by Tony Nester

Becoming One
Tony Nester
Mark 10: 1-12
April 9, 2000

The Pharisees wanted to push Jesus into answering hard
questions. In Mark 10:1-12 they chose one of the
hottest topics of their day - and ours: divorce.

Marriage is full of difficult questions to answer and
hard issues to resolve. There is a lot of tension
connected with marriage. That's why we tell jokes
about it - laughter relieves some of the tension.

A newspaper once reported a wedding in the following
succinct and ominous paragraph:

"Bod and Madeline were married on October 20, thus
terminating a friendship that first began back in
junior high school." (1).

A pastor got his words mixed up - or maybe
inadvertently got it right - when he said to the
couple in their wedding ceremony: "We are here that
you might be joined in holy deadlock!" (2).

There isn't, of course, anything "holy" about marital
deadlock. People who feel trapped in unhappy marriages
are dealing with terrible misery. It often leads them
into physical illness or mental depression.

A young wife sitting in a marriage counselor's office
declared, "When I got married, I was looking for an
IDEAL .. I married an ORDEAL .. Now I want a NEW
DEAL!" (3).

Jesus treated the question of divorce with the
seriousness it deserves. He knew that divorce was
never God's intention for our marriages. He knew what
Scripture said in Malachi 2:16: "For I hate divorce,
says the LORD, the God of Israel..."

Jesus replied to the Pharisee's question by asking
them, "What did Moses command you?"

They could have answered along the lines of
Deuteronomy 10: 12-13:

(Deuteronomy 10:12NRSV) "So now, O Israel, what does
the LORD your God require of you? Only to fear the
LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him,
to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and
with all your soul..."

But instead of referring to what God had commanded -
faithful and unwaver ...

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