What do you want me to do for you? (Mark 10:32-52)

Publié le 28 juin 2020 dans Traductions

Nous proposons la traduction suivante du message du dimanche pour nos amis anglophones…

Jesus came to give his life as a ransom for us and to open our eyes, so that we have life and the
possibility of living like him.
1.The life of renunciation is essential BUT impossible

2. Jesus pays the ransom of the disciples’ failure
3. Jesus comes to give us the opportunity to see (and follow Him) to be saved

I would like to make you think about 3 terms: Christ, Christian, Christianity …
If you are attending a Protestant evangelical celebration for the first time, I invite you to reflect on which of these three words you focus on the most when you talk about religion. If it is on the third, then I will not be surprised that it evokes for you, formalism, routine and even on one side, death …
If it’s on the second one, then you could wear the T-shirt adorned with the expression: « Jesus, save me from your disciples » … or « Christianity could be a good thing if someone wanted one day to try it « 
But if it’s on the first, then you might be amazed, even like Friedrich Nietzsche the greatest atheist philosopher « Basically there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross »

As the fabulous English writer Chesterton put it so well, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found to be deficient. We’ve found it difficult and we’ve left it aside ”…
And I sincerely believe that all the children of Christians, those who have had parents who put them face to face with their sin, have experienced this feeling of not reaching the requirement of the life of disciples (I think of two children of this church, whom I know, one who is here, and one who watches on TV).
They would like to live what Jesus asks them but he cannot do it. I think sometimes it is the feeling of older Christians in the faith ….
So what to do? Turning to Christian ethics without the help of Jesus, with principles but without faith, one could say an
atheistic Christianity as Michel Onfray says, an atheist philosophe or turn to Jesus.
If you were here last time, you no longer know what is appropriate to ask … You have understood that the values ​of the Kingdom, that the disciples must follow are completely overturned.
Losing your life now is earning it later in eternity. Earning your life now is to lose it later in eternity. What can Jesus do for us?
So I invite you to read with me Marc 10.32-52

Introduction (context)
Halfway through his journey, JC proposed an ophthalmological check-up to his disciples, and curing a blind man showed us the state of the disciples’ hearts.
They are blind (spiritually).

Even if Peter (and the disciples with him) had an illumination, it is only partial (he sees trees, and even if he recognizes JC as the Messiah). He did not understand the real Messiah facing him.
JC is obliged to show him that the real Messiah will suffer, (1st of 3 announcements about his death) as well as the disciple, the Christian.
No, the true disciple is the one who, instead of saving his life to lose it in Eternity, accepts to lose it now to save it later …
So, JC begins a process ON THE REHABILITATION PATH from the sight of his disciples. And this process started from 8.34-10.52.
He settles it on THE WAY … (8.27; 9.34; 10.17)
All topics are discussed: first power, then sex and money. And the result is terrible.
We would have hoped for a progression of the disciples, which we would have measured on a graph, but instead of seeing a curve which goes up, it is the total flat…
When it comes to giving up to save his life, the disciples never make it.
They are thirsty for gratefulness, in matters of ethics (they are unable to satisfy the divine requirement of having to stay with only one woman, who would even imagined such torture (already among the disciples at the time…, not a modern thing), and yet it is the divine requirement in terms of couple relationship), but without doubt, what “kills” them the most is that “M.Perfect”, the one who has all the characteristics of a person blessed by God, a rich young man, succeeds to obtain eternal life, and is disqualified because of his wealth …
And the conclusion of the above in 8.24 sounds for the rich young man, but also sounds for the disciples “My children, it is difficult to enter the kingdom of God! 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. »
The disciples understand the tragedy and ask the question “So who can be saved? “
JC said to them: “It is impossible for humans, but not for God, because everything is possible for God.
The disciples are far from being super confident with JC … Even if JC has just reassured Peter about the fate of those who left everything to follow him, He follows him (10.32) but VERY frightened (v.32 * 2)
Application: Following JC, it sometimes means having trouble, but deciding to continue … even if on the one hand, it’s scary …. And we can understand them … Renunciation, life in the shape of a cross is essential to follow JC, but it is impossible.
It has been three times since JC announces that the Son of man must suffer (8.31; 9.30-32; 10.32-34), but, for them, it is beyond their comprehension, how the Messiah, the Savior, who has come to save, must die …
Even if there are clues, the previous text (preached by Paul gave us one, « it was necessary », even if the 3rd announcement of death also gives us a clue « it must be delivered » (v.33 ) … we do not know why the Son of man must die …
What has he come to do?
What can he do for us?

