Category Archives: Bible

Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce in Mark 10

I have been working through Mark 10 this week. The chapter starts with the Pharisees testing Jesus on his view of the legality of divorce. It is possible given Mark 10:1 that Jesus just crossed over into Herod Antipas’ territory. Herod had divorced his wife to marry his half-brother’s ex-wife. So marriage, divorce and re-marriage was a big deal around this time, about where Jesus was when this happened.

The Pharisees are emphasizing divorce. Jesus flips it to the right emphasis – God’s intention for marriage. God intended for one man to marry one woman for life. That’s it. Period. We need to teach that until we are blue in the face.

Then there is 10:10-12 on remarriage. In this instance Jesus doesn’t give grounds for this but does say that remarriage can result in adultery.

This further emphasizes how serious God’s design and desire for marriage according to His plan really is. Some people have taken this as the unforgivable sin. I don’t believe that is the case. I have known people who gave up on God because they were taught this – that they couldn’t be forgiven unless they divorced a second time. You aren’t going to make a broken situation less broken by breaking more things.

We also need to take two things Jesus said in Mark 3:28-29 seriously – that God forgives all sin (3:28) except one (3:29) and that one is not remarriage adultery. That sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

There is hope for the divorced. There is hope for the remarried. We need to teach the desire and design God has for marriage. We need to be serious about keeping our marriages pure. When things go wrong we need to love people through it all and help them pick up the broken pieces and offer them hope.

We can teach both the seriousness of God’s Word and the reality of forgiveness. Teaching forgiveness doesn’t take sin less serious as we understand what it took for the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus.

Last, there are some other really important teachings in this chapter that if we took seriously, divorce wouldn’t be an issue. Jesus has the rich man ask him about how to get eternal life. Jesus tells him to sell everything and give it to the poor and then come follow Jesus. This principle would save a lot of marriages because the one thing that we would have difficulty letting go of with God is also something that hinders our marriage. To address this with God is to open ourselves up for a healthier marriage. A few verses later Jesus says this is impossible with man but possible with God (10:27_. Many marriages are lost because we operate out of our own strength rather than trusting God and being obedient to Him.

Jesus says a bit later in 10:31 that the last will be first and the first last. This also should characterize our marriages – putting our spouse above ourselves. Then James and John ask for seats of honor in the kingdom. Jesus says they are to be servants. Again, this would save many marriages.

Jesus teaches on divorce in 10:1-12 but the rest of the chapter contains vital teachings that would save many marriages. People have known divorce is wrong for centuries and beyond but still do it. We need to teach divorce isn’t God’s design or desire. We also need to teach the flip side – how we live in such a way that our marriages can work. That is Mark 10.

Am I In Or Am I Out? Freedom From Being Neurotic About Our Salvation

There are a lot of people who are plagued by these questions. “Am I saved or am I lost.” “Am I in or am I out?” The odd thing is, the people I am thinking of are people who have faith, are baptized, have repented of their sin, attend church, love God, read the Bible,Continue Reading

Understanding How We Read the Bible Part 2 – Command, Example, Necessary Inference

It is so important we understand how we read the Bible. It is possible we do something for so long or it is modeled for us and never explained that we don’t really understand the actual process for interpreting the meaning of the text that we are using. This video gives some history of howContinue Reading

A Must Have Discipleship Conversation – How We Read the Bible

Please watch the following video and let’s discuss in the comments. We have a major problem with how we typically read the Bible. We miss important meanings because we are looking for the wrong things. We find things that aren’t there because we are looking for the wrong things. Understanding how to read the BibleContinue Reading

My Simple Note Taking System in the Bible Margins

I hope you find this as helpful as I have. It is one simple thing to help organize the notes you take in the margins of your Bible

How to Choose the Right Bible: 5 Tips

People died to put an English Bible in our hands. It is up to us to read it. Which Bible is the best Bible? I heard an answer to that question once that stuck with me. It is the one you will read. I know that is not entirely helpful in answering the question asContinue Reading

Video: Applying the Bible Study Method to the Parable of the Sower

I took the outline I gave in the last video and used the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13 to show how it would work on a specific text. I have found this approach quite helpful. We need to be in the word. I often hear people talk about how they don’t have timeContinue Reading

Broadening Our View of Gospel and Salvation

The term for gospel as a noun only occurs in Matthew and Mark about a dozen times. It doesn’t appear in Luke or in John. It doesn’t show up again until Acts 15:7. The verb form (to preach or proclaim the good news) does show up a few times in Luke and the early chaptersContinue Reading

Five Reasons You Need to Read The Old Testament

The more I study the New Testament (NT), the more I understand my need to study the Old Testament (OT). The Jesus’ story is a story of two testaments, not one. The Gospel is best understood when one has some comprehension of the whole Bible in order to get the full meaning of what isContinue Reading

Bible Study Tip #7 Rely on the Spirit

The Bible is the word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16). The Spirit helped write the words that we have and the Spirit has full comprehension of the meaning of what the Spirit has communicated to us through the Bible. So the Spirit helps on the “speaking” end of the conversation.Continue Reading

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