Scripture: Mark 10:1-12
1 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them. 2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" 3 He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" 4 They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away." 5 But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, `God made them male and female.' 7 `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." 10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
Meditation: What is God's intention for our state in life, whether
married or single? Jesus deals with the issue of divorce by taking his hearers
back to the beginning of creation and to God's plan for the human race. In
Genesis 2:23-24 we see God's intention and ideal that two people who marry
should become so indissolubly one that they are one flesh. That ideal is found
in the unbreakable union of Adam and Eve. They were created for each other
and for no one else. They are the pattern and symbol for all who were to
Jesus explains that Moses permitted divorce as a concession in view of a lost ideal. Jesus sets the high ideal of the married state before those who are willing to accept his commands. Jesus, likewise sets the high ideal for those who freely renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:11-12). Both marriage and celibacy are calls from God to live a consecrated life, that is to live as married couples or as singles who belong not to themselves but to God. Our lives are not our own – they belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19b,20; Romans 14:7-8). The Lord Jesus through the gift of the Holy Spirit gives the grace and the power to those who seek to follow his way of holiness in their state of life. His grace and power bring freedom, discipline, and strength to live a life of love, joy, and holiness. Do you seek the Lord and his grace (his strength and power) in your state of life?
"Lord Jesus Christ, your call to holiness extends to all in every state
of life. Sanctify our lives – as married couples and as singles – that we
may live as men and women who are consecrated to you. Make us leaven in a
society that disdains life-long marriage fidelity, chastity, and living single
for the Lord".
Psalm 119: 33-40
33 Teach me, O LORD, the way ofyour statutes; and I will
keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keepyour law and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart toyour testimonies, and not to gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; and give me life inyour ways.
38 Confirm toyour servant your promise, which is for those who fearyou.
39 Turn away the reproach which I dread; for your ordinances are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!