Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ransom For Many

Mark 10:1-52 NIV


1Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to Him, and as was His custom, He taught them.

2Some Pharisees came and tested Him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

3“What did Moses command you?” He replied.

4They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

5“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’a 7‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,b 8and the two will become one flesh.’c So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

The Little Children and Jesus

13People were bringing little children to Jesus for Him to place His Hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16And He took the children in His Arms, placed His Hands on them and blessed them.

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

17As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to Him and fell on his knees before Him. “Good teacher,” He asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18“Why do you call Me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the Commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’d 

20“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” He said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”

22At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!”

24The disciples were amazed at His Words. But Jesus said again, Children, how hard it ise to enter the Kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”

26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

27Jesus looked at them and said, 

With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

28Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”

29“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for Me and the Gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time

32They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again He took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to Him. 33“We are going up to Jerusalem,” He said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles, 34who will mock Him and spit on Him, flog Him and kill Him. Three days later He will rise.”

The Request of James and John

35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36“What do you want Me to do for you?” He asked.

37They replied, “Let one of us sit at Your right and the other at Your left in Your Glory.”

38“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

39“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,40but to sit at My right or left is not for Me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

41When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.

 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His Life as a ransom for many.”

Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

46Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and His disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

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

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Verse 45

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His Life as a ransom for many."

A Ransom for Many
Written by John Piper

No Negotiation

There is no thought in the Bible that Satan had to be paid off to let sinners be saved.  What happened to Satan when Christ died was not payment, but defeat. The Son of God became human so “that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).  There was no negotiation.

When Jesus says that He came “to give His Life as a ransom,” the focus is not on who gets the payment.  The focus is on His Own Life as the payment, and on His Freedom in serving rather than being served, and on the “many” who will benefit from the payment He makes.

If we ask who received the ransom, the biblical answer would surely be God. The Bible says that Christ “gave Himself up for us, [an] . . . offering . . . to God” (Ephesians 5:2).  Christ “offered Himself without blemish to God”  (Hebrews 9:14).  The whole need for a substitute to die on our behalf is because we have sinned against God (Romans 3:23).  And because of our sin, “the whole world [is] held accountable to God (Romans 3:19).  So when Christ gives Himself as a ransom for us, the Bible says that we are freed from the condemnation of God.  “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  The ultimate captivity from which we need release is the final “judgment of God (Romans 2:2; Revelation 14:7).

Freely Given

The ransom price of this release from God’s condemnation is the Life of Christ. Not just His Life lived, but His Life given up in death.  Jesus said repeatedly to His disciples, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him”  (Mark 9:31).  In fact, one of the reasons Jesus loved to call Himself “the Son of Man” (over sixty-five times in the Gospels) was that it had the ring of mortality about it.  Men can die.  That’s why He had to be one.  The ransom could only be paid by the Son of Man, because the ransom was a life given up in death.

The price was not coerced from Him.  That’s the point of saying, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”  He needed no service from us.  He was the Giver, not the receiver. “No one takes [My Life] from Me, but I lay it down of My Own Accord” (John 10:18).  The price was paid freely; it was not forced.  Which brings us again to His love.  He freely chose to rescue us at the cost of His Life.

How many did Christ effectively ransom from sin? He said that He came “to give His Life as a ransom for many.”  Yet not everyone will be ransomed from the wrath of God.  But the offer is for everyone. “There is One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself as a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5-6).  No one is excluded from this salvation who embraces the treasure of the ransoming Christ.

John Piper, “The Passion of Jesus Christ:  Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die” (Wheaton, Illinois:  Crossway Books, 2004) Reason #8.

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