Mark 10:21
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
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(21) Then Jesus beholding him loved him.—Better, looking, or gazing on him. The fact is narrated by St. Mark only, and implies that the love showed itself in the stedfast look, perhaps also in the kiss upon the brow with which the Rabbis of the time showed their approval of their more promising disciples.

Come, take up the cross.—This also is peculiar to St. Mark. In using such words our Lord taught the questioner, as He had before taught His disciples, with what clear prevision He looked forward to the form and manner of His death.

10:17-22 This young ruler showed great earnestness. He asked what he should do now, that he might be happy for ever. Most ask for good to be had in this world; any good, Ps 4:6; he asks for good to be done in this world, in order to enjoy the greatest good in the other world. Christ encouraged this address by assisting his faith, and by directing his practice. But here is a sorrowful parting between Jesus and this young man. He asks Christ what he shall do more than he has done, to obtain eternal life; and Christ puts it to him, whether he has indeed that firm belief of, and that high value for eternal life which he seems to have. Is he willing to bear a present cross, in expectation of future crown? The young man was sorry he could not be a follower of Christ upon easier terms; that he could not lay hold on eternal life, and keep hold of his worldly possessions too. He went away grieved. See Mt 6:24, Ye cannot serve God and mammon.Jesus beholding him, loved him - What occurred afterward showed that the young man did not love the Saviour, or was not a true disciple; so that this expression denotes simply natural affection, or means that Jesus was pleased with his amiableness, his morality, and his "external" regard for the law of God. At the same time, this was entirely consistent with deep sorrow that he would not give his heart to God, and with deep abhorrence of such a love of the world as to blind the mind to the beauty of true religion, and to lead to the rejection of the Messiah and the destruction of the soul.

One thing thou lackest - When the young man came to Jesus he asked him, "What lack I yet?" Matthew 19:20. This "question" Mark has omitted, but he has retained the "answer." The answer means, there is "one thing" yet wanting. Though all that you have said should be "true," yet, to make the system complete, or to show that you "really" are disposed to keep the commands of God, go and sell your property. See whether you love "God" more than you do your "wealth." By doing that you will show that your love of God is supreme; that your obedience is not merely "external" and "formal," but "sincere" and "real;" the thing now "lacking" will be made up.

Mr 10:17-31. The Rich Young Ruler. ( = Mt 19:16-30; Lu 18:18-30).

See on [1473]Lu 18:18-30.

Ver. 21,22. See Poole on "Matthew 19:21", See Poole on "Matthew 19:22". Christ had a humane compassion towards so civil a person, but showeth him, that love was the fulfilling of the law, and that love is seen in a resolution to yield a universal obedience to the will of God. Our Saviour imposes a special precept upon him, conjoined with two general precepts concerning all the disciples of Christ, to which his not yielding obedience showed that he was mistaken in his notion, that he had from his youth kept the commandments, though it might be true according to that law interpretation of them given by the Pharisees.

