1 And Jesus left there and went to the region of Judea and east of the Jordan River. Again crowds gathered around Him and He continued teaching them, as was His custom. 2 Some Pharisees [i.e., a strict sect of the Jewish religion] came to Him [and attempted] to test Him by asking, "Is it permissible by the law of Moses for a man to divorce his wife?"
3 And He answered them, "What did Moses command you [to do]?"
4 They replied, "Moses allowed us to provide a legal divorce decree and [then] to divorce her."
5 But Jesus said to them, "He wrote you this commandment [only] because of the rebellious spirit of you [Jews]. 6 But from the beginning of creation God made mankind male and female.
7 For this reason [i.e., since he made one woman for one man] a man will leave [the home of] his father and mother and will cling to his wife 8 and the two of them will [then] become one flesh [i.e., united in such a close relationship as to constitute one body], so that [upon becoming husband and wife] they no longer function as two persons but as one body. 9 Therefore, those whom God so joins together [in the marriage bond], no person must ever separate."
10 And when they were in the house, His disciples asked Him about this matter again. 11 And He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another [woman] commits sexual unfaithfulness [toward her]. 12 And if she herself divorces her husband and marries another [man], she commits sexual unfaithfulness [toward him]."
13 Then some [parents] were bringing [their] little children to Jesus so He could touch them [i.e., to bestow a blessing on them], but His disciples spoke harshly to these parents [for doing this]. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was moved with [righteous] indignation, and said to them, "Allow these little children to come to me and stop trying to prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such [humble ones. See Matt. 18:4]. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God as a little child does, that person will by no means enter it." 16 Then He lifted up the children into His arms, and placing His hands on them, He asked God's blessing on them.
17 As Jesus was leaving to go on His way, a man ran to Him and kneeled down in front of Him and asked, "Good Teacher, what should I do in order to possess never ending life?"
18 Jesus answered him, "Why are you calling me good? Nobody is good except One, that is, God.
18 miles northeast of Jerusalem]. As He left there with His disciples and a large crowd, they met a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sitting along side the road. 19 You know the commandments: Do not murder. Do not be sexually unfaithful to your mate. Do not steal. Do not give false testimony. Do not cheat. Show honor to your father and mother."
20 And he replied, "Teacher, I have [already] been observing all these commandments since I was a young lad."
21 And Jesus looked at him, and filled with love, said to him, "There is one thing you [still] lack. Go and sell your possessions and give [the money] to poor people; become my follower, then you will have treasure in heaven." 22 But the man had a sad look on his face when he heard these words, and went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around Him and said to His disciples, "How difficult it is for rich people to enter the kingdom of God " 24 And His disciples were amazed at what He said. But Jesus spoke to them again and said, "How difficult it is [for anyone] to enter the kingdom of God 25 It is [actually] easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
26 And they were utterly amazed and said to Him, "Then who can [possibly] be saved?"
27 Jesus looked at them and said, "This would be impossible with men, but not with God, for everything is possible with God."
28 Peter began saying to Him, "Look, we have left everything [i.e., homes, jobs, family, etc.] to follow you."
29 Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, no one who has left his house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children or property for my sake and the Gospel's sake [i.e., to become a servant of the Lord], 30 but what he will receive [back] a hundred times as much now in this life --- houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children and property --- [yet] with persecutions. And in the coming age [he will receive] never ending life. 31 But many that [appear to] be first [i.e., in importance and blessings] will [end up] being last. And [those appearing to] be last will [end up] being first."
32 Now Jesus and His disciples were [traveling] along the road, going up to Jerusalem, with Jesus moving on ahead of the others. The disciples were amazed and they followed [behind Him] fearfully. [Note: From the context, it appears their amazement was due to His eagerness to enter Jerusalem in spite of the imminent danger they felt awaited Him there]. He took the twelve apostles aside and began telling them about the things that were going to happen to Him.
33 He said, "Look, we are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of man will be turned over to the leading priests and experts in the law of Moses. They will condemn Him to death and turn Him over to the [unconverted] Gentiles. 34 They will mock Him, and spit on Him, and whip Him and [finally] kill Him, but after three days He will rise again [from the dead]."
35 Now James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over to Jesus and said to Him, "We would like you to do for us whatever we ask you."
36 And He said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
37 They answered Him, "Appoint one of us to sit at your right side and the other at your left side [when you come] in splendor."
38 But Jesus said to them, "You [really] do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup [i.e., of suffering] that I will drink? Or [are you able] to be immersed with the immersion that I am [to be] immersed with?" [i.e., to be overwhelmed with agony].
39 And they said to Him, " [Yes], we are able to." And Jesus said to them, "The cup [of suffering] that I [will] drink, you [also] will drink. And the immersion [with agony] with which I am [to be] immersed, you [also] will be immersed. 40 But it is not my prerogative to appoint who sits at my right side and at my left, but [those places] are for people to whom it has been assigned [by the Father]." 41 When the ten other apostles heard this, they became very upset with James and John.
42 Jesus called them [i.e., probably all twelve apostles] to Him and said, "You are aware that those who are regarded as rulers among the [unconverted] Gentiles lord it over their own people, and their important men domineer over them [as well]. 43 But it is not [to be] this way among you, for whoever would like to become important among you will be your servant. 44 And whoever would like to be first [in prominence] among you, will be your slave. 45 For the Son of man did not come to be served [by others] but to be the servant [of others], and to sacrifice His life as a ransom price for many people [i.e., to purchase them back from Satan]."
46 Then they [i.e., Jesus and the twelve apostles] came to Jericho [Note: This was a town about 47 When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth [passing by], he began shouting, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." 48 Many people spoke harshly to the blind man, telling him to be quiet. But he shouted all the more [loudly], "Son of David, have pity on me."
49 So, Jesus stopped and said, "Call that man [to me]." Then the crowd called the blind man, saying to him, "Cheer up, Jesus is calling you." 50 So, he threw off his robe, jumped up, and [immediately] went to Jesus.
51 Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man answered, "Rabboni [i.e., Teacher], I want to have my sight restored."
52 And Jesus said to him, "Go on your way, your faith [in me] has made you well." And immediately his sight was restored, and he began following Jesus along the road.