February 7, 2024

Mark 10:1-16  (HCSB)
The Question of Divorce

He set out from there and went to the region of Judea and across the Jordan.  Then crowds converged on Him again and, as He usually did, He began teaching them once more. 2 Some Pharisees  approached Him to test  Him. They asked, “Is it lawful  for a man to divorce  his wife?” 3 He replied to them, “What did Moses  command you?” 4 They said, “Moses permitted us to write divorce papers  and send her away.” 5 But Jesus told them, “He wrote this command for you because of the hardness of your hearts.  6 But from the beginning  of creation  God  made them male and female.  7 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], 8 and the two will become one flesh.  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate.” 10 Now in the house the disciples questioned Him again about this matter. 11 And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 Also, if she divorces her husband  and marries another, she commits adultery.” Blessing the Children 13 Some  people were bringing little children  to Him so He might touch them, but His disciples rebuked  them. 14 When Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me.  Don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I assure you:  Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 After taking them in His arms, He laid His hands on  them and blessed  them.

Pastor HD Jones
When we read scriptures we always come with our own biases and interpretation.  This set of scripture can be difficult because all of us have been affected by divorce.  I dare say there is not a family at Temple that doesn’t have someone in their circle that hasn’t been affected by divorce.  So, what was Jesus trying to teach? Jesus pointed to the intended design and purpose of marriage.  The first marriage was in the garden and it was perfect!  No in-laws and no baggage to bring into this relationship.  By the time Jesus was walking on this planet and the smug Pharisees were questioning Him, marriage was a far cry from the Garden of Eden.  In Jesus day, some taught you could divorce because she couldn’t bear children, she became too needy, or she even burned the bread.
 Jesus was pointing back to the original intent and commitment.  Jesus never said that divorce was the unpardonable sin or that grace couldn’t be applied to people who forgot to keep their covenant with each other.  But it does remind us of the importance and reverence we should treat marriage with.  Jesus didn’t take it lightly that the “two are one flesh” and neither should we.  Please pray for our marriages; encourage people to stay married and fight for marriage.  It is God’s first and most important institution.

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