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Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Twenty-Four)




Day Twenty-Three



Scripture: Mark 10:1-12

He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them. Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ 10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’



Observation:




They were in the ‘region of Judea and beyond the Jordan,’ which was the territory of Herod Antipas. This tetrarch divorced his first wife to get married to Herodias, who divorced Herod’s brother Philip to make the second marriage possible. As you know, John the Baptist was imprisoned and then beheaded because he publicly spoke against their marriage.


Given this context, when they asked Jesus, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’, it was a trick question to get Jesus in trouble. If Jesus said, “It’s not lawful according to the Torah,” the notorious king would do the same thing he did to John to him. If Jesus said it could be lawful, they could destroy his reputation by saying, “He doesn’t know the Law, and he is a coward!”


They were not interested in the theological interpretation of Moses’ law nor the basic human rights of the divorced women who had no means of economic activity at that time. They wanted to use the sacred text to get rid of the ‘rival’ who seemed to be getting too much influence in their territory.


Jesus saw their ‘hardness of heart.’ He didn’t play their game. Instead, he took this opportunity to teach why God gave the law in the first place.

“What God has joined together, let no one separate.”


Herod’s sin was that because of his greed, he acted as if he stood above the Law, as if he were a god. It was all about power. His hunger for power destroyed his house. Their hunger for religious power blinded the Pharisees from seeing the work of God in Jesus.

God, help us continue to be faithful to the people You joined together and guide us not to misuse the power you entrusted us.


Application:

  1. Have you seen someone trying to misuse the Scripture? What’s the danger of this?

  2. What can you do today to be faithful to the ones God joined together for you?



Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: You Are My All in All













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