Then Jesus, beholding him, loved him,.... Not as God, with that special love, with which he loves his people, who were given him by the Father, are redeemed by his blood, whom he calls by his grace, justifies by his righteousness, forgives their iniquities, and, at last, glorifies: but as man, he had an human affection for him; so far as there was any appearance of moral good in him, it was agreeable to him, who loves righteousness, and hates iniquity; and though the young man betrayed much vanity, pride, and conceit, he did not use him roughly, but kindly, and tenderly; he beheld him, he looked wistly upon him, when he said the above words; which look intimated, that he could not believe he had perfectly, and completely kept all the commandments; however, he did not choose to reproach him with a lie, and charge him with pride and arrogance, but gave him good words, and spoke friendly to him; and, as far as he could, commended him for his diligence in observing the commands: in this sense the word is observed to be used by the Septuagint interpreters, as when it is said of Ahab, 2 Chronicles 18:2, that he "persuaded him" (Jehoshaphat), they render it, "he loved him to go up to Ramoth Gilead": he gave him good words, he spake friendly to him, and by fair speeches prevailed upon him: and so when it said of the Israelites, Psalm 78:36; "they did flatter him", (God,) they render it, "they loved him with their mouth"; spoke very well to him, and of him, praised him, and his works, and in this way expressed affection to him, though it was only with their mouths. Moreover, Christ might not only speak kindly to this young man, but he might make use of some external gesture: which showed an human affection to him, and respect for him. Dr, Lightfoot conjectures it might be by kissing his head, which might be conveniently done, as he was now on his knees; and since this was frequently used by the Jewish doctors, as an expression of respect, of which he gives various instances; and more might be added, especially out of the book of Zohar, where we often read of one Rabbi kissing the head or another, or of his pupil. But the sense of this phrase, which pleases me best of all, is what may be collected from the use of it among the "seventy" interpreters, who often render the Hebrew which signifies to "have compassion", or "show pity", by the word here used: so Proverbs 28:13, "whoso confesseth and forsaketh, shall have mercy", they interpret "shall be loved" and Hosea 2:23, "I will have mercy on her that had not obtained mercy", they render "l will love her that was not beloved"; once more, Zechariah 10:6. "I will bring them again to place them, for I have mercy upon them", they translate , "because I have loved them"; see also Isaiah 60:10 and then, according to this use of the word, the sense is, that Jesus looked upon him when he expressed himself in such a pert manner, and had a compassionate concern for him; he pitied him for his ignorance of the law, in its spirituality and large extent; for his pride and vanity, his conceit of, and glorying in himself: wherefore, in order to mortify him, and abate these swelling thoughts of himself;

he said unto him, one thing thou lackest; before which last clause the Ethiopic version puts this, "if thou wilt be perfect", out of Matthew 19:21, see the note there: and the Coptic version, and two of Stephens's copies read it before the following,

go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me. This young man's reigning sin seems to have been an overweening affection for the things of this world; his riches were his idol, on which his heart was set, and in which he trusted: wherefore he was so far from keeping all the commandments, that he had not kept the first; "thou shalt have no other gods before me": there was more than one thing wanting in him, but Christ takes notice of this as the first; and there was no need to mention any other; this touched him sensibly, and fully tried, and sufficiently exposed the vanity of his boasted perfection. That clause, "take up the cross", is omitted in the Vulgate Latin version, as it is not mentioned by Matthew. The Ethiopic version reads it, "the cross of thy death", and places it before, "come and follow me"; as do also the Syriac and Persic versions; but the Arabic reads it last of all; See Gill on Matthew 19:21.

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Mark 10:21. ἠγάπησεν α.: on the import of the statement in reference to the man vide on Mt. Jesus loved this man. Grotius remarks: Jesus loved not virtues only, but seeds of virtues (“et semina virtutum”). Field (Otium Nor.) renders “caressed”. Bengel takes ἐμβλέψας ἠγάπησεν as a ἓν διὰ δυοῖν, and renders, amanter aspexit = lovingly regarded him—ἕν σε ὑστερεῖ. In Mk. Jesus, not the inquirer, remarks on the lack; in Mt. the reverse is the fact: the man is conscious of his defect, an important point in his spiritual condition.—δεῦρο, etc.: from the invitation to join the disciple band Weiss (Meyer) infers that the incident must have happened before the circle of the Twelve was complete. He may have been meant to take the place of the traitor. The last clause in T. R. about the cross is an obvious gloss by a scribe dominated by religious commonplaces.

21. beholding him] The same word, which occurs also in Mark 10:27, in the original is applied (a) to the Baptist, when he “looked upon Jesus,” and said, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:36), (b) to our Lord’s look at St peter (i) when He named him Cephas (John 1:42), and (ii) when He turned and looked upon him just before the cock crew for the second time (Luke 22:61).

loved him] Literally, esteemed him, or was pleased with him, for His Eye penetrated his inmost being, and saw within him an honest striving after better things, and the noblest form of life. Lightfoot remarks that the Jewish Rabbis were wont to kiss the head of such pupils as answered well. Some gesture at least we may believe that our Lord used to shew that the young man pleased Him, both by his question and by his answer.

