Jesus seems to be coming directly from the mount of transfiguration where Moses and Elijah appeared to Him and they talked to Him about His death in Jerusalem. As He leaves the mount of transfiguration, He begins a journey through the length of the country. He is there at the uppermost part of the nation, the area of Caesarea Philippi but He journeys down through the Upper Galilee, comes back to Capernaum, but just sort of stopping through. And thus, He leaves Capernaum and we catch up with ourselves here on the tenth chapter.
And he arose from there [that is, Capernaum], and he came unto the coasts [or the borders] of Judaea by the farther side of the Jordan (10:1):
He isn’t coming down through Judaea now but is staying on the other side of the Jordan river, a little out of the reach of the jurisdiction of the Pharisees and scribes there on the other side of the Jordan river.
but the people came to him; and, as he was accustomed, he taught them again (10:1).
Always teaching of the grace and the glory of the Father. Always teaching men of the wonders of the Father. And it was just, just people there He’s going to teach and share with them.
So the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him (10:2).
A lead question, a trick question. They really don’t want an answer, they’re not looking for answers, they’re looking for arguments. There are questions that are honest questions and there are questions that are dishonest questions because they appear as a question but really, there is no desire to receive an answer, only a desire to create an argument. This was one of those questions that they’re trying to create an argument. They’re trying to set Jesus against the teachings of the Mosaic law. For in the Mosaic law, if a man married a woman and he found some uncleanness in her, he could give her a writing of a bill of divorcement. Through the years, that phrase, find some uncleanness in her, they developed two sharply distinct interpretations of what that meant. There were those who interpreted that in a very restrictive sense, that is, she was guilty of adultery. Then he could write her a bill of divorcement. But there was another rabbinic school that took a very liberal kind of an interpretation, find some uncleanness in her. One rabbi said if you’ve just found someone else who was prettier and that you like more, and thus, as Jesus said, they disallowed the law by their traditions. So there was though a divided opinion even among the rabbis as to what constituted finding an uncleanness in this writing of the bill of divorcement. But yet there was definitely the provision for the bill of divorcement under the Mosaic law undeniably. So they knew that Jesus took a very strict view towards marriage. And they were trying to put Him at odds with the law of Moses because everybody recognized that the law of Moses was the law of God, that Moses was inspired by God and that God gave to Moses the law. Thus, if Jesus is saying something contrary to the Mosaic law, then how can He claim to be from God? And that was the whole issue behind the question, is to put Him at odds with the Mosaic law.
So he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you (10:3)?
He recognized that they were trying to get Him in conflict with Moses’ commandments.
And they said, Moses allowed us to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away (10:4).
That’s what Moses said. You could write her a bill of divorcement, put her away.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept (10:5).
Recognizing that man could not come to God’s divine ideal, because of the hardness of his heart, God made allowance under the Mosaic law for the hardness of the heart. That wasn’t God’s intention, that wasn’t God’s purpose, that isn’t God’s best. And so Jesus goes back before the Mosaic law. In the beginning when God created man, and created the woman and brought her to Adam, in the beginning, God’s intent, God’s purpose, God’s desire that,
In the beginning [and from the beginning] He made them male and female. And for this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; And they two become one flesh (10:6-8):
The marriage union is the most intimate union that man can experience on the human level where the two become one flesh. And it is extremely beautiful and it is fulfilled within the child that is born from the union. As you look at that beautiful little child, you can’t say that’s mine, you have to say that’s ours. It’s one, the two of you have become one in that child because it has taken twenty-three chromosomes from the mother and twenty-three from the father. It’s ours, you can’t say that’s your kid when he’s cutting up. Part yours too. It’s our child and good or bad, it’s our child. It’s beautiful, the combination of the two of us right there. I can see distinct characteristics of mine, I can see distinct characteristics of Kay in our children and the two become one, there is a bond, there is a union. And then Jesus said,
they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (10:8,9).
