SERMON SUMMARY: Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce challenges our modern notions of independence, freedom, and our “right” to pursue happiness. Why does Jesus take marriage so seriously? Come and learn more as we continue our series in the book of Mark.
Marriage is hard. For a man and a woman to build a life together, bringing their often conflicting needs and desires into a harmonious whole, is a great challenge, possible only through grace.
Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled.
Malachi 2:10, 13b-16
10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?
13b You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
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 was his custom, 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 send her away.”5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast 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 separate.”
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.”
CONFESSION OF SIN:
Father, you have called us to love our neighbors as ourselves.
But we have been selfish.
Forgive us for using and abusing others,
For seeking to be served rather than serving.
Father, you have also called us to love you with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
But we have been unfaithful.
Forgive us for failing to love and worship you,
For pursuing idols rather than communion with you.
Triune God, have mercy on us and forgive us for our sins. Amen.
SONG TO CONSIDER: