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March 8th: Relationships



Scripture: Mark 10:1-31


Relationships

Trigger Warning! I don’t think I have ever written those two words before a devotion.  But sometimes we come to Scripture that is hard to read or talk about. Today we are going to be talking about the passage in Mark concerning divorce. Sometimes people quote Scriptures to purposefully cause us harm or offend us. Sometimes the church has used Scripture to cause us harm. I am not trying to cause any harm, but am hoping to address one of the hard texts that we encounter in Scripture. If you would like to discuss this Scripture further, please call or email me.


            It’s a trap!  The Scripture comes right out and says it.  The Pharisees are there to test Jesus.  Where are they testing Jesus?  Near the Jordan River in Judea.  Who else used to preach there?  John the Baptist.  Why did John the Baptist get in trouble?  He had some critiques about Herod Antipas marrying his brother’s wife, who each left a marriage to be married to each other.  This doesn’t mean that what Jesus has to say about divorce is irrelevant to a broader question though. I believe that question is what does marriage look like when the Kingdom of God has been realized?  Moses wrote his decree to protect vulnerable women due to the hard hearts of people.  Today’s passage isn’t written for case law.  But in the same story in Matthew 19 or in 1 Corinthians 7, we find certain permissions for divorce. However, Jesus is basing His response from Genesis.  The way God created the world is for bigger relationships than might be realized until the Kingdom of God is realized. I truly believe that in the gospel of Mark, Jesus is trying to get us to look deeper than surface level.  Yes, the topic of the first section of Scripture is about divorce.  But what the Scripture is about is ideal heavenly relationships.  The first section is on the relationship of marriage, then children (or the least of these), then on our relationship with money.


            So, for Jesus’ argument to make sense, he must be offering a solution to our hard heartedness.  If Jesus is now articulating a rigorous return to the standard of Genesis, God’s original intention, He is either being hopelessly idealistic or He believes that the coming of the kingdom will bring about a way for hearts to be softened.  That solution is the very life of Jesus.      


Questions:

  1. What can you do to build up a relationship today?

  2. How are your relationships going?

  3. Do you struggle with your relationship to your personal possessions?


Prayer:

Dear God, today is heavy.  Give me Your mercy, Your strength, Your patience, and Your love.  Also please share with me the things You know that I need but I don’t know how to name currently. Amen.


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