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BIBLICAL MARRIAGE

ON THE ROAD WITH JESUS  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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INTRODUCTION (vv. 1-4):

Jesus and His disciples left Capernaum for Jerusalem. In Judea a large crowd met Jesus and He began to teach them. The presence of the crowd proves the popularity of Jesus.
While teaching the crowd, the pharisees arrived. The last time we saw the pharisees was in 8:11, “The pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test Him they began to ask Him for a sign from Heaven.” They asked for a sign after watching the feeding of the four thousand.
Mark tells us in verse 2 that they wanted to trap Jesus. This region was ruled by Herod Antipas who had imprisoned John. At the request of His wife Herodias, Herod beheaded John the Baptist for disapproving His divorce and remarriage.
The second reason why they questioned Jesus was that there were different views in Israel on the subject of divorce. By answering their question, Jesus was to be seen as taking a side in the debate.
Jesus asked them “What did Moses command?” They said that Moses commanded them to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” They were referring to , “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband who divorced her is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.”
The term for “indecent” according to Rabbi Hillel meant that her husband could put her away for any reason, even burning the food. Rabbi Shammai believe that “indecent” could mean a premarital sin. If a husband discovered that his wife was not a virgin then he could put her away. He could divorce her. Joseph and Mary were a classic example of this debate.
Jesus points out that Moses permitted divorce because of the hardness of the hearts of the people of Israel. R. C. Sproul wrote in his commentary, “Moses’ words about divorce were not a command or even an enumerated liberty, but a divine concession because of human hardness of heart.” We get our English word “sclerosis” from the Greek word for hardness. This word is also seen in , “Afterward, he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table, and He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believed those who saw Him after he had risen.”
Hardness indicates man’s attitude toward God and His grace when he ought to have a willing and receptive heart. Always in the context of stubborn resistance to God. Here the term indicates that the nation was insensitive to God’s Kingdom purposes resulting in disobedience or even outright rejection.”
Jesus did not fall into their trap. He bypassed that argument and went to God’s view on marriage.
So, What is biblical marriage?

BIBLICAL MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN (v. 6).

“But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female.”
What was Jesus driving at by stating that “at the beginning God made them male and female?”
A. Jesus reveals that marriage was a God-ordained institution between one man and one woman.
A. At the beginning of creation:
In this culture, it was fine to see women as second class citizens. But Jesus changed this in His teaching.
Jesus emphasizes that God created marriage from the beginning of creation to be a permanent relationship between one man and one woman. That was God’s plan at creation. Our culture is trying to change that plan by claiming that marriage can be entered by any two consenting adults. Some churches are falling for this new definition of marriage.
Moses’ permission on divorce was not part of God’s plan, but came about because of the hardness of the hearts of the people of Israel. In , Jesus said to the pharisees, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wife because your hearts were hard.” It was not this way from the beginning. This was not part of God’s intended purpose.God made a divine concession to the nation of Israel.
God made a divine concession to the nation of Israel.
B. God created them male and female:
By stating that Jesus created them male and female, Jesus was alluding to the fact that both the man and woman were of equal status before God. The woman is not inferior, and the man is not a superior.
“To define humanity as male and female, God was making it clear that the partners are equal. By quoting , Jesus acknowledges that God created humanity uniquely as male and female. This maleness and femaleness are rooted in the created will of God and are fundamental to marriage. As God’s creation, a woman is not a second class citizen but the very equal of a man.” This is how the gospel transforms the lives of people. Women who were seen as second class citizens in their culture were elevated by Christ.
This thinking went against the culture of Jesus’ days. The man was seen as the king in his marriage. And his wife was a subject, not an equal.
There are some who believe this today. They see themselves as the king of their marriages and their wives are not their equals, but rather their subjects.
B. They are equal spiritually:
Commenting on a believing couple, Peter did not see a woman as a second class citizen but an equal to her believing husband. In , “And treat your wives with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life so that nothing will hinder your prayer.”
What does Peter mean by the weaker partner in this context? Peter is not pointing out in this context that women are second class citizens to their husbands. Peter is pointing out that husbands and wives are spiritual heirs to God’s blessings. They are spiritually equal before Christ who redeemed them. So when Peter speaks about the woman being the weaker vessel, he is speaking about her muscular strength.
In , Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are all one in Christ.” The apostle Paul was not saying that the death of Christ eliminated our racial, social and sexual distinction. These distinctions are still there but they do not hinder our fellowship. We recognize each other as equals before Christ.
C. The sexes are complimentary:
To define humanity as male and female is to make each partner the complement of the other. We see in , “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” The literal reading is this, “a help that is opposite him, that is corresponding to him.” This phrase indicates that this helper or partner would be truly fitting and fully adequate-just right. The term does not refer to someone who is secondary or inferior.

