith is inherently related to truth. He was acting in faith, so Messiah says, “Go, your faith.” Has what? “Saved you.” It’s unique because this word for saving is in the perfect. It’s usually in the passive. For your faith has saved you, caused you to be saved, but here it’s has saved you in the perfect which means it was a process. His faith grew to the point that he understood truth, and he was able to act upon it.
What happens? Last phrase, “And immediately he regained his sight.: Not so that he could go out and just look at all of God’s beautiful creation, not so that he could go back home and begin his life anew. He wanted to see, why? He wanted to be in the light so that he could follow after Messiah. That’s exactly what it says.
It’s amazing because he says, “Go away.” What did he do? He went and it says, “And he followed after him,” and here’s the key, “On the way.” He was on the way asking. What was he wanting? He wanted healing. For what purpose? Serving Messiah. That’s when we know that we truly have been healed from our sins, that we have received that mercy when we want to serve the merciful one.
Well, we’ll stop with that until next week when we begin a new chapter in Mark’s gospel, Mark chapter 11.
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 in our Messiah Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him. Shalom from Israel.