MARRIAGE IS GOD’S IDEA
Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to Him and, as was His custom, He taught them.
Some Pharisees came and tested Him by asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ ‘What did Moses command you?’ He replied. They said, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.’ ‘It is because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,’ Jesus replied. ‘But at the beginning of creation God “made them male and female.”
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ (Mark 10:1-9).
How sad that arrogant human beings think that we can improve on God’s idea of marriage. You see, God created man in His own image, and then He gave them the institution of marriage to reflect that image.
From the moment a Hebrew baby was born it would hear the Shema – the “creed” of the Hebrew people, repeated over and over again. Every time the baby’s mother would nurse him at her breast, she would whisper the Shema to him while he drank.
Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deut. 6: 4-5).
The Lord is one. What does that mean? Our God is one – three persons in perfect unity. Not three Gods. One God, three persons united in essence and in purpose. Jesus could call the Holy Spirit “another Counsellor” because He was exactly like Jesus – the same divine being, the same nature, character, disposition, vision, but not the same function.
The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father. The Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son and a yet He is perfectly one with the Father and the Son. I know we find this difficult to understand. That’s why God instituted marriage, to give us a visual aid of the unity in the Godhead which is expressed in the whole of creation. He intended creation to function as a perfect, interdependent unit to show forth His oneness.
But what have humans done to the beauty of this visual aid? We think we know better, so we threw out God’s pattern and created our own. We call it freedom, this casual liaison with any and everybody, fragmenting ourselves with every person with whom we have a sexual connection, not realising that we are, in the end, making it impossible to be united to one person because we have left a bit of ourselves with everyone to whom we have been joined.
Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” (1 Cor. 6: 16).
Is it any wonder than that marriages do not last today? How can two people establish a permanent union when they have had casual connections with so many? So what do they do? They throw marriage out instead of returning to God’s original purpose.
Did you notice that Jesus did not approve Moses’ solution for disunity – divorce? He took the Pharisees back to God’s original intention. There were two schools of thought regarding divorce in Jesus’ day. The House of Hillel, the followers of Hillel, who was a liberal rabbi, taught that a man could divorce his wife for any reason. The House of Shammai taught that the only reason for divorce was what Jesus called “marital unfaithfulness”. This referred to any infringement of the marriage contract – the ketubah, which regulated the terms of their marriage relationship – and not just adultery.
There was a reason for the Pharisees’ question. It was their practice to send a wife away for any flimsy reason because they had their eye on someone else. They wanted Jesus’ sanction for their practice, but Jesus would have none of it. He reminded them of God’s original intention for a permanent and monogamous union which reflected the unity of the Godhead. It was their sinful hearts that wanted approval for their behaviour, not the desire to obey the law of God.
How tragic that, in throwing out God’s law in favour of their own, people have doomed themselves never the experience the true joy of a permanent union that reflects and experiences the very heart of God.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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