Mark 10:26 AV
And they were astonished¹ out of measure²,
saying among³ themselves,
Who then can⁴ be saved⁵?
¹) To be struck with amazement, astonished, amazed.
²) Beyond measure, extraordinary; greatly, exceedingly.
³) To the advantage of; at, near, by; to, towards, with, with regard to.
⁴) To be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom.
⁵) To save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.
And they were shocked and exceedingly astonished, and said to Him and to one another, Then who can be saved? [AMP] And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?" [ESV] That set the disciples back on their heels. "Then who has any chance at all?" they asked. [MSB] And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? [KJV] The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?" [NIV] The disciples were astounded. "Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked. [NLT] And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?" [NKJV]
And they were astonished out of measure
They were still more amazed, their surprise increased exceedingly upon our Lord’s using the above comparison; which, in their apprehension, showed, that it was utterly impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God; and they expressed their astonishment.
Saying, among themselves, who then can be saved?
Who can be saved in the Messiah’s kingdom, if rich men are not?
The Persic version renders it, “how can this man be saved?” as if the words had a particular respect to the young man, that had great possessions, and was gone away sorrowful.
Who then can be saved?
They were not thinking of a spiritual, and everlasting salvation, in a spiritual, and eternal Kingdom, but of a temporal one: for upon Christ’s so saying, they might reason with themselves, that if rich men did not come into the Kingdom of the Messiah, they would oppose Him and His kingdom, with all their force and strength; and then what would become of such poor men as themselves, who would not be able to stand against them?
Nor could they hope to be safe long, or enjoy any continued happiness in the expected kingdom, should this be the case.
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Again (Mark 10:24) the disciples are taken aback, by the certainty with which Jesus makes His statement. When things are as He says (Mark 10:25), is there still a way to salvation?
Does not Jesus make the possibility of ‘being saved’ (a synonym of ‘entering into the kingdom of God’, Mark 10: 23-25, and ‘inheriting eternal life’, Mark 10:17) an unattainable ideal?
It is possible to read the word (who) in the question ‘who can then be saved’ as ‘which rich man’. Since the preservation of a rich person is even more unlikely than a camel passing through the eye of a needle (Mark 10:25), which rich man can be saved?
What hope is there for them then?
Although this explanation fits well into context, the text does not expressly state this.
It is therefore more plausible to take it in a more general sense: if the rich person does not have a chance to enter eternal life, what is the situation with all other people?
The disciples then evidently assume, that wealth is evidence of God’s special favor, and poverty is a sign of disgrace from God.
What hope then is there for themselves?
Doesn’t Jesus now close the door to salvation for all people (rich and poor)?
Who then can be saved?
There we have the big question!
The rich young man has just left. Sad, but gone.
Rich in goods, and poor in love to the Lord.
The world was worth more to Him than the Christ.
He loved himself, and his possessions, more than the Lord and the poor.
And yet, what good that man had done in his life!
He said he had kept all the commandments of the second table, and the Lord did not contradict them. But the Lord asked for more. He did not ask for duty, but love.
Sell everything you have, give the proceeds to the poor.
But then you have nothing left at all, then you become a beggar yourself!
And then? Then he was allowed to follow Jesus.
Follow Jesus on the path of the cross. That was too much.
Then comes the question of the disciples. Bewildered, they ask, Who then can be saved? If that man can’t be saved, then who can?
They feel defeated.
Then it is also over and gone for them.
And that may be the question that lives in your heart today as well.
Who can be saved?
The Lord gives the answer.
It is impossible with men, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.
There you are: It is not possible with man.
But with God all things are possible.
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