Relationships By Numbers
Wise Father, I want to know the right way to live. I want to know Your way. Teach me now.
Read Mark 10:1-16
 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.  Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”  “What did Moses command you?” he replied.  They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”  “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.  “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,  and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”  When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this.  He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.  And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”  People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat important lessons from Jesus do you see here?
Jesus and the disciples are approaching Jerusalem. Questions of the correct application of the Law of Moses inevitably begin to take center stage. The Pharisees loved such debate. It could appear so spiritual! Under what circumstances might a man divorce his wife (though not the wife, her husband)? Some held a liberal interpretation of the Law of Moses and others were more conservative. Jesus, however, takes them back to radical first principles defined at creation. At that point God intended a lifelong covenant partnership (5-9). Later on, God commanded Moses to make allowance for divorce because the people clearly struggled to remain committed in marriage. A long history of legal wrangling followed. The disciples once again found his teaching difficult and queried him about it. Jesus repeats that marriage is for life. In Matthew’s account of this story Jesus is recorded as allowing breakdown only when the marriage covenant has been fractured through sexual sin (Matt. 19:9). But the point in Mark’s account is that a radically committed attitude to relationship is what matters. Children in particular (13-16), classically the vulnerable ones, depend on it.
Do you have a “radically committed attitude to relationship”? How is this demonstrated in your life?
Lord, I know that You’re committed to our relationship. May I show that same commitment to my other relationships.
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