ACCEPTING GOD’S DESIGN
Lord we seek to meet Your intentions for marriage.
Read MARK 10:1–16
10 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.
2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.
4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
The Little Children and Jesus
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 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. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
a Mark 10:6 Gen. 1:27
b Mark 10:7 Some early manuscripts do not have and be united to his wife.
c Mark 10:8 Gen. 2:24
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good”(Gen 1:31). Thank You, Lord, for the order and beauty in Your creation.
The Pharisees try to trap Jesus by asking whether divorce is permissible, principally about the right of a man to divorce his wife (2,4). Jesus, however, distinguishes between what God allowed and what He intended. God allowed divorce under certain
circumstances (see the notes on 8:17), but He intended that marriage is for life. Let’s not fall into the trap of the Pharisees, but seek to understand the heart of God for marriage.
If we broaden the debate between Jesus and the Pharisees to discipleship more generally, we find that our challenge centers on discovering what is allowed and then aiming for what is intended. In Matthew 5:21–47, we find a string of “you have heard that it was said … but I tell you …” sayings, where Jesus seeks to enrich His audience’s understanding of the morality God requires, finishing inverse 48 with the challenge to be “perfect” just as God is perfect. Jesus sets the bar high; the discipleship He proposes is radical.
In verses 13–16, children appear again. Children are deeply valued by Jesus. He esteems their simplicity, curiosity, and dependency. The disciples are urged to be similarly receptive and trusting regarding God and His kingdom. It appears that they have not grasped what Jesus has taught in 9:33–41; they even interfere with parents bringing their children to Jesus. On another occasion, the obstacle for others to come to Jesus is the crowd (Mark 2:1–4). Let us be childlike in receiving the things of God and helpful to others who want to come to Jesus.
What is allowed and what is intended –just how radical is your discipleship? Are there practices or conventions in your church that could hinder people from coming to Jesus?
Lord, we understand why children are so highly esteemed in Your sight. Teach us to become more like them.
Book and Author Intros
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.