Jesus again gave a very strict commandment concerning marriage. Recognizing that this is the divine ideal. In the beginning, this was God’s intention, this was God’s purpose, this is God’s plan, this is God’s ideal. Now it is tragic that man could not live up to God’s ideal because of the hardness of his heart. And it is tragic when in a marriage there comes a hardness of the heart towards the partner. Just where I don’t want them anymore, I don’t want to live with them anymore. And there is a hardness of the heart. That’s a tragic thing. But rather than going on in a relationship in which you are destroying each other, Moses said, Give her a writing of a bill of divorcement, because of the hardness of the heart. But that isn’t God’s intention, that isn’t God’s best and you need to recognize that. But because of the hardness of the heart it is allowed, it is tolerated by God, though not God’s best.
So when they got in the house the disciples [were concerned about this, and so they] asked Jesus about the same matter. [And verse eleven] He said unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her (10:10,11).
I think that if you would put “to marry another” you would catch more of the actual thought of Jesus. If you put away your wife in order to marry another, you commit adultery against her. In the years of ministry as we have dealt with countless number of cases where a husband or a wife determines they’re going to move out, and the one party will call—devastated, broken, my husband has moved out, he said that he’s just tired of the family, he doesn’t want to live with us anymore—I always say there’s another woman involved. Oh, no, no, I don’t think so. I said, I know so. Nobody moves out unless they’re moving in. I’ve found it over and over again, you just don’t leave unless there’s someone over here that you’re leaving for. And so to leave, to marry another, you commit adultery against your wife. And in the same token,
If a woman shall put away her husband, to be married to another, she commits adultery (10:12).
Again, the Mosaic law gave the option to write a bill of divorcement because of the hardness of the heart. If a person has been divorced and remarried, are they living then in adultery? And if the Bible says that no adulterer or adulteress is going to enter the kingdom of heaven, does that mean that they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven? Under the Mosaic law, when the divorce was written, it was the end to that relationship. Under the Mosaic law, the uncleanness was interpreted in a strict sense as adultery. In the Mosaic law, if a man or a woman committed adultery, the penalty under the law was stoning so that if your wife committed adultery, you report it to the elders that she had committed adultery, they would bring her before them, they would examine her, and if she was guilty of adultery, she would be stoned to death; or the same would be true of a husband whose wife was suspicious, and he would be stoned if he indeed was guilty of adultery. Thus, the guilty party being stoned, put to death, you would be free then to marry another by virtue of the fact that you were now a widow or a widower.
Today, in this age in which we live, there is still that hardness of heart, which makes it impossible for some couples to remain together. They cannot rise or will not rise to God’s divine ideal and it is a mutual thing, you have to do it together. If you’re an innocent party, your wife says I’m through, I don’t want anything more to do with you and she’s interested in someone else, you’re an innocent victim. And the same is true the other way around. If your wife and your husband has taken off, not interested anymore, developed another relationship. You then are free from the bond that once existed because that no longer exists because of the new relationship.
We have in the Old Testament the story of David, a man who the Old Testament testifies was a man after God’s own heart. God set Saul aside from reigning over Israel, God was seeking a man after His own heart and David was that man. But David was not perfectly morally correct. And everybody knows about his sin with Bathsheba. It was done in secret, David sought to cover it, he thought he had successfully covered it when he plotted the murder of Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba. But there were suspicions, but there was also the revelation of God to the prophet Nathan who finally came and faced David with his sin. And David, when faced with his sin by the prophet, said I have sinned. And the prophet immediately said to him, Your sin is forgiven. Now he did not divorce Bathsheba. The child that was born from the adulterous relationship died, and yet the next son born of the relationship between David and Bathsheba was King Solomon who took the throne after David. So we see here God’s mercy and God’s grace unto David and we must always leave that room for the mercy and the grace of God to operate.
In the gospel of John, chapter eight, we have the case of the woman brought to Jesus, taken in the very act of adultery and again, the Mosaic law says we’re to stone her, what do you say? And Jesus said, Whoever is without sin, let him throw the first stone. And again, the grace. When they all left from the eldest to the youngest and finally only the woman was standing there, Jesus stood up and He looked at her and He said, Where are your accusers? And she said, Well I guess I don’t have any. And He said, Neither do I condemn thee, go your way and sin no more. The grace of God, always leave room for that grace of God to operate.
