I hope you still have your Bibles open at Mark, I want to take us back to the beginning of Mark, were Jesus says in Mark 1:15 “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” This statement is key in what Jesus is talking about in our reading from Mark 10:1-12, about marriage and divorce.
So in Mark 1, Jesus was baptism in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. And then in v14-15 Jesus calls one and all repent and believe the good news. And Jesus says The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” And that Kingdom of God has come near, each of us can have that Kingdom of God inside us, if we accept the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So in short the Kingdom of God is a spiritual things that can live inside us and a physical reality hear and now.
So about our reading, Have you noticed that marriage is mention a lot in the bible, why does Jesus talk about marriage so much.
In marriage we choose to love each other, No one in their right mind enters marriage thinking that it will not last. If they do they are heading for the prospect of an unhappy time.
Jesus is called the bridegroom and his people the bride in all four gospels why.
Because He choose us and for us to be his bride we have to choose him. Simple as that.
Why God loves us, strange but true God loves us, he choose us.
So when talking about marriage Jesus who lives among us, knows it can go wrong and what he is saying is if it gets hard, stay with it but if one of you stops loving the other and sleeps with someone else that is the only reason for divorce. And later in the Bible Paul says a bit more and we shall come to that later.
There is no greater bound than the one with whom you choose to marry, you are saying you are the one I choose for the rest of my life, yes if you are blessed with children there will be a great love but that is a blessing and we do not choose our children we may choose to have children, but we are blessed with then if they come.
But in marriage you choose to say I love you and want to live the rest of my life with you.
And that is what God says to us I love you, John 3:16 says “God so loved the world that he give his only son”, to save us from ourselves what love.
God loves us and if we choose to love him it will be not for the rest of our lives but for eternity.
Yes there will be rough patches in both relationships, in our marriages and in our relationship with God, but we need to work through them.
You know statically the hardest time in a marriage is when children come along
For around 30 years, researchers have studied how having children affects a marriage, and the results are conclusive: the relationship between spouses suffers once children come along. So if that is you stick with it, it is worth it.
Too often people give up on their marriage because it gets hard Jesus is saying stick with it did you love each other at the beginning then rediscover that love, work at it don’t give up, did Jesus give up on us.
God wants us to love our spouse and to love Him, but like any good relationship he will not force himself on us.
And that is why Paul talks about believers and non-believers because those who truly believe who have made the choose and said Lord I choose you with all the bits l don’t quite understand but I choose you, God says fantastic. I will in my Holy Spirit came and live in you.
That is being born again because at that point it is like marring, you are no longer one on your own but you have God the Holy Spirt with you and in you.
And when Jesus talks about heaven and the bride coming home, he talks about a party, because at that point we will be home and living in God and with God.
My wife Chris does irritate my from time to time I on the other hand am perfect. Not. But almost. But we still love each other.
I took part in 5 marriage’s last summer and why is everyone so happy, love we are made to love each other and to love God. Read the Bible it is a love story a story of God’s love for his people. God loves you, will you choose to love Him? And because God loves us Jesus came to teach us the way to please God.
We should be thankful that the Pharisees asked this question and all the other hard questions, so we get to know the mind of God. So these Pharisees came to Jesus in our reading in verse 2, and they did not come with a sob in their voices and a cry in their hearts about marriage. In fact they did not mention marriage at all, they spoke about divorce. These men didn’t ask him, “Can you tell me how I can become a better husband? How can I be a live more to God’s glory in my home? How can I strengthen my marriage?” They were not interested in that. They were interested in divorce, in the amount of license God gave them to end their marriages and send their wives away. “Can we get out of marriage? Am I bound to my wife for the rest of my life?” That was their concern. And Jesus replied as He did a lot by asking them a question in return, v3 “What did Moses command you?” The Pharisees immediately replied by referring to the opening verses of Deuteronomy 24:1-4.
Now remember Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, but these Pharisees didn’t go to the book of Genesis, they went to Deuteronomy. They didn’t go to the opening words that describe marriage. They went to the Israel’s civic rules many of these regulations applied chiefly to the people of God under the Mosaic covenant. Which we are not under.
How does Jesus answer these Pharisees? By using the Bible, and explaining the word of God to them. Jesus underlines the absolute authority which Scripture had and has for Jesus himself and for us.
Jesus did not say, “well now I think . . .” and make some declaration. Here were the Pharisees who prided themselves in their knowledge of the Scriptures. If they were wrong in this the Lord had many opportunities to correct them, because they seem such despicable characters, but Jesus never tells them that they have a wrong doctrine of scriptures.
He told them clearly on other occasions when they had a wrong interpretation of the law of God, (the making of oaths, praying, fasting, giving). He corrected their views and their abuse of the Temple, but he never once said to them that their view of Scripture was too high. He viewed Scripture as highly as they did, but the difference was this, that he understood it better and obeyed it perfectly.
