We start with a lesson about riches (18-30). A man comes to Jesus and wants to know how to inherit eternal life. He calls Jesus good, and Jesus confronts him about it. He could be trying to butter Jesus up, or he could be sincere and Jesus is encouraging him to think about what he just said! But he is self righteous, and Jesus, who knows everything, challenges him. The man most likely thinks that he is already righteous precisely because of his wealth. After all, if God is blessing him with wealth, he must be okay. In effect he is trusting in his wealth, and Jesus tells him to get rid of it because he needs to trust in God. The disciples are flabbergasted. Wealth isn’t a measure of righteousness? Then who can go to heaven?!?!? Jesus replies that it can’t be a result of human effort. It has to be done by God! It’s all about grace! Peter’s comment may indicate pride or uncertainty: “look how great we are,” or “we did it right, didn’t we?” Jesus assures the disciples that all who follow Him will not only inherit eternal life, but will be rewarded for their sacrifices. When we believe we enter into a family of mutual caring and support and we have a much larger spiritual family than we ever had an earthly family!
Next Jesus reminds the disciples of what’s ahead (31-34). Is the Scripture indicating that they were supernaturally kept from understanding? Possibly, or it could be that they were so stuck in one way of thinking about the Messiah that they couldn’t comprehend anything else! Could we be that same way with our end times theology?
The healing of the blind man teaches us some important lessons (35-43):
- We shouldn’t let anyone come between us and God.
- We all have a great need: mercy.
- We only have one way we can get it: pleading to the Messiah (the Son of David).
- God can grant even our most unbelievable requests!
- We display our faith by our passionate persistence.
- We need to praise God when He has blessed us.
- Our praise can result in others praising God too!