Now God doesn’t just give us a license to move from one relationship to another. God expects us to create a bond, the two become one. And God’s ideal is that you let the Spirit of God work in your heart and work out your differences. And seek the help of the Lord, let your heart be soft towards the working of the Spirit and soft toward that one that you have committed and taken vows to. The Bible tells us that God hates divorcing. It is a difficult experience, it’s a hard experience, it’s a hurtful experience. No one can come out of that unscathed. There are emotional scars when the hearts become hard and the relationship turns sour and there’s that endeavor to cut and hurt each other. Sad condition. [tape partly damaged here] God did give the allowance for divorce.
Now they brought young children to Jesus, that he should touch them (10:13):
It’s beautiful how proud parents are of their children and how they love it when people notice their children in an approving way. There’s just something about it, you know that they’re the most beautiful and the brightest little kids in the whole world. And you love it when others notice that too. Parents wanted Jesus to notice their children. There is sort of a custom even to the present day of coming to a rabbi that he might touch you. The idea is through the touching just sort of putting a blessing on you. There was a little Yemenite rabbi in Jerusalem, I haven’t seen him now for five years, but he was a colorful little character with his grey beard and all. He would be usually in the area of the temple mount, not up next to the wall but out where the tourists stay as a general rule, and this little fellow would be shouting out his prayers, walking back and forth out there in that area, colorful little Yemenite Jew. And it was interesting how that so many of the people and young people would come up to him and he would touch them, imparting a blessing to them. And they would come up to be touched. It’s a long standing custom to come to a prominent rabbi and to be touched because he in the touch sort of imparts unto you a blessing. And so the parents were bringing their children to Jesus, the Rabbi, the Master, in order that He might just touch them.
But the disciples felt that it was an annoyance (10:13),
And so they began to forbid the parents, rebuking those parents. Don’t bother the Lord. Can’t you see, with your children,
and they began to rebuke the parents. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased (10:13),
The Greek is “He was filled with indignation” that His disciples would endeavor to keep someone from coming to Him. Jesus always wanted to be open and be available. He wanted the people to know that He was always available, even in little insignificant things such as touching children. It wasn’t bothering Him, He loved it. And so when He saw the disciples rebuking the parents, He was filled with indignation,
and he said unto them, Allow those little children to come unto me, don’t forbid them: of such is the kingdom of God. And verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein (10:13-15).
Receiving it with just the simplicity and the trust and the openness of a little child. How sad that we’ve become so complex. How sad that we begin to wear masks. We try to cover. You don’t find that with a little child. They’re just blunt and honest and it’s beautiful, I love it. My little granddaughter looks at me and she just picks out every flaw. She’s so honest, painfully honest. But that’s one thing about a child, they have nothing to hide and they’re not trying to hide, they’re just and just that simplicity and that honesty and that’s how we have to receive the kingdom of God. Come as a little child
And he took them up in his arms (10:16),
What a beautiful picture. I love it. Jesus just taking the children up, oh how I’d love to have been there and brought my kids to Him and just watch Him hold them in His arms and put his hands on them, and blessed them. What a picture of one of those tender touches of Jesus that just draws me to Him.
Now when he had gone forth into the way (10:17),
The way is the way towards Jerusalem. He’s on His way to Jerusalem and He is on His way to be crucified. He had talked to Moses and Elijah about His death to be accomplished in Jerusalem and while they were still up there in that Upper Galilee region, He told his disciples, chapter nine, thirty-one that “The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, they will kill him; after that he is killed, he will rise the third day.” They didn’t understand that saying. But He is on His way, the way to Jerusalem. He has set His face like flint, He’s going to the cross, and only He seems to realize that the disciples are oblivious to this. They’re still thinking of the kingdom, they still think that maybe He’ll overthrow the Roman authority when they get to Jerusalem, and He’s going to set things right. And we’ll be able, then, to have the positions of authority and power as He establishes His kingdom. “So He had gone forth again into the way,”
and there one came running up to him, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I might inherit eternal life (10:17)?
