Wednesday, June 3, 2015


"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.' "  (Mark 10:14  New King James Version)

 "And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John."  (Mark 10:41  New King James Version)

I've read Mark chapter ten countless times over the past four and a half decades.  I know that the tenth chapter of Mark's Gospel contains what many Bible scholars consider to be the "key verse" of the entire Gospel- verse 45, stating that Jesus, "...came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many".  I had, however, never noticed that one particular phrase is used twice in this chapter:  "greatly displeased".  Well, it's written that way in the New King James Version.  In the traditional King James Version, it says, "much displeased".  The New International Version translates that as one word, and the word is, "indignant".

Are there things in life that cause you to become "greatly displeased"?  One of the greatest frustrations of my job as an answering service operator is the high number of people I speak to each day that are "greatly displeased"!  They will become "greatly displeased" because their doctor's office is opening five minutes later than usual, or because their prescription is not at the pharmacy as was promised, or because they forgot that today was their doctor's day off.  Well, to be accurate, I think I'd use the N.I.V. term and say they become "indignant"!

It's interesting that the instances of great displeasure expressed in verse 14 and (just reversing the 1 and the 4)  in verse 41 are so different!  In the first situation, people wanted to bring their little kids to Jesus so He could place His hands upon them and bless them.  Jesus' disciples were unhappy about this and essentially took the position of telling the people to take their little brats and get lost.  Jesus was not happy about that!  Jesus became "greatly displeased" or "much displeased" or "indignant" about it.  He stressed that he wanted the little kids to come to Him because their simplicity and innocence demonstrates the nature of the Kingdom of God.  In the second situation, Apostles James and John came to Jesus asking if they could be big shots when the Messianic Kingdom is established on earth; they requested the number two and three positions, respectfully.  Jesus gave them a brilliant answer (I'll let you look it up and read it) and pretty much put a lid on that issue.   Well, the other ten apostles were unhappy about James and John's request.  They  became "greatly displeased" or "much displeased" or "indignant"!  I don't think they became upset because they were so loyal to Jesus.  I think they became upset because each of them wished they'd thought of asking that request for themselves before James and John did!  All of the rest of them wanted to be second in command to Jesus in His Messianic Kingdom, or at the very least, third in command, but certainly no lower!  

Do you see how different the apostles' thinking and priorities were from the thinking and priorities of Jesus Christ?  

That really stood out to me today as I read Mark chapter 10!

What causes you and me to become "greatly displeased"?  Are we more like Jesus, or are we more like the ten jealous, resentful apostles?