Gospel of Mark Chapter Ten Part One
Introduction: A key idea in the Gospel of Mark is that Jesus is the servant of God. Today, we hope to discuss Jesus' teaching on divorce and concerning children.
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Read Mark 10:1-12
H. His Preaching in Perea (peer-ee'-a). 1. Concerning Divorce. Jesus was moving around and teaching in various places in this first section of the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Mark.
The Pharisees tested Him on the matter of divorce. Jesus talked about Moses’ compromise and God’s call for permanence.
- The priority of teaching. Notice in vs. 1 of this section of the Gospel of Mark that Jesus was not only a miracle worker, but He was a teacher.
First, it is important for us, as Christians, to have some good works that respond to people’s immediate needs. Second, we need to make sure we are providing sound teaching for people to develop faith in God.
We all need faith that sustains us when God doesn’t do the miracles that we want Him to do. We need a faith that causes us to live according to God’s will. Third, since Jesus spent so much time teaching, we should make sure we are spending time learning.
We learn from the Gospel of Mark that we need to work on a faith that both sustains us in times of trouble and moves us to live according to God’s will. Let’s work on giving teaching and faith development proper priority.
- Pharisee questions. Notice in vs. 2 that the Pharisees spent so much time trying and testing Jesus. First, as Christians, we should be aware that there will be people who ask us questions as a way of trapping us.
We should learn to respond well. Jesus often answered questions with questions. Sometimes the best response is silence or a request for the person to join us in praying about an answer. Everyone doesn't deserve a front seat in our minds.
Second, don't let the devil use you to ask trapping or silly questions. If you know the answer then why are you asking the question? Let's be aware of Pharisee questions.
- Hard hearts and compromise. Notice in vss. 5-6 of this section of the Gospel of Mark that Jesus talks about the compromise because of the hardness of people’s hearts.
It sounds strange, but sometimes we have to take what is good until we can get what is great. We live in an imperfect world, which means we have to deal with imperfection, even with those in the church and our relationships.
First, let’s be willing to make the most out of the situation that we find ourselves in. One ground of divorce is better than many grounds of divorce.
An example of how this may apply to church is accepting leaders who pay 5% with a pledge to grow by 1-2% a year until they reach 10% or more, instead of simply removing all of those who don’t tithe.
It may mean accepting a wife who is not as neat as you would like or a husband who is not as sensitive as you would like, instead of getting a divorce over such things.
The second thing we learned from the Gospel of Mark is let’s strive to live by God’s expressed will, instead of seeking a lower standard. The more we line up with God’s expressed will, the more God will bless us.
The further we drift from God’s expressed will, the further we drift from His blessings towards His punishment. Let’s work on responding to hard hearts and not having them ourselves.
- Godly marriages. In this section of the Gospel of Mark, notice in vss. 5-12 Jesus' teaching about marriage. First, a marriage is to be between a man and a woman. Same sex marriages are sin. Second, marriages are to be permanent.
Pre-marital counseling is strongly urged to help prevent so many divorces. Working on discipleship, communication, finances, and intimacy are great areas of preventive maintenance.
Third, leaving, cleaving, and being are extremely important to a healthy marriage. Some don’t leave parental influence. Some don’t cleave and become one with their spouses.
Too many want to be two and don’t give enough attention to the intimacy of being one, which is much more than sexuality.
Fourth, even though divorce was allowed for adultery, it was not commanded. There are those who have recovered. Some have suggested that divorce is allowed for situations that in effect are likened unto death.
For example, some would say that if the spouse is not performing spousal duties then they are in effect dead (e.g., the spouse move out, the spouse is living with someone else, the spouse is abusive, the spouse is not trying to contribute to the budget, refuses to have sex, etc.).
Fifth, it is good to know that God is a forgiving God. He even forgives the sin of ungodly divorces and marriages. Let’s strive to have godly permanent marriages, if we chose to be married. Some may do better as singles.
A marriage ministry would be great; however, such calls for a trained discipled manager and people willing to be ministered to as they participate in the ministry.
Read Mark 10:13-16
2. Concerning Children. The people brought children for Jesus to bless in this section of the Gospel of Mark. The disciples were trying to stop them. Jesus taught about the importance of child like spirits, and blessed the children.
- United leadership team. Notice in vss. 13-14 that the disciples were off base, and Jesus was angry. The disciples were trying to stop the children from being brought to Jesus.
Jesus wanted to bless the children. He was angry with the disciples apparently because of their lack of discernment. First, as helpers of the leader, it is important to have the leader's spirit (see Num. 11:14-17).
There are too many who think that they are equals or even superiors of the leader. They think they have a right to pursue their separate agenda. Second, as Jesus was angry, there are times when leaders get angry as well.
One of the things that make leaders angry is to see how their investment is not resulting in team work but team conflict. Let's work on supporting a united leadership team. This is applicable to our families, jobs, and surely to our church.
- Blessing and learning from our young people. Notice in vss. 14-16 the bringing and blessing of the children. First, it is always good to have our children prayed for.
In addition to praying for our own children, raising them to be Christian adults, and developing children and youth ministries for them in our church, special prayers are in order from time to time.
Second, it appears that the child like spirit of dependence is what is emphasized by Jesus. Little children are aware that they are absolutely dependent on their guardians for their wellbeing.
In like manner, we are urged to be dependent on God, our great King, for our wellbeing. Let's work on seeking what is best for our young people and being child like in our dependence on God.
Conclusion: Let's work on being servants of God. God has much for those who obey His will.
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