Mark – The Facts.
What are the habits we often do that people say, “Yes, that is what she/he does. They do it often. You can count on it.” This could be a good trait or a bad trait, but you do it as a habit, without thinking twice about it. Jesus’ habit was teaching about the intent of God’s Law as He walked along to the next place to minister, any time a crowd gathered, or when it was just He and His close disciples who traveled with Him. Jesus came to explain….as so often He did. This time, at the prompting of the Pharisees who are always examining Him, divorce is questioned. What will Jesus say about divorce? Mark, gets right the bottom line…the facts.
Mark 10, The Message
10 1-2 From there he went to the area of Judea across the Jordan. A crowd of people, as was so often the case, went along, and he, as he so often did, taught them. Pharisees came up, intending to give him a hard time. They asked, “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife?”
3 Jesus said, “What did Moses command?”
4 They answered, “Moses gave permission to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her.”
5-9 Jesus said, “Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation, God made male and female to be together. Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”
10-12 When they were back home, the disciples brought it up again. Jesus gave it to them straight: “A man who divorces his wife so he can marry someone else commits adultery against her. And a woman who divorces her husband so she can marry someone else commits adultery.”
What do we learn?
–Jesus often answers with another question for clarification, not for Him, but for the questioner. What are you really asking of me? What does the Law say? Let me explain it to you clearly.
–He reminds them of the intent of the Law. Then tells them the intent of God’s heart. God hates divorce. Why? Because He loves us deeply. Divorce is opposite of God’s design for us. Divorce is a greater pain than death of a spouse. The paperwork was a concession to protect the woman financially when hard hearts, filled with hate, decided to end the relationship and walk away from commitment.
–From the beginning…God created male and female to be together.
–NO ONE should desecrate his work of the art of marriage.
–There are consequences to divorce. Pain, loss, insecurity.
–The unbelieving world as well as those in the church take the marriage commitment lightly with the attitude, “Well, if it doesn’t work, I’ll just move on.” We have heard this statement in premarital counseling.
–Examine your hearts before marriage. Run from a flippant motivation of heart! If he/she has the attitude of finding a way out if they are not happy, then it is guaranteed that the marriage will be in trouble and at great risk for divorce.
–“As He so often did, He taught them.” He teaches us, still.
Dear Heavenly Father,
May our commitments to one another in marriage be stronger still, with You in the middle holding us together with Your perfect love. May the word divorce never enter the conversation, but peace and resolution be found always. As you so often did, teach us still. Grow us closer to You. As we draw closer to You, we will naturally and physically draw closer to each other.
In Jesus Name, Amen