Jesus goes to the opening chapters of Genesis, and he’s not saying that they are myths and that we don’t have to take them as true. “At the beginning of creation God made them male and female” – those are the words Jesus says. And if Jesus said it, it was and still is true. Jesus goes on to explain Deuteronomy 24.
In v5 “‘It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,’” Now what happened was this, that God had set a divine and unchangeable standard for marriage from the very beginning. It was a holy, just and good, but the people were taking the precious gift of marriage and they were exploiting and abusing it.
The second passage quoted in verse 8&9 by Jesus is found in Genesis 2 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen. 2:20-24). Then Jesus gives his own commentary on those words, saying, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate”. Jesus says. “They are no longer two, but one,” he said. In other words, marriage is a permanent relationship. A husband and a wife complement one another. I don’t mean that they take it in turns to say lovely things about the other, but that each supplies what the other lacks. Think of a glove complementing a hand on a cold day. Or epically for those of us who are folic challenged a hat in this last week. They go together and we are more comfortable as a result. So a man and a woman complement one another physically, and also at a deeper level because God built differences into his design. When Eve was taken out of Adam’s side they were apart, but as they came together in marriage then that ‘oneness’ of being human was restored.
Are there grounds for Christians to divorce? Yes, there are two mentioned in the new testament. The first is adultery, Jesus talks about this in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:32, “anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress.” The phrase ‘marital unfaithfulness’ refers to all types of sexual immorality. This means adultery. Marital unfaithfulness is a ground of divorce because it violates the marriage bond.
The other is being abandoned by an unbelieving husband or wife. 1 Corinthians 7:15, “If the unbeliever departs, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances.” Barbara Roberts of A Cry For Justice said this “One of the problems when dealing with domestic abuse in a Christian context is, “What does the Bible says about divorce for domestic abuse?” I believe the Bible allows divorce for domestic abuse, and the key text for this is 1 Corinthians 7:15 – if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. For God has called us to peace.
This verse has been generally assumed to relate to desertion: when an unbelieving spouse walks out, abandoning a marriage with a Christian spouse, but not legally divorcing them. However, in the Greek text the word “depart” (chorizo) means “to place space between, to separate” In short she goes on to say that what is meant is separation of soul as well as physical, and abuse of any kind is that separation in a marriage, and this is what Paul is talking about. She says a lot more and I will be happy to send anyone who wants it the link to her web site and her books. Paul says. Let them go. You are not bound in such circumstances.
Yet no Christian should enter marriage thinking that there are two back doors out if things go wrong. There is no back door. That is the only way to think and act if you are contemplating marriage. This is a lifelong union.
We are called to love our spouse as we love ourselves.
Now let’s look at the problem of elephant in the room. Let me say a word to those of you whose marriage may not be all it should be but are both believers. A marriage which may not reflect the Kingdom of God, I urge you to turn to Jesus. Confess and ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life once again. Stop living in rebellion against him. Believe in him, and begin to obey him. Stop living for yourself, live for Jesus. I and Chris sometimes wonder if we would still be married today. If ten years ago we had not given our lives to Jesus.
Marriage renewal begins with spiritual renewal. The power we need in order to renew our marriages comes first when we understand what marriage is all about, that it was designed by the living God. God can work by his Holy Spirit in our hearts, and this is where marriage recovery begins, with us entrusting ourselves to Jesus. Now I don’t believe that marriage renewal can be picked up in an instant. It comes through relationship with Jesus and through listing to the Holy Spirit and reading the Bible.
Also I would like to address those of you who may already be divorced, God loves you, he has not cast you aside, He would never do that, but what he would like you to do is to confess to him your part in the divorce, if any of it was your fault say sorry to God and accept His full forgiveness.
Let me say a word to you who are married and who believe in Christ, that you must begin to look at your life partners in the light of the Bible’s teaching.
Marriage is something that goes beyond affection. The commitment, the loyalty, the faithfulness, the oneness are so basic and fundamental in marriage that when we do speak of love in marriage, we are practically speaking about loving ourselves. And that’s what the Paul said: “He who loves his wife, loves himself.”
Life is very short. And it’s important that we make as few mistakes as possible during our journey. If you don’t want to make a mistake with your marriage, look at it in the light of the Bible and live within it in terms of the way the Bible describes it. Marriage is a great adventure. It presents opportunities for self-fulfilment that are without parallel; no other social arrangement even comes close. It is so awesome that those of us who are happily married can only marvel that we have received this priceless gift. I urge you to think about marriage in biblical terms and to live in the marriage bond the way God wants you to. And in doing so we will bring the Kingdom of God closer to a reality, and we will get a taste of the love that God has for each one of us.
Choose to love your spouse and choose to give your life to Jesus to enjoy the Kingdom of God a little now and fully when that time comes.
Lets Pray: Lord we thank you for the bound of marriage and for your love for us help us to bring your Kingdom into our marriages and our lives. Amen