  1. The life of renunciation is essential but Impossible.

Mark introduces, on the last portion of the path before arriving in Jerusalem, a final question discussion between JC and his two closest disciples (those who were with him on the mountain, and who saw his glory), these are Jacques and Jean who ask it, not just unknown disciples, just the closest … those who were supposed to have understood …
And there, despite all that has just been said, the disciples Jacques and John are preparing their request …
This time, before asking the question, he asks JC to do what they are going to ask them. We feel the tip of manipulation …
(Cf my children who want to ask me something who already know that I will refuse them … but I know it never happens to you)
JC does not miss the opportunity to ask them what they want him to do for them …
We are placed on their shoulders …
« Give us to sit one on your right and the other on your left in your glory » and JC asks them if they can drink the cup and be baptized with baptism, they answer in the affirmative.
Here, Jacques and Jean speak as if they had integrated JC’s teaching on his death and
resurrection. We see that they have integrated the vocabulary « future glory » (v; 37); integrated suffering (cup and baptism), they answer yes …
But JC’s cross-examination quickly reveals that they understood absolutely nothing.
Their version “lose your life to save your life” is entirely selfish (moreover, not so far from the Islamist doctrine of martyrdom in exchange for a paradise filled with virgins).
Faced with this, the other 10 are outraged, but make no mistake, they are not outraged at the request, but at the fact that Jacques and Jean have outstripped them …
The way leaders exercise their authority, by force, coercion, JC tells them may it not so among you.
And he repeats to them what he already told them at 3 key moments on the way in 9.35, in 10.31
“Whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant; and whoever wants to be first among you will be everyone’s slave ”
This is the opposite of the leaders of this world. It’s hard to imagine the CEO of one of the big TOP 40 companies (who earns more than $ 1 million a year) stopping to ask the man who cleans the building, to ask him: “You look tired, why don’t you
step up, and let me finish cleaning the hall for you. I will leave the keys of my BMW with you, so that you can get home more easily, I will take the bus. »
Of course it will never happen …
And yet that is exactly what the Son of Man plans to do … « His coming is not to be served but to serve »
And there, the fact Hallucinating! Is that he is not the CEO of a multinational but the King of the Universe, and he does not come to clean the ground, but to give his life, to die?
This is life in the shape of a cross, give your life for others, this is what the disciples are called to do.
Unfortunately, they failed to integrate this value. Jesus patiently corrected them, but on this path with him from chap 8-10, the observation is there, their growth curve is at 0, it is flat …

Application :
But there is a tragedy … it is that it does not concern only the disciples … We too are in a similar situation. We are committed to this path of renunciation, and we are obliged to commit ourselves, but we are
not taking any action that is necessary. Sell ​everything you have and give it to the poor …. and yet we believe that God will be impressed by the Brices of Nice among us and will ignore our idolatry. We are as lucky to enter the Kingdom of God as the camel through the eye of a needle.
Life in the shape of a cross is essential BUT it is impossible. Give our life for others, it is beautiful, it is highlighted by all the nobel peace prizes, but we cannot live it.
Here, conclusion n ° 1 of this episode and all the episodes which preceded on this way. Life in the shape of a cross is essential to obtain eternal life BUT it is impossible.
Fortunately, the story does not end there!
Besides, we had a clue in the preceding chapter: « It is impossible for humans, but not for God, because everything is possible for God ».

2. Jesus pays the ransom for the disciples’ failure
What creativity in humans for problem solving … to prevent bus drivers from going too fast in China, they put a large bowl of water next to them to discourage them from making fast turns …
Others, flee when a difficulty confronts them, they take off, believing that this attitude will solve the problem.
But when it comes to solving the problem of sin, Mark is about to unveil a solution that goes beyond human ingenuity, it is above all the climax of God’s glory. The two-sided solution, the first, on the side of God is called SUBSTITUTION.
And it is dropped like a BOMB at the end of our text.
It basically answers the question: What did Jesus come to do for us?
He came not only to give them an example of how he should live, but he ends by describing how his death is the solution to their failure.
He came « to give his life as a ransom for a multitude »
Thanks to the Somali pirates, we understand the idea « to pay a ransom to guarantee the freedom of someone linked to a hostile power ».
But that is not enough, because does the biblical term « ransom » correspond to that?
Well, it corresponds, it comes close to the word « redemption » which comes from the
great rescue of the Exodus (in particular from the liberation from slavery in Egypt under the domination of a hostile King, Pharaoh).
But, no doubt, the ransom also refers to « the suffering servant » (Isaiah 53) who surrendered himself to death (v.12), « carried the sin » …. of a multitude (v.45)
In short, the ransom is the price paid for the delivery of a slave subject to hostile power … it fits perfectly with our Somali pirate …