The other gospels tell us that he was young and that he was rich. One of the gospels tell us that he was a ruler. He had the things that we usually think make for a good life. If I only had riches. If I were only young again. Too soon old, too late smart. If I only was young again with all the knowledge and all that I have now. If I only had money, if I only had position. This fellow had it all, but he still had a lack. Success doesn’t mean nearly as much to the person who has attained it. It’s that illusion, that fantasy, that pushes us, that drives us to become successful, to achieve or to attain certain goals. But once the goals are attained, then the excitement is gone.
Donald Trump says the excitement is in seeking. Once you have found it, it’s no longer exciting. Ted Turner said the excitement is the chase. Once you’ve caught it, it’s empty. But that excitement of the anticipation, the fantasies that we have of, Oh, I would just be so satisfied if I was just rich, if I just had position. This fellow had it all and he was empty. He recognized in Jesus a simplicity of beauty. Maybe he saw the children and the way they responded to Jesus and the way Jesus responded to them. He was so into business, and so into his possessions, he didn’t have time for children. It’s amazing how that our attitudes change once Jesus masters our hearts and lives.
When we were in Tucson many years ago, the early years of our ministry, we moved next door to a captain in the Air Force and his wife and the Spirit of God was working in their hearts in a very special way. Jan was the first one to accept the Lord and she was born running. Just so excited and just, oh what a glorious experience she had when she received Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She was just such a beautiful neighbor, overflowing with joy. The day that she called me up and said, Chuck, come on over to my house, I need to talk to you. When I went over there she said, I need the Lord, I need to accept Jesus. And so we prayed with her and she accepted the Lord and just, as I said, born running, just overflowing with joy. Her husband Jim was a professor at Cornell University, a vowed agnostic. And so she felt that she had to be careful how to break the news to him that she had accepted Jesus. She was going to wait until one of those evenings when he appeared to be in the right mood and so forth and she was going to share her experience.
But when he got home from the airbase that night, her daughters were jumping up and down and saying, Mommy, you going to tell daddy what happened when Chuck was over here today? And he said, What the hell goes on around here when I’m not home. So she had to tell him. So the Lord opened the door for us to begin to share with Jim. And that glorious day when Jim and I knelt together and he accepted Jesus Christ. They had three beautiful little girls, just little dolls. Shortly after Jim had accepted the Lord, he was transferred, he was with SAC and he was transferred to Alaska. And so he had to leave and go up to the base in Alaska while Jan then had to pack up all of the stuff and the Air Force moved them up there, but he had gone ahead. And I received from Jim a letter that I treasure to the present day as he thanked me for bringing him to Jesus Christ. He said, Chuck, I used to say children were the scourge of the earth. He said, I looked at my own little daughters as a nuisance and they were in the way, a bother. But, he said, since Jesus has come into my heart, he said, you know, I can’t wait for them to get up here. I so long to see them, and he said, What a difference Jesus has made in our attitude towards children.
And so Jesus blessing the little children, what a beautiful picture. Now this rich, young ruler, he had it all as far as the world was concerned, but in his own heart there was an emptiness. “Good Master, what must I do?”
Now Jesus answered him in an interesting way.
He said, Why do you call me good? there is only one that is good, and that is, God (10:18).
From that answer of Jesus, we have one of two conclusions: Jesus is saying to him, I’m no good; or Jesus is awakening his consciousness to the recognition that Jesus is God. I believe the latter to be true. Jesus is saying to him, Look, without realizing it you have recognized something. Look what you have recognized, what you see in me, what you desire in me, what you see of my love for children and my attitude towards people, that quality of life that you’re recognizing, is the life of God. I am God. What you need is God in your life, what you need is the life of God. And then Jesus said unto him,
You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, and honour your father and mother (10:19).
The sixth commandment of the second table of the law, that deal with man’s relationship with his fellowman.
And he said, Lord, I have observed these from my youth (10:20).
I do not believe that that was an empty boast, I think that this man was morally good. He was a moral man, so another quality; he was rich, he was young, he had position and he was a moral man. After he said this, I have observed these from my youth, it says
Jesus looked at him and loved him (10:21),
Now I think that had he been making a false boast kind of a statement, that Jesus would have cut in on him, because Jesus could not stand hypocrisy. But He saw the earnestness. He looked at him and He loved him.
