Mark 10: What Jesus Said about Marriage

Mark is an interesting gospel for many reasons. One of them is what it says concerning divorce.

We are told the religious leaders wanted to test Jesus. They chose divorce, a heated issue in their time and ours.

The excerpt reads:

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.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Mark packed a lot into these words. First, divorce is permitted because of hard hearts (This basically comes down to selfishness in my paraphrase). Though this is a general statement, it is often true.

Second, God’s creation of humans is affirmed. God made people “male and female.”

Third, God’s original purpose for marriage is affirmed: “…a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” While many, even in the Bible, did not provide healthy examples of marriage, one man and one woman in lifelong commitment was, according to Jesus, God’s original design.

The conclusion Jesus gave is that if God has designed marriage as a lifelong relationship, why end it? Yes, adultery/sexual immorality and desertion are named in other places in the New Testament as reasons (and these can possibly be interpreted broadly to include other situations), the standard is lifelong, monogamous, male-female marriage.

Now, as then, what God has joined together, let no man separate.

I’m personally going on nearly 13 years and couldn’t imagine life any other way. Yes, I realize many have not had a similar experience, but it is still possible to life together for a lifetime.

Some of my biggest heroes in this world are not the best athletes or top celebrities; they are those couples who have been married 50 or 60 years. They are the ones truly living out what Jesus said about marriage.

+++

Dillon Burroughs has written, co-written, or edited over 60 books, including the upcoming devotional work Thirst No More (October 2011). He served as an associate editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Find out more at DillonBurroughs.org.

Mark 9: It All Matters

It all matters.

This is not just a line from the TV show Lost; it is a profound spiritual truth.

Of the fifty verses I wrote down that make up the words of Mark 9, verse 41 stood out the most:

“I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.”

From the person who performs miracles to the one who gives a single cup of water, Jesus said it all matters.

You may not think what you do matters much, but it does.

Now.

And for eternity.

That’s part of why the New Testament tells us to watch ourselves, to be alert, and to be holy. We don’t have time to waste on selfish pursuits; we are called to make every moment count and to make the most of every opportunity.

So go all out today. And tomorrow. And the next day. Why? Because it all matters.

Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Work Week (a highly inaccurate title in my experience) calls this the principle of bus. He says if something is important or needs done, do it NOW. Why? Because he could walk out the door and get hit by a bus while crossing the street and life is over. His mantra is to “do it now” because there may be no tomorrow.

You may not like the graphic analogy, so pick your own version of “because of the bus.” The important thing to remember is that it all matters. Don’t just exist; live life to its fullest.

Even it’s just one cup of water given in the name of Jesus.

+++

Dillon Burroughs has written, co-written, or edited over 60 books, including the upcoming devotional work Thirst No More (October 2011). He served as an associate editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Find out more at DillonBurroughs.org.

Mark 7: Eat What You Want

Interesting fact from Jesus in Mark 7: Eat what you want.

That’s right! Organic or non-organic. Waffle fries, meat of all kinds, and even chocolate.

Details from verses 18-19 include: “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

Our socially conscious culture tends to make one kind of food better than another, but Jesus’ food ethics move beyond these rules. Food is not the problem. Sin is. So eat what you want, with two small exceptions.

First, remember that gluttony (overeating) is a sin. Yes, it is listed in the New Testament with all of the other big issues we are to avoid as followers of Christ.

Second, fair-trade certified and locally grown food actually do matter. Fair trade certified foods are important because they help provide accountability against slave labor in our food products. Locally-grown food is likewise important as it causes less impact upon the environment and can help support local community farmers and businesses.

So eat whatever you want, but not too much, fair trade and locally grown when possible, love God and love your neighbor. (New Dillon Translation :-)

+++

Dillon Burroughs has written, co-written, or edited over 60 books, including the upcoming devotional work Thirst No More (October 2011). He served as an associate editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Find out more at DillonBurroughs.org.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X