One thing thou lackest] He thus proposed to him one short crucial test of his real condition, and way to clearer self-knowledge. He had fancied himself willing to do whatever could be required: he could now see if he were really so.

take up the cross, and follow me] See ch. Mark 8:34. But some MSS. omit the words. “Poor, friendless, outlawed, Jesus abated no jot of His awful claims, loftier than human monarch had ever dreamed of making, on all who sought citizenship in His Kingdom.”

Mark 10:21. Ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν, looking earnestly on him, loved him) He expressed love with the earnest look, and as it were smiling expression, of His eyes.—A ἕν διὰ δυοῖν, He lovingly beheld,[14] in order that He might thereby give him a token of His love for the time to come, if he would follow Jesus: and that He might counteract his ‘sadness.’ The antithetic word is στυγνάσας, with saddened look [countenance], Mark 10:22. It is for this reason mention is made in Christ’s life of tears, rather than of laughter, because He had come to bear our sins. Yet benignity and joy sometimes shone forth from His countenance, as was the case in this passage, with the view of alluring the youth, who now was standing on the threshold of following Christ. Comp. Mark 10:16; Luke 10:20-24; Luke 12:32. A similar use of this verb occurs in Psalm 78:36, ἠγάπησαν αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ στόματι ἀυτῶν and 2 Chronicles 18:2, ἨΓΆΠΑ ΑὐΤῸΝ ΤΟῦ ΣΥΝΑΝΑΒῆΝΑΙ: so also the use of the verb ἘΛΕΕῖΝ (ΟὛς ΔῈ ἘΛΕᾶΤΕ [ἘΛΕΕῖΤΕ] ἘΝ ΦΌΒῼ), Judges 1:22.—ἛΝ, one thing) In antithesis to ταῦτα πάντα, all these, Mark 10:20. [The faithful Master wished to render the business (his obtaining eternal life) more easy and delightful to the man.—V. g.] This one thing is a heart freed from the [idolatry of] creatures: the selling of his goods was intended to be the proof of his freedom. Generally speaking, to men, severally and individually, there is wanting some one thing, this or that; and by the want of that one thing they are kept back from Christ.—σταυρὸν, cross) Viz. that of poverty, etc. So the words, with persecutions, Mark 10:30, express the same sentiment.

[14] Comp. with these remarks what D. Ernesti has written against Gerh. de Haas, in der Theol Bibl., T. I., p. 130, etc.—E. B.

Verse 21. - And Jesus looking upon him loved him. (ἐμβλέψας αὐτῶ ἠγάπησεν αὐτόν) This is another of St. Mark's graphic touches - an exquisite piece of word-painting, probably supplied to him by St. Peter. The words express most vividly an earnest, tender, searching look. They seem, if it may be said reverently, to combine the Divine penetration with human sympathy and compassion. The counsel of our Lord which follows was not a general command, but a particular precept, which the young ruler specially needed. One thing thou lackest. In St. Matthew (Matthew 19:21) the words are, "If thou wouldest be perfect." But our Lord's words here, "One thing thou lackest," fit in excellently with the young ruler's question given just before in St. Matthew, "What lack I yet?" showing a substantial unity in the narrative, with just that variety which we should expect in the account of the same incident given by two independent but equally trustworthy witnesses. The "one thing thou lackest" of St. Mark, and "if thou writ be perfect of St. Matthew, both point to the same conclusion - that our Lord's object was to reveal this young man to himself. His stumbling-block was his wealth; and so our Savior at once pierces his besetting sin of covetousness. The precept was a special counsel to him; it directed him to do something which, as our Lord saw, was in his case necessary to his salvation. He could not follow Christ without parting with this sin, and with that which ministered to it. This was his particular spiritual difficulty. Mark 10:21
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