Summary: In the midst of this passage the LORD speaks on the topic of heart heartedness. It is the cause us so much pain (including divorce). How can we be tender hearted? This sermon deals with that subject - Tender Heartedness
Theme: A Heart Like Jesus
In the midst of this passage the LORD speaks on the topic of heart heartedness. It is the cause us so much pain (including divorce). How can we be tender hearted? This sermon deals with that subject - Tender Heartedness
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ - Our Savior, Lord and King!
From time to time it is easy for any of us to find ourselves on the hot seat. You get ambushed with a rather sticky question. A question that depending on your answer can open the door for a whole boatload of problems. That is what is going on in our passage this morning. The Pharisees thought that they were maneuvering Jesus into a corner with their question(s).
He and his team had traveled all the way down the River Jordan into the Judean area. This was the region that was largely under the control of King Herod Antipas. Mark tells us that a large crowd had gathered to listen to Jesus and His Message on the Coming of the Kingdom of God. No doubt they had heard of his recent exploits in Caesarea Philippi, Bethsaida and Capernaum.
The Pharisees had joined in the crowds. They were not as interested in listening to the teachings of Jesus as they were interested in trapping Jesus. That is what Mark tells us in verse 2. So, it wasn't the fact that they needed to hear some new teaching on marriage and divorce but that they were doing their best to set Jesus up with their question(s).
If you remember, just a few months ago King Herod had stolen his half-brother's (King Philip) wife Queen Herodias. It had been quite the royal scandal of the day. It was the sordid story of one brother going to another brother's house, having a secret affair with his wife and actually being able to steal her away.
By the time of our passage, Queen Herodias had divorced King Philip and had married King Herod Antipas; her former brother-in-law. It was all a rather messy business. One had to wonder if Rome was keeping a close eye on things wondering if the two half-brothers would go to war with one another. It is rather amazing that they didn't when you stop to think about it. More than once in history a war had been started over the love of a woman.
You may also remember that it was around the time of Queen Herodias' affair, divorce and remarriage that Jesus' cousin John the Baptist found himself in trouble. John had spoken out quite strongly against the immorality of the situation. He was first put into prison and then later he was beheaded because of the whole sordid mess.
And now, the Pharisees saw their chance to push Jesus into the soup so to speak. If they could get Jesus to say something incriminating about divorce perhaps they could take that and twist it just enough to make it seem as if Jesus was attacking King Herod Antipas. And if they could do that than just perhaps they could get Jesus arrested and put into prison. Then with a little more pushing maybe Queen Herodias would ask for head #2 and this whole Jesus mess would be gone. The Pharisees could go about their business and everything would go back to normal.
Jesus of course, spotted the trap a mile off. He knew what was going on in their hearts. Jesus does take the time to deal with the areas of marriage and divorce. He does take the time to remind everyone that before Moses wrote down some manmade rules that the Good God of Creation had already voiced His intended for the union of one man and one woman. God had intended for marriage to be lifelong. "What therefore God has put together, let man not separate" is not something Moses made up but something the Holy Spirit wanted Moses to write down.
Jesus comes back to focus on what the real issue is that has caused all the problems - in life, in marriage, in divorce and in following His Heavenly Father. It is a problem that we find spoken about throughout the Bible. A problem that is much bigger than divorce. A problem that Jesus spoke about just few chapters ago with his disciples.
IT IS THE PROBLEM OF HARD HEARTEDNESS.
And that is what I would like for us to look at this morning.
+What exactly is Hard Heartedness?
+How can we have a Heart that is tender, open, receptive and obedient?
+ How can we love one another and God with a Heart filled with agape love in our every day lives?