1 Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.
2 The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.
3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”
4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.“
5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE.’
7 ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE,
8 AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.
9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter.
11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.
12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
19 You know the commandments: ‘DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,’ ‘DO NOT MURDER,’ ‘DO NOT STEAL,’ ‘DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER.'”
20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, 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.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him:
33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles;
34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”
38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
39 They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;
40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.
42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.
44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall 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 a ransom for many.”
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Multitudes came just to hear Him speak. From Jesus came words of wisdom with authority they hadn’t heard before. How often, though, He had to put up with questions and perceptions that might seem to be so far below Him. The eternal commitment of man and wife vs divorce, the priority of temporary riches over eternal kingdom treasures, and the desire for positions of glory that would really require suffering. Everything that would seem to make sense from a natural perspective was so far beneath the wisdom that flowed from Him. And yet, He was understanding and responsive in a way that wasn’t demeaning but instructional and honorable. His was a wisdom that transcended the immediate and its worldly gratification with an overview of purpose far beyond any discomforting obstacles. Though working with those whose perceptions were much more near-sighted, He deferred to their hopes and desires in ministering to their needs. For the blind man He actually asked him what it was he wanted. You would have thought that it was obvious, and yet the expressed desire for sight was what Jesus waited to hear. The man was probably also in need of financial provision. He could have even asked for peace and comfort to endure his condition. Jesus was surely aware of what the man most needed, and yet it was the expressed request that produced the transmission of virtue.
We are continually in need of help with perceptions in determining what to do and what to request from our God, who knows the end from the beginning. Just because something seems right from a natural perspective doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to ask for. Though our Father knows what is best for us, He is still in need of expressed faith from a heart that is fixed on a desired end. He will bear with us through this process, but He is also available for instruction in righteousness, where misperceptions can be corrected through the lens of the Spirit. We have the very wisdom of God available to us if we will just go to Him and defer to what we discover there. Rather than blundering forward and “believing” that He is making it happen for us, we can listen intently to His amazing voice of wisdom with authority, revealing what will never be seen apart from this privileged provision. We can ask according to what He will reveal as our most needed request, and it will come from a heart of belief according to His will.