Category Archives: New Testament

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.

Prayer in the Early Church – What Were They Praying for and What Can We Learn from Them?

What can we learn from how the early church prayed? We can learn so much! As I have gone back through Acts and the Epistles I have looked for some common threads and themes that come up over and over again. Here is what I found. The early church prayed together regularly. We see itContinue Reading

Faith or Fault?

Mark 2 is full of people who found faith and people who found fault. Read all four stories in the chapter and you will see it in each one. We get to choose which one we are going to be. If you choose to live in fear you choose to be the critic. If youContinue Reading

They Wanted to be Near Jesus, Not for the Same Reason

Read Mark 2 when you have 2 minutes and look at all the people who wanted to be with Jesus. The crowds filled the house to hear him teach the word. The friends lower their paralyzed buddy. Levi goes with him. Jesus has a meal with tax collectors and sinners “for there were many whoContinue Reading

Enmeshment, Anxiety and Discipleship

There were several instances where the disciples show signs of enmeshment with each other and with others. These are times when their value gets wrapped up in the value of others. We see this in their arguments over who is the greatest in Luke 22. We see this in John 21 when Peter’s death isContinue Reading

Discipleship and Our Enemies

In Luke, Jesus gives a sermon very similar to the Sermon on the Mount that we call the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17-49). One of the main points of this sermon is how we treat our enemies. We are to: 1 – Love them2 – Bless them3 – Pray for them4 – Be generousContinue Reading

Good Friday, Cross Bearing, and Following Jesus

Jesus said if we want to be his disciples we must take up our cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23). Jesus said this while he was on his way to Jerusalem to suffer and die on a cross. Good Friday reminds us that Jesus is our leader and the leader always goes first. HebrewsContinue Reading

Discipling on the Road to Jerusalem

“Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem” – Luke 9:51 Right after Luke tells us this, Jesus called more people to follow him – while going to his death! Jesus never stopped calling and making disciples. Jesus never lost his focus. Here is what Luke tells us in 9:57-62, 57 As they were walking along theContinue Reading

Discipleship in The Beattitudes

Who should we consider to be the one blessed or favored by the Lord? The poor in spirit The mourner The meek The one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness The merciful one The one who is pure in heart The one who makes peace The one who is persecuted for being in the rightContinue Reading

Jesus’ Most Important Question For You to Move Ahead With Your Life

is found in John 5. Jesus is at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem where he sees a man who had been an invalid 38 years. As you examine Jesus’ question to the man, I want you to replace that man with you. Picture yourself there. Picture the infirmity as whatever it is that keepsContinue Reading

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