Daily Readings and Thought for February 14th. “WHAT THEREFORE GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER”


 Today we read in Mark chapter 10 about how the Pharisees questioned Jesus about marriage asking “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” [v.2]   The resulting answer is first about how Moses made provision for divorce “because of your hardness of heart” [v.5].  But then Jesus took their minds back to “the beginning of creation” when “God made them male and female” [v.6] and instituted marriage, “therefore a man shall … hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate.” [v.8,9]

This was a turn of conversation the Pharisees had not expected!  Among themselves, Jewish records indicate, there were 2 schools of thought, one that was trying to ‘bend’ the law Moses gave so as to allow a large range of reasons for divorce.  However, Jesus takes their minds back to God’s purpose in the beginning and how God instituted marriage.  It is rightly called “holy matrimony’ and the exchange of vows must be seen as being done in the sight of God. Note what God says in the last Old Testament book, read Malachi 2 v.14,15.

Mark’s record goes on to tell us that the disciples, obviously anxious to properly understand, when they came into the house “asked him again about this matter” [v.10].  The response of Jesus makes it plain that the one who initiates a divorce “commits adultery” [v.12] breaking the vows he or she made.  So God instituted marriage, but today, with so many not believing in God there is no such thing as ‘marriage in the sight of God’ for many people.  

But the Scriptures give us an even wider view, we read “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” [Hebrews 4 v.13]  Does this frighten us?  Look at it the other way, since our Lord, is our one and only “high priest” who sees every aspect of our lives “let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” [v.16]. 

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The exhortation on this page belongs to yesterdays readings, Feb 13.

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