Notes On Mark’s Gospel (88)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!


Marital Glue (Chapter 10 Verses 1-12)

In Judea Jesus teaches the people as he became accustomed to doing (v1). These Pharisees who come to test him (v2) are no different from the others the Lord has encountered, they are hostile. The idea is to test, to tempt Jesus, to find some issue with him, an accusation. They had many arguments within their religious sects, and one of them was about divorce, the interpretation of the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 24.1). Well, according to them “some uncleanness” could mean anything, her cooking, her looks, and of course amongst them there were differing degrees of strictness in this interpretation. Well does Jesus agree with their exposition of this verse? Whichever way he falls, they think, he is going to offend one of them. No win! Heads Jesus loses tails they win. Jesus throws it back at them (v3). He wants to know what they think about the entirety of Moses teaching on the subject, but not just one verse (Deuteronomy 24.1). Very wise. That is how cults and sects are arrived at, when people take one verse of Scripture and build a whole doctrine on it, we need the teaching of the whole of Scripture, all the Bible has to say about the subject. Their shallowness of understanding with regard to Scripture is reflected in their answer (v4). Now comes the Biblical exposition.

Between creation, when marriage was instituted, and the time of this incident something happened, something went wrong (v5-9). The fall, sin came into the world (Romans 5.19), which of course brought utter disruption into the marriage scene. It would cause people’s hearts to be so calloused that they would in spite of the will and word of God, walk out of their marriages. Now Moses concession because of this condition of heart was simply a testimony against the sin of the heart, and produced a legal process for dissolving a marriage, not an excuse for it. If anyone wants to know God’s will concerning marriage the place to look is not Moses (Deuteronomy 24.1), but back further still (Genesis 1.27; 2.24). That is what Jesus does (v6). Creation and the institution of marriage go together, and that relationship is far more intimate, a stronger bond than even the parental one (v7). The “cleave to” to his wife, means literally glued to her. So therefore (v8), they are no longer two, but one. The bonds of marriage are covenantily consecrated by God, even a desire for divorce runs against our profession of faith. Even jokes about it, are the inspiration of Satan, through the sinful flesh of man.

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

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