And he said unto him, One thing you lack: go your way, and sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. He went his way sad, he was grieved at that statement: because he had great possessions (10:21,22).
Very wealthy man. One thing you lack. It’s interesting that in the first table of the law, our relationship to God, the very first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Though he had kept morally the second table and was a moral man and treated his neighbor right, yet his relationship with God was not right. There was a god in his life, it was his possessions. A god that was before the true and the living God. A god that was keeping him from surrendering all to God, from following God completely. And Jesus is saying, Look, if you want to be perfect, if you want to be complete, then get rid of that which is standing in the way of your complete following of Me. In his case, it was money.
Jesus said in Matthew’s gospel and here in Mark’s, too, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” Jesus is telling this young man what’s standing in the way. Your possessions are standing in the way of following me. So as Jesus speaks to us, whatever it is in your life that is standing in the way of your full commitment to follow Jesus, to put God first, that’s the thing that Jesus will put His finger on and say, Look, this has to go. This is holding you back from following me, this is keeping you back from that full rich life that you’re desiring. Whatever it is that is usurping the place of God in your life.
Then Jesus, [as he walked away] looked round about, and said to his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter the kingdom of God (10:23)!
With what difficulty the experience.
Now the disciples were astonished. And Jesus said again, [modifying it a little, he said], Children, how hard is it for them who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure (10:24-26),
That astounded them.
and they said among themselves, then who can be saved (10:26)?
When Jesus said a camel going through the eye of a needle, there are those who will point in the great gates of the city or the great gates of a church a small little sub-gate that was often left open at night. The big gates of the city were closed but there was always this smaller gate that you could squeeze through, usually in the big gate. And they said that sometimes when people would come with their camels and so forth, they would have to unload the camels to put the goods through that small gate and then one would get in front and pull the camel and others would push the camel to get it through that little, smaller gate and they said the smaller gate was called the eye of the needle. What they are basically trying to say that if you push and shove hard enough, you can make it. Use great enough effort, you can get in. But Jesus in responding to the question, “Who then can be saved?” said,
With men it is impossible (10:27),
Salvation is impossible, I don’t care how hard you shove or how hard you pull or how hard you try. You can’t save yourself. How moral you are, your own morality will not save you. Jesus just flat said, “With men it’s impossible.” Salvation is out of the reach of man’s ability. You can’t be good enough. You can’t do enough good. “With men it is impossible,”
but not with God: for with God all things are possible (10:27).
Salvation is of the Lord. God can do the impossible. He can save you. He can redeem you. He can change you. With God all things are possible.
Then Peter began to say, Lord, we have left all, and followed you (10:28).
And that’s true. They left their nets, they left their boats, they left the fishing industry, they had left that to follow Jesus. They turned their back on their own possessions. They left all to follow Him.
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s (10:29),
That’s the important thing, for My sake and the gospel’s,
But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (10:30).
God will not be your debtor. Jesus said to this young fellow, Sell everything, you’ll have great treasure in heaven. God won’t be a debtor to you. God will never be a debtor to man. And God will replace anything that you give up to follow Him a hundred times over. But then, eternal life on top of that.
But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. And so they were in the way [again continuing in the way] going now up to Jerusalem (10:31);
leaving the Jordan valley and going up now towards Jerusalem,
and Jesus went before them (10:31):
and the disciples were just sort of shocked. They could tell that Jesus was in sort of a pensive mood, He knew what was awaiting Him in Jerusalem and they didn’t quite understand as He was going on before them.
and they were there in amazement; as they were following, and they were filled with fear (10:31).
There’s just something, there’s a perhaps a premonition of this antagonism and all towards Jesus that has been building and they see Jesus in this rather serious mode. They’re frightened.
And he took again the twelve, and he began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him, He said, Behold, we’re going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they will condemn him to death, and they will deliver him to the Gentiles: And they [the Gentiles] will mock him, and will scourge him, and will spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again (10:32-34).
