Summary: Divorce was just as big an issue in the first centruy as it is today
Divorce and the Bible
The Book of Mark
A. The 10th chapter of Mark is 45 verses long and it is jam packed with instruction for the disciples and us.
B. Remember that Jesus is heading for Jerusalem and ultimately His sacrificial death.
1. By this time He has pretty much separated Himself and the disciples from public ministry.
2. Although He never turns them away vs.1.
3. His main focus is on teaching the disciples and preparing them for the events to follow soon.
C. This chapter deals with some very difficult if not controversial subjects.
4. Jesus’ impending death
6. Servant hood
7. They are as relevant today as they were then.
8. People living back then struggled with many of the same issues we struggle with today.
9. That is why God’s word is just as vital today as it was when it was written.
10. The instruction found in it touches on every aspect of our lives today as it did 2000 years ago.
D. As you know I primarily do exegetical studies of books of the bible. I do this for several reasons.
1. I am not creative enough to come up with a new subject to address each week.
2. Most books of the bible cover a wide range of issues.
a) Because we are moving through a book systematically we don’t fall into the trap of becoming stuck on a single issue.
b) The text determines where we go and what we study.
3. When we come to difficult issues as those we will address in this chapter you can be assured that I am not grinding some ax.
E. As you read the passage this morning you saw that we are going to deal with a sensitive subject right at the beginning of the chapter.
F. Divorce and the Bible
1. To say that we have a problem with divorce today would be a major understatement.
a) The attacks on the institution of marriage are numerous and come from many fronts.
(1) Academics who assert that marriage as defined traditionally is not relevant today.
(2) The homosexual advocates who want to redefine marriage for their own purposes.
(3) The laze fare attitude toward marriage in general
b) Even the church has been affected by these things.
c) Statistics reveal that the divorce rates among those who attend church regularly are almost the same as for those who don’t go to church at all.
2. Sad to say that this isn’t anything new.
a) Carle Zimmerman wrote in a study on the deterioration of cultures in 1947 “Marriage loses its sacredness; … is frequently broken by divorce; traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony is lost; feminist movements abound; there is increased public disrespect for parents and authority in general; an acceleration of juvenile delinquency, promiscuity and rebellion occurs; there is refusal of people with traditional marriages to accept family responsibilities; a growing desire for, and acceptance of, adultery is evident; there is increasing interest in, and spread of, sexual perversions and sex-related crimes.”
(1) This before the sexual revolution in the 1960s
(2) The women’s movement
(3) And the gay rights movement which dominates our culture today.
3. Divorce is an issue that also had an impact in the 1st century.
a) Jesus spoke about it more than once.
b) Paul wrote about it in his letters too.
4. Though many people try to down play the effects of divorce it is an issue that we should be concerned about.
a) First of all because God says it is wrong.
b) Mal.2:16 says that God hates divorce.
c) Second because of its detrimental effect on the family.
(1) Studies have shown that divorce can have far reaching effect on children.
(2) It isn’t limited to younger children either.
5. What I would like to do is expand our study a little beyond this passage.
a) To just focus on this short passage alone would not adequately cover this subject.
b) Over the next couple of weeks we will define what marriage is and how divorce relates to it.
G. 4 views of on divorce.
1. No divorce at all for any reason at any time
2. Divorce for some reasons but no remarriage.
3. Divorce and remarriage anytime for any reason.
4. Divorce for some reasons with remarriage allowed under certain conditions.
H. Which is biblical?
1. This is where the Pharisees were coming from in Mark 10:2.
a) They asked this to test Him.
b) Matthew adds “for any reason”.
c) There were two basic schools of thought in those days.
(1) Divorce only for immorality.
(2) Divorce for any reason with the right paperwork.
d) If Jesus had taken either side He would have been stepping on someone’s toes and this was their aim.