Series: BIOS of a Savior
Bible Passage: Mark 10:1-12
Other Pertinent Scripture: Parallel passages: Matthew 5:31-32, 19:1-9.
Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18-25; Deut. 24:1-4; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:27-28; Ephesians 5:25-33
The gospel of Mark is a documentary account of the life of Christ. Like other ancient biographies, which were called a BIOS or “life,” Mark’s account speaks to us about the actions and events of a man’s life. But this is no mere man Mark is presenting. This is the holy man who is wholly God, the one who has unique authority to call us to follow him.
As a church, everything about Stonehouse centers on this BIOS - his life, his teaching, his authority, his suffering and his victory.
a note on this week’s text:
As we return to the gospel of Mark we re-enter Jesus’ instructions on discipleship. This section of the book (Mark 8:27-10:52) focuses in on the three predictions Jesus makes about his death and resurrection which are each followed by specific instruction on the cost of discipleship. Jesus is pressing the issue here with his disciples… following him will be difficult, personally costly, and doing so will mean going against the flow of culture and the tides of religion.
Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce is rooted in a robust understanding of the creation account, including specifically how God created humans in his image as male and female. The Bible’s view of marriage is a high view. Jesus confirms that God holds marriage in high esteem and calls married men and women to the glory of God as revealed in marriage and to the struggle of discipleship that comes when we seek to honor him in it. Make no mistake about it, marriage is included in the costliness of discipleship that Mark is recording in this section of his gospel.
a few items to help take a deeper look this week or share with others:
“What is Marriage, According to the Bible?” by Ray Ortlund
“10 Politically Incorrect Reasons Why We’re Still Married” by Tony Morgan
Suggested discovery/discussion questions:
1. The teaching of Jesus about marriage and divorce begins in Genesis 1 and 2. The Pharisees wanted to begin the conversation in the law (Deut. 24:1-4) but Christ reasoned from creation (Gen. 1:26-27 & 2:24-25). This communicates something significant and that is: the meaning of marriage is rooted in the image bearing of man and woman according to God’s good design. What we understand about creation weighs in heavily on how we see marriage. What was unique about the creation of mankind compared to the rest of God’s creation? According to Genesis 1:26-27, how did God create us? What does that mean? How is God’s image reflected differently in men and women? Why did God create marriage in the beginning? What is unique about the marriage relationship?
2. Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24 in his answer to the Pharisees. This verse includes the calling for a husband to “hold fast to his wife.” The Hebrew word, “dabaq” [pronounced: daw-bak’], means to cling or adhere to; to follow hard after, to keep, to overtake, to be joined to; figuratively, to catch by pursuit. It is an action word that calls us toward intentional, long-lasting, tireless engagement with our spouse, particularly of men toward their wives. Sometimes this can be harder than it would initially seem to those who have “fallen in love.” In a marriage, how does this “holding fast” materialize? What does is look like for you (husbands) to do this? What does is look like for you (wives) when this does or does not happen? Have you seen examples of “love grown cold” in the lives around you? How about in your life/marriage? Who is the perfect picture of “holding fast?”
3. How does Jesus’ love for us show us that he is the perfect husband? What did Jesus do that makes him the perfect example of “holding fast?” What does Jesus continue to do that makes this still true of him today? Can you provide Biblical examples of this love?
4. Divorce was never in the mind of God when he created man and woman and marriage. The law in Deut. 24 was not a command for divorce but merely a concession for the hardness of heart and weakness of will that existed in mankind. Understanding that experiencing a divorce does not make us less deserving of God’s love and forgiveness, nor does is turn us into 2nd class Christians, there is still reason to labor in life and marriage so that divorce doesn’t become a reality for us. While it certainly takes work to not only stay married but display God’s love for us through our marriage, it is absolutely worth doing this the way God intends. What are some of the benefits of marriage and enduring in it? What kinds of challenges have you faced or are you facing in your marriage? Whether it was you or someone close to you, have you suffered the consequences of divorce? Are you struggling to believe that there is forgiveness and healing there? How can we, together as a church, celebrate what God has given married couples and encourage them onward while still being a safe place where people can heal and be restored if they have seen a marriage break apart?
5. When it comes to why the Pharisees came to Jesus with this question we see that their intentions were everything but pure. They were not only trying to trap Jesus but were seeking validation of their perspective from Jesus rather than come to humbly learn from Jesus. Can you see in your life how you might be prone to do the same thing? In what ways do you hold onto your conclusions and come to Jesus to get his stamp of approval on your thoughts? How is it that we are to come to understand the truth about a matter like marriage? In what other ways is this challenging?
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If you are interested in reading a book(s) on marriage, we would highly encourage you to take a look at any one of the following:
The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller
The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler
Marriage and The Mystery of the Gospel by Ray Ortlund
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