Turn back to Isaiah chapter fifty and Jesus is pretty much just declaring the prophecy of Isaiah in chapter fifty, in verse four He said, “The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth me morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back” (Isaiah 50:4,5). The opening of the ear was the mark of the bondslave. This is a prophecy concerning Jesus, “Who, in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: yet he emptied himself, came in the form of man, and the likeness of man: he humbled himself, and became a servant and obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). Ear open. “Father, not my will, thy will be done” (Luke 22:42). The submission to the Father, He’s opened my ear. And thus, “I gave my back to the smiters,” as He is prophesied here, they’re going to scourge Him, “and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: and I hid not my face from shame and from spitting” (Isaiah 50:6). So those things that were prophesied of Him in Isaiah.
These are the things, He is saying, are going to happen when I get to Jerusalem. First, I’ll be delivered to the chief priests and they’re going to condemn me to death. They’ll turn me over to the Gentiles and they in turn will mock me, scourge me, and spit upon me and kill me. But the third day, I’ll rise again. But somehow they didn’t hear that. Somehow when He talked about them killing Him, their minds just shocked and they didn’t hear any further. And now here are James and John. The last time when He was talking about, in chapter nine, how that He was going to go to Jerusalem and how they were going to kill Him and so forth, verse thirty-one, “I’m going to be delivered into the hands of men, they will kill me; and after he is killed, he will rise the third day” (Mark 9:31). Right after that, the disciples were in a big argument as who was going to be the greatest in the kingdom. He just talked about, they’re going to kill Me. And now they’re arguing over who’s going to be the greatest. And now again, He tells them I’m going to be killed. And so what happens?
James and John, sons of Zebedee, they came to him, saying, Master, do us a favor. And said, What is it that you want? And they said, Grant unto us that we might sit, one on your right hand, and the other on your left hand, when you come into your glory (10:35-37).
Still this earthly, these are the disciples. In a way, it is rather comforting to realize that Jesus didn’t call perfect people to do His work. Of course, how could He? There aren’t any. And so He has to use the likes of us with our misunderstanding, often with our own selfish desires or motives. And yet He uses people just like us. But before He can use us, there has to be that transformation, that filling with His Spirit, that transformation that comes by the Holy Spirit. But these are the kind of men that are going to be transformed and turn the world upside down. So here they are, still vying, they were ashamed to admit that they were arguing about who’s going to be the greatest and Jesus said, Look, you got to be the servant, got to learn how to serve others.
And so Jesus asked them, Are you able to drink the cup that I’m going to drink of [referring to His death] and to be baptized with the baptism where I am baptized (10:38)?
You going to be able to handle that?
And they said, We can (10:39).
They didn’t even know what He was talking about. The blindness of ambition.
And Jesus said, Indeed you’re going to be drinking of the cup; and you’re going to be baptized with the same baptism: But to sit on my right hand and on my left is not really mine to give; but it is to those to whom it is prepared (10:39,40).
In other words, that’s already ordained by God.
And when the other ten heard it, they were filled with indignation, very displeased [same Greek word, “filled with indignation”] with James and John (10:41).
Those guys trying to sneak in ahead of us.
So Jesus called the disciples to him, and he said unto them, You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship; and the great ones exercise authority upon them (10:42).
This is one of the problems with man trying to reign over man, is that desire to exercise lordship, authority. It’s a difficult thing to handle power. Very few people are capable of it without it going to their head. And Jesus said, This is the way it happens with the Gentiles. Those who are chosen, they begin to exercise lordship.
But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your servant (10:43):
And He uses the Greek word for “servant” here. Whoever will be great, he is your servant.
And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be [and here He uses the word “slave,” doulos] the slave of all (10:44).
The word “minister” and “servant” are the same, it’s one who ministers to your needs. Unfortunately, through usage through the years it has become sort of a title of distinction and it’s the reverend or the most right reverend or the most holy right reverend. It’s amazing how many things they can put on a title. And you become elevated and you begin to look for perks and for special favors, someone to carry your bags because you are actually the minister. You say servant it doesn’t sound so elevated, but if you use the real word, servant, then you begin to understand what the ministry should be about. It’s about serving. And even more than that, it’s about being a slave. “Whoever would be the chiefest, let him become the slave of all.”
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8038