Summary: This is a sermon about relationships, with an emphasis on the example of Jesus and the little children.
NOV. 26, 2006
From there he went to the area of Judea across the Jordan. A crowd of people, as was so often the case, went along, and he, as he so often did, taught them. Pharisees came up, intending to give him a hard time. They asked, “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife?”
Jesus said, “What did Moses command?”
They answered, “Moses gave permission to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her.”
Jesus said, “Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation, God made male and female to be together. Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”
I MISSPOKE LAST SUNDAY, I THOUGHT THIS SUNDAY WAS THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT, BUT IT IS ACTUALLY NEXT SUNDAY. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE IN THE GOSPEL, AND FILL IN A COUPLE OF THINGS WE JUMPED OVER LAST WEEK. THE FIRST IS RECORDED IN MATT. AND MARK BUT NOT IN LUKE, THE NEXT IS FOUND IN ALL THREE.
WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS THIS MORNING. I HAVE A PLAQUE THAT SAYS, THE BEST THING A FATHER CAN DO FOR HIS CHILDREN IS TO LOVE THEIR MOTHER.
THE FIRST OF THE TWO ISSUES THAT JESUS ADDRESSES IN THIS AREA OF FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS IS THAT OF MARRIAGE. SOME PHARISEES ASK HIM, IS IT LAWFUL FOR A MAN TO DIVORCE HIS WIFE? THEY ASK THIS QUESTION B/C THEY WANT TO PUT JESUS ON THE SPOT. IF HE SAYS NO, THEY WILL SAY, MOSES SAID IT WAS ALRIGHT. IF HE SAYS, YES, THEY WILL SAY THE LAW SAYS IT ISN’T. THEY ARE ONCE AGAIN TRYING TO PUT JESUS IN A CORNER ON A HOT BUTTON ISSUE.
HE RESPONDS BY SAYING TO THEM, WHAT DID MOSES COMMAND? ANSWER THE QUESTION WITH A QUESTION. THEIR RESPONSE, MOSES PERMITTED DIVORCE AND SEND HIS WIFE AWAY. LET ME GIVE YOU SOME BACKGROUND ON THIS. A MAN COULD SAY, MY WIFE DOESN’T COOK VERY GOOD, SHE DOESN’T KEEP A CLEAN HOUSE. SHE DOESN’T DO ALL THE THINGS I TELL HER TO DO, AND A HOST OF OTHER THINGS, AND ALL OF THOSE WERE GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE. THE WOMAN DIDN’T HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON. THE MAN COULD SIMPLY SAY, I AM TIRED OF BEING MARRIED TO HER, AND I WANT SOMEONE NEW, AND THAT WAS LEGAL.
JESUS ANSWERS THEM, MOSES DID THIS B/C OF THE HARDNESS OF YOUR HEARTS. NOW LETS SEE WHAT GOD INTENDED. JESUS QUOTES SCRIPTURE, IN THE BEGINNING GOD MADE MAN AND WOMAN. ONE MAN ADAM AND ONE WOMAN EVE. HE MADE EVE FROM ADAMS SIDE, CATCH THIS, NOT FROM HIS FOOT THAT SHE SHOULD BE BENEATH HIM, NOT FROM HIS HEAD THAT SHE SHOULD BE ABOVE HIM, BUT FROM HIS SIDE THAT SHE SHOULD TAKE HER RIGHTFUL PLACE, AT HIS SIDE.
THEY WERE TO LEAVE AND CLEAVE. THE TWO BECAME ONE FLESH.
LISTEN TO THIS, GOD SAID, THEY ARE NO LONGER TWO BUT ONE. THIS IS MULTIPLICATION. TWO PEOPLE WORKING TOGETHER DON’T JUST DOUBLE WHAT ONE CAN DO, THEY OFTEN DO MANY TIMES MORE THAN ONE PERSON. IN SOME PLACES, THEY TAKE A MAN AND WOMAN AND PUT THEM TOGETHER ON A CROSS CUT SAW, AND SEE HOW THEY WORK TOGETHER, DO THEY WORK WITH EACH OTHER OR AGAINST EACH OTHER. ONE PERSON WORKING A CROSS CUT SAW DOES VERY LITTLE GOOD, TWO PEOPLE WORKING TOGETHER DO A LOT.