Luke 18:9-14; Mark 10:1-12; Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 10:13-16; Matthew 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17; Mark 10:17-31; Matthew 19:16-30; Luke 18:18-30
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Matthew: In Matthew 19 we read a discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees on divorce. The context of this discussion basically revolved around 2 Jewish schools - Shammai and Hillel - and their differing viewpoints in Jesus' day on Deuteronomy 24 verses 1-4: "If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the LORD . Do not bring sin upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance." From the NIV Study Bible commentary - The Shammai school held that "something indecent" from verse 1 above meant "marital unfaithfulness" - the only allowable cause for divorce. Hillel emphasized to the preceding clause, "who becomes displeasing to him" in verse 1 above - they would allow for a man to divorce his wife for anything she did that he disliked. Jesus in the midst of these 2 viewpoints seems to take to the side of Shammai - but, only after first pointing back to God's original ideal for marriage. So... there you have the context. What does that mean for us today? I honestly will say that I don't know. I do know that many folks participating in this blog are divorced. And many are married. And many are single. So... I guess I'd encourage you to read more or study more about the topic of divorce if you feel God is calling you to this. I do believe in God's grace in each of our lives and I believe in Jesus... Bible.org does have a pretty long overview of Marriage, Abortion and Divorce at this link - I haven't read it all, so I can't say that I agree with everything at this link... but, if you're interested in diving more into this topic you may want to read. Also, Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Matthew chapter 19 titled "Questions About Marriage and Divorce" are at this link. No matter what happens in our life - marriage, divorce, health, sickness - we always have One whose love will never fail us:
Today in Matthew 19 we read some challenging verses about the Rich Young Man. I have read some commentaries say that we don't need to take Jesus' words literally that each of us must sell all of our goods and give to the poor. However, these words in context to this rich young man were indeed to be taken literally by him - and he knew it. He wouldn't do it. Jesus called him to do this, I think, because the young man's "stuff" was an impediment to his relationship with God. Perhaps the young man literally valued his stuff more than God. So - while the commentaries say that we don't have to take Jesus' teaching to this young man literally, I do think we should keep in mind that Jesus may ask of us something along these lines. Jesus may ask us to pack up and become a missionary. Or maybe he'll ask us to leave a high powered, high paying job, to go serve the poor in our town. Or he may ask us to not spend our money on luxury items, but to invest in micro credit loan programs in third world countries. So - while this may seem like Jesus was asking a lot of this rich young man, keep in mind that Jesus asks much of each of us. And really, Jesus simply asks us to follow him. Will you follow Jesus? No matter the cost? No matter what you have to "give up"? Will you follow him? Below is a painting by Heinrich Hoffman from the late 19th century of Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler:
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Matthew chapter 19 titled "Wealth and the Kingdom of Heaven" is at this link.
Worship God: Today's readings reminded me of the Chris Tomlin & Jesse Reeves song "King of Glory." Here's a great story behind the song and the song itself too, performed live:
Do you know our King of Glory? Click here for Glory!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." Matthew 19:29 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you will place your relationship with Jesus and spending eternity with Him about all else.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our Chronological Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
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