Divorce, Children, And Possessions

Divorce, Children, And Possessions

Teaching About Divorce
10 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.”
Let the Children Come to Me
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
The Rich Young Man
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

God Has Joined Together

There was much disagreement about divorce and remarriage in the first century. Jesus spoke about the law of Moses, which allowed a man to divorce his wife, provided he gave her a proper certificate. The power of the gospel changes people from within, causing them to strive for the divine ideal instead of settling for God's allowances because of hardened hearts. However, divorce is permissible in some instances because of sin and brokenness. God's design for marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman. Thus, spouses should not seek to break up something sacred and joined together by God. God intends for husbands and wives to be united in a covenant as 'one flesh' for the rest of their lives.

Like A Child

The disciples believed they were helping Jesus by keeping children away from Him. Children were not seen as important because of their lack of power and influence. Jesus was adamant that the little ones should not be prevented from coming to Him to receive His blessing. He encouraged His disciples to allow them and said that to gain access to the Kingdom of God, they had to accept it as a child would.

Dangerous Wealth

Jesus welcomed children, but one wealthy man refused to join in. He pleaded for the key to eternal life. Despite following the commandments, he still felt like there was something more he could do. Jesus then showed him the path of becoming His disciple. All at once, the man's enthusiasm disappeared, and his true god was exposed: money and possessions. The young man left sorrowfully, unwilling to give up everything to follow Christ.

Jesus cautioned that it is extremely difficult for the wealthy to gain entrance into the kingdom of Heaven—impossible with assistance from God. People tend to rely on their money, power, or possessions instead of trusting in God. Jesus taught how hard it is by using hyperbole—obviously, a camel can't pass through the eye of a needle. Jesus assured His disciples that those who deny themselves for His sake would receive a greater reward.





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