February 25th Mark 10 Divorce
1: And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again. 2: And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. 3: And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? 4: And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5: And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6: But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7: For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8: And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9: What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 10: And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11: And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12: And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Childlikeness – Heaven
13: And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14: But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15: Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16: And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
The Rich young ruler
17: And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18: And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19: Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20: And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21: Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22: And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23: And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24: And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26: And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27: And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. 28: Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. 29: And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30: But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31: But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.
The religious leaders came to Christ asking what the conditions are for Divorce. Christ simply said, ‘What did Moses say?’ Christ always deferred to Scripture to answer a question if scripture gave the answer. They said. ‘Moses allowed a bill of divorcement’. This was correct however Christ goes on to point out that this was not so in the beginning. And so Christ establishes the true teaching of scripture not the teaching of the Scribes. The statement of Christ regarding divorce is much misunderstood. Christ is saying that for a hardhearted man to divorce his young wife gives the impression that she has been unfaithful when in fact she may have been perfectly innocent. The bill of divorcement was a certificate to state that she is pure. The man who might subsequently marry her may be viewed as an adulterer when in fact he is honourable. When children were brought to Christ the disciples sent them away but Christ was very cross that they had done this and insisted that they be allowed to come to him. The next incident is interesting; this young man comes running with a question. ‘What must l do to inherit eternal life?’ Christ points him to the Mosaic Law because he is a Jew. He replies with sincerity, like Paul would, that he has kept the law (in all good conscience) since his youth. Christ does not argue with him. He sees in him a law abiding Jew who really wants to serve God. Now for the Jew obedience to the Law was not all that was required. Charity was seen as mandatory and the height of Jewish righteousness. (See Acts 10) So Christ places before him the height of religious observance as a Jew and he fails the test because his riches are a great feature of his life. Then Christ comments on the fact that those with riches find it hard to enter the kingdom of God. The disciples were very much surprised by Christ’s teaching. Peter says we have left all to follow you! Christ tells the disciples that they will receive a hundredfold more in return from the Lord for the sacrifice they have made.
- How would you summarise Christs teaching about divorce?
- What was Christ saying about Children?
- What did Christ say to the young man who wanted to inherit eternal life?