Today we look at Mark 10: 1-12:
10 He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
2 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” 5 But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Ok, today’s passage is one of those tough passages, one that can really be a challenge to understand. That’s why I think it’s good to read it in context with what follows, Mark 10:13-16:
13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
Here’s the importance of context, we can see a bigger picture of what Jesus is doing. When we look at passages that are tough and hard to understand, that context is key. In both of these passages, Jesus is lifting up those that were forgotten and taken advantage of.
In the first passage, first we see that Jesus was being tested, the religious leaders wanted to see if they could trip Him up, so they asked about divorce. What was happening in that day was this. Men would marry and after a few years, divorce their wife and remarry because they could. In that culture, that would leave the wife basically poor and powerless.
And what Jesus is saying is this. No! That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. You can’t do this to your wife. It’s not the way that God intended. She’s made in His image. You can’t, you shouldn’t do that to her. It’s wrong.
This passage is about affirming the worth of the wife, of the female, of the one that in that culture didn’t matter. Jesus is saying, this – she matters!
And the same thing with the child. Children (like women) in that culture were little more than property. And Jesus is telling the people this, these children matter. Welcome them. They count. They are important. Welcome these little ones.
Jesus is telling us today that everyone matters. Everyone is important. Everyone has worth. Even those that we are tempted to miss or tempted to ignore.
They matter to Jesus.
So, today and each day, they should matter to us.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 10:17-31.
If you’d like to receive these thoughts by email, be sure to click here and join my email devotional group!