Daily Bible Reading – 2.23.2021

Rev. Ben Lovell   -  
Daily Bible Reading – 2.23.2021:
Mark 10:1-12 (NIV) – Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
“What did Moses command you?” he replied.
They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
Pastor Doug’s Comments:
Jesus moved on to teach the crowds in the southern region of Judea. The religious leaders showed up to question him about the issue of divorce. This teaching flows directly out of Jesus’ instruction on being a servant of all, welcoming the least, not causing little ones or oneself to stumble, and being at peace with one another. Foundational to human society is the marriage relationship in which these lessons should be applied.
Jesus responded by asking what Moses had instructed in their Law. They said he allowed for divorce, but Jesus said it was only because of their rebellion against God’s will.
The Old Testament Scriptures assumed divorce’s reality. Jews accepted that it was legal, but they debated its grounds. They agreed that adultery and other similarly weighty offenses like abuse and cruelty were clear cause for divorce and required the punishment of the offending party. However, many Pharisees also permitted husbands a no-fault divorce for “any matter.” From this perspective, the question concerns Jesus’ view on the validity, not of divorce in general, but of the Pharisees’ no-fault divorce.
Jesus went on to tell that God’s intention from creation was that he created male and female to leave their parents, to be united with one another, and to become one flesh to procreate. Jesus reiterated that they no longer were two separate entities, but one flesh. This is God’s design and purpose for marriage and should not be separated in this ideal creation-model.
Although only a husband could enact a divorce, there were ways for a wife to initiate the process so Jesus addressed both. While it may appear Jesus rejected any divorce, the context suggests that he is addressing the Pharisees’ advocacy of no-fault “any matter” divorce. Jesus affirmed John the Baptist’s position: re-marriage in such cases causes adultery.
Questions To Consider/Discuss:
Marriage is the holy institution of God between a man and woman going back to Creation. It must be entered into with a holy long-term mindset and must be nurtured by mutual selfless service that lovingly puts the partner first. If you are married, what will you do today to elevate your spouse and bring God glory?