Summary: Sermon for World Communion Sunday 2018 about people building walls between each other and God.

Walls Instead of Bridges

Mark 10: 2 - 16

Intro: Mary Jane Kerr Cornell writes the following in the “Feasting On The Gospels” commentary: “As a preacher’s child I became familiar with the marriage vows at an early age. My father performed the ceremony without notes, so prior to a wedding he walked around the house reciting the ritual. By the time I was ten year old I could repeat the vows --- as least what I thought were the vows. It was only years later that I discovered the promise was not ‘in sickness and in hell.’”

I How does one reconcile the two parts of the passage? VSS. 2 – 12 deal with the Pharisee’s question on divorce and VSS. 13 - 16 are about children.

A The Pharisees try to trap Jesus (see Vs..2) Jesus turns the question from grounds for divorce to the grounds for marriage. Jesus is not a legalist. He does not replace one law with another.

B Jesus uses GN. 2:24 to emphasize the permanence and sanctity of marriage. This is God’s INTENTION for humanity; but humanity has other ideas.

C Divorce is a sin like any other sin that can be and is forgiven by God. When we marry, we intend to stay that way; but, sometimes things happen that make that impossible.

II We must not take the teaching of Jesus on marriage out of the context of the “little children” story that follows because it give the intent of the teachings of Jesus. HINDERING.

A Laws, legalism, customs and traditions build walls between people and between people and God. This is not God’s will.

B Pharisees / Disciples are “HINDERING” the people and children by building walls of laws around God, barring the way to God. Causing people to stumble. BUILDLING WALLS INSTEAD OF BRIDGES.

C God’s intention is for us to live in relationships with each other and with God. As God’s children, we must be building bridges and not walls.

Concl: Jesus is saying, “In the kingdom it is not about what is permissible but what is ethical. We must receive the kingdom of God like a child who loves unconditionally and forgives easily building bridges of loving kindness for others to cross and find the power and forgiveness of God waiting for them on the other side.

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