5th May 2023
Read - Read - Mark 10:1-12 (focus v6-12)
Message Alan Burke
Jesus here is being tested by the Pharisees. It all comes down to our hardness of heart, Jesus said as much. As the passage goes on Jesus instead of getting drawn into the debate takes them to where they should have been looking in the first place, he takes them to the scriptures. I wonder though if I’ll get kicked off Facebook again for this one because what Jesus says isn’t too politically correct these days, v6f “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (See Genesis 1:27, 2:24, 5:2, Malachi 2:15)
Jesus takes the Pharisees to God’s creation purposes and intention for marriage. God from the beginning ‘made them male and female. As the result of being made like this, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. The purpose in God’s creation of male and female, was that they would be joined together, 1+1 here equals not 2 but 1. Jesus is conveying how when the male and female, when the man and woman who were once separate join in marriage they are now one, a new union. God’s intention was and has always been the same, it did not change with divorce becoming permissible in the days of Moses (Deut 24) and Jesus says what God has joined let man not separate.
What we need to understand for all of us is that marriage was given by God before the fall, before there was sin in the world, there was no need for a provision of divorce, it should always be entered in the knowledge and intention that it is a permeant life long union. Since the fall and our hardness of heart we have always sought to live according to our own desires and not God’s ideal.
Part of the problem to why divorce rates have increased so much in the past fifty years is because of the expectations of what marriage is, of how marriage is hard work, how marriage involves sacrifice. The idea popularised by Hollywood is destructive, along with those romantic novels dreaming that the other half would be like that, or watching what you watch on line fantasising that the other half would be like that. So often marriage fails because we have unrealistic expectations, it fails because of our own hardness of heart or the other persons hardness of heart.
If you notice the first time where the discussion moves beyond divorce to re-marriage is in v11-12. In this instance Jesus teaches that if anyone divorces and they marry again then they have committed adultery against the person they have divorced. That is with the person whom they have since married. The reason for this is that the divorce and the subsequent marriage was in God’s eyes illegitimate, unlawful according to God’s word and as a result they have committed adultery.
Where does this leave us, we might be tempted to conclude that divorce is always wrong and never acceptable, but we need to let Scripture interpret scripture, Jesus words in Matthew’s gospel chapter 5:31-32. For there Jesus adds “marital unfaithfulness”. While divorce was never part of God’s intention for marriage in cases of adultery it is permissible, but not demanded. In 1 Corinthians Paul gives the other grounds for a permissible divorce which is in marriage which deals with desertion from an unbeliever (1 Cor 7:10-16).
The problem is we all have an issue, it is called sin, we have a hardness of heart and because of that marriages fail, sadly even among believers marriages fail. Marriage as God intended is where two become one, our hardness of heart, our sinfulness, our failure does not change what it was given to us for.
The teaching of the word of God on divorce and the teaching of Jesus is not to hit people over the head with a big stick because of their failure in marriage, and if you have been through divorce please know the words of Jesus in Mark Chapter 3:28, where Jesus said 28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. (Mk 3:28), know those words are true, as fallen sinful people who have broken relationships know those words of Jesus, if you have repented and believed then you have been forgiven.
Q What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory, (1 Cor. 15:43) shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, (Matt. 25:23, Matt. 10:32) and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God, (1 John 3:2, 1 Cor. 13:12) to all eternity. (1 Thess. 4:17–18)