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Friday, February 23, 2018

2018.02.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ Mark 10:1-16

Questions for Littles: Where does Jesus go (v1)? Who gathered to Him? What was He accustomed to do with them? What question do the Pharisees ask in v2? With what question does Jesus answer in v3? What is their answer (v4)? What does Jesus say was the reason that Moses permitted this (v5)? What does Jesus remind them that God did at the beginning of creation (v6)? How had God created man? Of what else does Jesus remind them in v7? How many does Jesus say become one flesh in v8? Whom does Jesus say is the One who joins a man and his wife together (v9)? Who ask Jesus about the same thing in v10? What does Jesus say a man does, if he divorces his wife and then remarries (v11, cf. Matt 5:32)? What does Jesus say a woman does, if she does the same (v12)? To whom do they then bring little children (v13)? What do they want Jesus to do with the children? What do the disciples do to those who brought the children? When Jesus sees it, what does He think (v14)? To whom does Jesus say that the kingdom belongs? And to whom are the children an example (v15)? What does Jesus then do with the children (v16)?
In the Gospel reading this week, we heard about two incidents in which the Lord Jesus affirms God’s valuing of marriage and children.

First, on the question of divorce, there are a couple interesting things about Christ’s answer.

There is a truth about the Mosaic civil code here that we could easily miss. God gave unto Israel laws that took into account the hardness of their hearts. If you look at the parallel in Matthew 5:32, you can see part of the “hardness of heart” Jesus is talking about. Divorce wouldn’t be necessary, but there are husbands and wives who commit adultery.

Even more interesting is the theological foundation of Jesus’s teaching on divorce. He doesn’t take us to Genesis 2 first. Jesus takes us to the creation in Genesis 1. He takes us to God creating male and female. The implication is that marriage is about man being in the image of God, man being a covenanting creature.

Only after establishing this first does Jesus take us to Genesis 2, where He twice repeats the math: 2 become 1. This math wasn’t explicit in the text of Genesis 2, but it was obviously implied. Now, Jesus gives His authoritative explanation and application of the passage. Marriage is one man, and one woman, covenanted for life.

But there’s more! Who forms this covenant? Not just the man and the woman. The Lord is the One who joins them together. Marriage is the “covenant of our God” (cf. Prov 2:17). No wonder God hates divorce! The Scripture that tells us that also tells us one of God’s great purposes for marriage: to produce a godly seed, covenant children (cf. Malachi 2:14-16).

Now, the Holy Spirit ties the two subjects together again in Mark 10. Look at how serious our Redeemer is about covenant children! He is greatly displeased with the disciples for hindering the little children of these believing parents from coming to Him.

Our Lord doesn’t just love our children because they are ours. He loves our children because they are His. Jesus points out, in v15, that children are often better examples of believers than adults. But this isn’t even His strongest statement about them.

In v14, Jesus says of such is the kingdom. These little children are kingdom citizens in their own right. They have a right of access to the King! In the end, Jesus doesn’t just touch the children as was requested. He takes them up into His arms, and lays His hands upon them, and blesses them. How much our Lord loves marriage and children!
How does your daily and weekly schedule reflect Jesus’s priority upon marriage and children?
Suggested songs: ARP128 “How Blessed Are All Who Fear the Lord” or HB455 “O Happy Home, Where Thou Art Loved”

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