As the liberation from slavery in Egypt was a massive rescue, Jesus’ intervention in what is known to be lost will be another massive rescue.
Because let us not forget, the failure of the disciple brings him to hell (9.43-49), Jesus did not repeat it once but 4 times. We are sometimes surprised by the doctrine of hell, but unfortunately for those who do not accept it and who call themselves Christian, it has however been repeated in the Bible mostly by JC.
And yes, the disciple’s failure brings him to hell. Jacques and Jean failed, by right, they should die under the judgment of God and be liable to hell …
But as a penal substitute, Jesus will give his life in exchange for theirs …

You remember the heart problem … cf the story from Tournesol magazine for kids, about the boy who received a heart transplant from another boy who died… « I am alive thanks to him! »

3. Jesus comes to give us the opportunity to see (and follow Him) to be saved
But that’s not all. Because Jesus has something else to do for us ….
This time, it is no longer initiated by the disciples, but by Jesus who poses it to another individual, Bartimaeus …
Marc revels in the development of the story, He makes us return to the city, just to get us out, and to put us in contact with a beggar blind … nothing really surprising, we have already seen that with JC , but the particularity here …
It is because it echoes to another blind man, the one of last week, the one of the beginning of thepath …
The first miracle (last time) showed us that sight healing was not just a physical problem, but of enlightenment about who JC is.
The first arrived just in time, because we were starting to lose hope in the disciples, but the miracle was achieved in 2 stages.
This 2nd healing comes at a time when we are exasperated by the disciples because of their lack of understanding of life in the shape of a cross.
Admittedly, he sees, but he continues to see it blurred, an additional intervention is necessary. And this remark should remind us
Via generalization Theo systematic
Application: believers never stand on their two feet spiritually at every step of the way. We depend
on the enlightenment of Jesus (Eph 1.18)
Bartimaeus blind, « by the way » (v.46) embodies for Mark the model disciple, to follow …
And this for 2 reasons, he calls JC twice, Son of David, he knows who JC is, he knows that he is
the Messiah, the King who was to come (cf 2 Sam 7), but he also knows one thing …. it is that he
needs Jesus …
These cries (v.47; v.48 which are amplified) show the deep need for help from JC.
Again, the question is asked … « What do you want me to do for you? » « 
Jacques and Jean wanted glory, Bartimaeus wants to see it …
Some wanted to be seen, the other wanted to see …
This attitude leads him to see immediately (unlike the others), and to be part of the disciples, this
time he is no longer at the edge of the path (v.47) but he follows JC « on the path (v.52 ).

JC, at the beginning of the section which begins in 8.22 we saw that those who would come after JC had to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him.
In 10.21-22, a wealthy man refused to do so.
Now a poor beggar accepts willingly, he is moreover, by his eagerness (v.50) and by his capacity to leave everything that matters to him (his coat (v.50) the exact opposite of this rich young man, which we would undoubtedly like to have in the Church.
This road of renouncement is a road marked by, the service of others first, the suffering in the persecution and the fight against sin.
It is a difficult road, narrow will say another evangelist, but a road which leads to life.
This journey with JC (we see that JC is on the way with his disciples) teaches us that this life of renunciation is essential BUT impossible by ourselves (Part 1)
However, this failure is not just a shame, but it will have the effect of excluding us from the kingdom … just that, a dramatic event of the magnitude of a rejection of the relationship with the God, whose name is hell.
But this journey with JC shows us that this lamentable failure of the disciples and of us after them is not without hope.
JC came to provide a double solution.
As a replacement, he offers his life as a ransom for ours.
But, it also opens our spiritual eyes, so that we can follow Him …
So touched by God, Bartimaeus’ friends no doubt began to see in him, a new desire to serve others, a radical action whenever his hand, his foot or his eye made him sin, a desire for faithfulness to his wife (if he was married), and a diminishing concern for material prosperity. And if Mark quotes his name, it is undoubtedly because Bartimaeus is known by a large number in
the Christian church of the first century for his example.
So to the question: What do you want JC to do for you?
If you feel like this child who finds himself unable to do what Jesus asks, if you feel like you are at the side of the road like this blind man, if you feel like these disciples, unable to do what you know has to be done, then, remember, it is precisely because of this, that JC came.
He came to save you from your failures, from your inability to do what he alone was able to do, and it is he alone who gives you the opportunity to follow him, and to commit yourself as a Bartimaeus by faith.
And yes, despite everything, even if JC gave his life for Bartimaeus, even if Jesus opened
Bartimaeus’ eyes, our text reminds us that Bartimaeus decided to trust him.
As the great English writer Chesterton very aptly put it, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found to be deficient. We found it difficult and we left it aside ”…
It is up to us alone to decide which path we want to follow. Let us embark on the path of faith, of trust in Jesus. Or leave it aside because it is too difficult.
Bartimaeus chose the faith, and we, what are we going to choose?

It is the way of grace, a demanding but beautiful grace, which is a taste of eternity in our world of suffering.