Marriage and Divorce
Verse 1 – Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And the people gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.
Verse 2 – The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.
The Pharisees saw divorce as a legal issue rather than a spiritual one. Jesus used this opportunity to review God’s intended purpose for marriage and to expose the Pharisees. The Pharisees also didn’t quote Moses fairly because they would take what Moses said out of context. Jesus showed these “so-called” legal experts just how superficial they were.
Verse 3 – And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”
Verse 4 – They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.”
Verse 5 – And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
Verse 6 – “But from the beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female.’
A hardness of heart is closing one’s heart to God’s truth, just as the Pharisees had done. Moses allowed divorce as a concession to spiritual hardness. God created the institution of marriage – from the beginning of marriage, between “one man and one woman.” If someone believes marriage is not”one man and one woman” then their heart is hardened towards the truth of God. Society can change God’s law all they want, but the truth still stands. Who do you stand with?
Verse 7 – ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
Verse 8 – ‘and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Verse 9 – “Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”
Verse 10 – And in the house His disciples asked Him again about the same matter.
Verse 11 – So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.
Verse 12 – “And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Inconsolable differences is pretty much, “Not an excuse.” I would say, adultery fits and so does abuse, as a reason for divorce. That’s why its smart to date a good while so one can go through different kinds of situations and crises before marriage.
Verse 13 – Then they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
Verse 14 – But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for such is the kingdom of God.
Verse 15 – “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.
Most little children believe and trust what you tell them to be true. If you tell young children about Jesus, they get a head start on how to treat others and how to live. They don’t have to understand everything, they simply trust. Jesus wasn’t speaking of immaturity, humility and trusting in Jesus was the intent.
Verse 16 – And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.
The Rich Young Ruler
Verse 17 – Now as He was going out on the road, one came running knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Verse 18 – So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God.
Verse 19 – “You know the commandments; ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
Verse 20 – And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have observed from my youth.”
Verse 21 – Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack; Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Verse 22 – But he was sad at this word, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions.
This man’s riches were his idol, on which his heart was set and trusted in. The love of money was proven by what Jesus told this man what he must do. The money represented his pride and the breaking of the first commandment, letting nothing get in the way of his love for God. This man was not willing to turn everything over to God.
This all points to: What are we willing to do to help the poor? It’s a matter of a giving heart. Are we willing to be generous to the less fortunate with what God has blessed us with?
Verse 23 – Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter God’s kingdom!”
Verse 24 – And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those to trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
When we read these verses together, we see that Jesus is talking about “trusting” in one’s wealth. Most people have a hard time trusting in God if they are never in lack. They are self-sufficient, not having a need for His help. However, there are those that use their money and resources for God’s kingdom. It is not a blessing to be poor and always in lack. If a person is always in need, how are they ever going to help another? It boils down to our attitude about money.
Verse 25 – “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Wealth is not always a sign of God’s favor. Neither is it a sign of being good.
Verse 26 – And they were astonished beyond measure, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
The disciples were still thinking of an earthly kingdom, where rich men could certainly come into the Messiah’s kingdom. However, Jesus was trying to explain that God’s kingdom was a matter of attitude towards money – matter of the heart.
Verse 27 – But looking at them, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
Now, whether they understood this or not Jesus said it would only be possible to enter the kingdom of God if they were totally reliant on God for all things.!
Verse 28 – Then Peter said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
In Peter’s mind, they had left all and followed Jesus, thus doing what Jesus told the rich young ruler to do.
Verse 29 – So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
Verse 30 – “who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time – houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions – and in the age to come, eternal life.
Verse 31 – “But many who are first will be last, and last first.”
Jesus simply was saying: Anyone who gives up these for His sake, will be rewarded while on earth, however, not without persecution. We might lose family members because we follow Christ, but we gain a family of believers. In the world to come, things will be reversed from this world. In this world, people always try to be first, but Jesus was teaching servant-hood. Whoever strives to be first, will be last and whoever puts others before themselves, become great in God’s kingdom.
Verse 32 – Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him.
The disciples were afraid because they didn’t know what was waiting for them in Jerusalem. Jesus took the lead to show them He was not afraid.
Verse 33 – “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to the chief priests and to the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles;
Verse 34 – “and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
Verse 35 – Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”
Don’t you think it odd, after Jesus is telling them about His death and resurrection, that the subject was changed so quickly by James and John?
Verse 36 – And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
Verse 37 – They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”
I believe the disciples thought that after Jesus resurrection, His kingdom would be set up here on earth. They had no concept of Jesus ascending to heaven and His kingdom not being set up until a long time in the future.
Verse 38 – But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Can you drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
Verse 39 – And they said to Him, “We can.” And Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;
Verse 40 – “but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”
The disciples would indeed end up suffering and being persecuted for the gospel’s sake, but the honor of sitting on Jesus right hand is determined by God Himself.
Verse 41 – And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.
Verse 42 – But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
Jesus answered in a way to let them know: In the kingdom of God the person’s greatness or position will not come as it does on earth. Governors and high positions ruled by Gentiles were appointed and then they ruled over the rest of the people.
Verse 43 – “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.
Verse 44 – “And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave to all.
Verse 45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
Many in Christian leadership today, still don’t follow what Jesus said in these verses. I’ve seen too many times, people rise to the position of ministering to thousands and having all the luxuries you can imagine, only to fall like a ton of bricks. They forgot the order of servant hood, which is following Jesus teachings. Yes, ministries should grow, but not at the expense for someone to think more highly of themselves.
verse 46 – Then they came to Jericho. And as He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.
Verse 47 – And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
The fact that Bartimaeus called Jesus the Son of David, showed he recognized Him as the Messiah.
Verse 48 – Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Verse 49 – So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling to you.”
Verse 50 – And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
Verse 51 – And Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
Verse 52 – Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Healed is the Greek word Sozo. It can refer to physical healing and spiritual salvation. Bartimaeus received both. There are many reasons that people today don’t receive physical healing. One reason being that they ignore the spiritual healing they are in need of; they don’t want to put the time and effort in a relationship with Jesus Christ; they doubt that He can do it; they have no intention of turning their lives around toward the things of God; there are many more, but none of it is God’s fault. I don’t have all the answers, but this one thing I know: You can’t live your life any way you want, and then expect God to do your bidding. We do His will, not the other way around.