Monday, July 8, 2013

Jesus Speaks About Marriage and Divorce

Today's passage is from Mark chapter 10. 

"And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again.  And again, as was his custom, he taught them.

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"  He answered them, "What did Moses command you?"  They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away."  And Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.  But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."

And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.  And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."  Mark 10:1-12 (ESV)

Explanation for some of these verses from the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 1445:

10:6 from the beginning.  Divorce formed no part of God's original plan for marriage, which was that one man be married to one woman for life (Gen. 2:24).   male and female. Lit., "a male and a female,"  Adam and Eve.  Mark quoted from Gen 1:27 and 5:2

10:7-8 Jesus took the issue beyond mere rabbinical quibbling over the technicalities of divorce to God's design for marriage.  The passage. Christ quotes (Gen. 2:24) presents three reasons for the inviolability of marriage: 1) God created only two humans (see note on Mark 10:6), not a group of males and females who could configure as they pleased to switch partners as it suited them;  2) the word translated "become one" lit. means "to be joined" or "to glue", thus reflecting the strength of the marriage bond;  3) in God's eyes a married couple is "one flesh," forming an indivisible union, manifesting that oneness in a child.

10:9  What therefore God has joined together.  Jesus added a fourth reason for the inviolability of marriage (see note on w. 7-8):  God ordains marriages and thus they are not to be broken by man.

10:11-12 Remarriage after a divorce--except for legitimate biblical grounds--proliferates adultery.  The innocent party--one whose spouse has committed prolonged, hard-hearted, unrepentant adultery--may remarry without being guilty of adultery, as may a believer whose unbelieving spouse has chosen to leave the marriage. (see note on 1 Cor. 7:15)

Genesis 2:24, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Explanation on this verse is from MacArther Study Bible, ESV, page 20: 
2:24  leave. . . hold fast to.  The marital relationship was established as the first human institution.  The responsibility to honor one's parents (Ex. 20:12) does not cease with leaving the union of husband and wife. (Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:7, 8; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31), but does represent the inaguuration of a new and primary responsibility.  "Hold fast" carries the sense of a permanent or indissoluble union, so that divorce was not considered (cf. Gen. 2:16).  "One flesh" speaks of a complete unity of parts making a whole, e.g., one cluster, many grapes (Num. 13:23) or one God in three persons (Deut. 6:4); thus this marital union was complete and whole with two people.  This also implies their sexual completeness.  One man and one woman constitute the pair to reproduce.  The "one flesh" is primarily seen in the child born of that union, the one perfect result of the union of two.  Cf.  uses of this verse in Matt. 19:5,6; Mark 10:8; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31.  Permanent monogamy was and continues to be God's design and law for marriage.

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I pray for all the God designed marriages--that they would be strengthened in You.  I pray that You would open the eyes of those that are unbelievers and that they will see the truth that is found only in the Bible.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

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