BIBLICAL MARRIAGE IS AN EXCLUSIVE UNION (vv. 7-8).

A. The man will leave his father and mother:
In ancient Israel, sons did not move far away when they married. They stayed around to inherit their father’s land or to work on the father’s land. They left their parents in the sense of putting the welfare and wellbeing of their wives ahead of their parents’ interest. One commentator points out, “Since marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman, its claims take precedence over ties to father and mother.”
2. When Christ quotes this verse from , Jesus is pointing out that the husbands obligation to his wife surpasses that of his parents.
In ancient Israel, sons did not move far away when they married. They stayed around to inherit their father’s land or to work on the father’s land. They left their parents in the sense of putting the welfare and wellbeing of their wives ahead of their parents’ interest. One commentator points out, “Since marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman, it claims take precedence over ties to father and mother.”
3. Another commentator points out that a man will forsake his closest social tie, the family in which he was reared, and be joined in marriage to a woman.
4. We see this in , “Listen, daughter and pay careful attention, forget your people and your father’s house.” In this Psalm, the psalmist addresses the bride and encourages her to be loyal to God and the people of God by forgetting her loyalty to her native land and people.
5. This new entity takes priority over previous allegiances to parents and to the rights of the individual.
B. He will hold fast to his wife:
This same word is used in . “You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve Him and hold fast to him and by His name swear.” To hold fast to God meant to be faithful to Him. So when Jesus speaks of a man holding fast to his wife, he is speaking of a man being faithful to his wife or his marital covenant.
The term “hold fast” is used in , “you shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve Him and hold fast to him and by His name swear.” To hold fast to God meant to be faithful to Him. So when Jesus speaks of a man holding fast to his wife, he is speaking of a man being faithful to his wife or his marital covenant.
By becoming this one flesh is mysterious. These two distinct individual is united as a single entity-a couple. The two are now responsible for the needs of the other.
Paul’s teaching on marriage in is founded upon this in text in . We can live faithfully in our marriages only because of the transformation that Christ’s death brought. Because of His Holy Spirit, we are equipped to say no to our sinful desires and yes to righteousness. states, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age...” The ESV notes on this verse state that saving grace teaches its recipients to say no to sin and yes to godliness. This godliness is meant to be lived out in the here and now.”
“The one flesh refers
C. They shall become one flesh:
They shall become one unit. This union is consummated in sexual intercourse.
Becoming one flesh is to united with our spouse in a sexual relationship. Paul uses this same phrase to warn the church in Corinth to flee sexual immorality. “Do you not know that he who joins with a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, the two will become one flesh.”
.

GOD IS THE HEAD OF MARRIAGE (V. 9).

GOD IS THE HEAD OF MARRIAGE (V. 9).

“What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.
“What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.
A. God is the creator of marriage:
Within the Jewish culture, the husband was given control over his wife, thereby making him the lord of the marital relationship.
According to Jesus, neither is the man or woman lord of the relationship. The head of marital relationship is the one who created this unique relationship from the beginning. That head is God.
B. He rejects the idea that man can undo what God brought together or what God yoked together.
C. Paul states in , “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church...” Yes in our marital relationships we have order. The husband is the head. But the ultimate head of any marriage is God. He determines what marriages should look like.

Are there a grounds for divorce?

In “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” Here Jesus uttered what is known as the exceptive clause by which He permitted divorce and defined the grounds on which it was permissible. The only permissible ground for divorce is sexual immorality.
What exactly did Jesus mean by sexual immorality? The Greek word that is translated as sexual immorality is porneia, from which we get our English word pornography. Some believe that it is a synonym for adultery. And others believe it stood for a wide variety of sexual sins.
The only other ground for divorce is desertion of a Christian by a non-Christian ().
“…that God allows us to end or marriages when they are violated by sexual immorality is an amazing concession to human sin, but that concession does not go so far as no-fault divorce or divorce on the grounds of incompatibility.”
Dr. Sproul is pointing out that there are legitimate grounds for divorce, but our society has corrupted that. Today, people are filing for divorce on the grounds of incompatibility. We are all incompatible because we come from different backgrounds and experiences. And we are sinners.
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