Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall continue to consider 10:1-31. In this portion of the Gospel of Mark we have four matters: the Lord’s coming to Judea (v. 1), the teaching against divorce (vv. 2-12), the blessing of young children (vv. 13-16), and the teaching concerning the rich and the kingdom of God (vv. 17-31). In the foregoing message we pointed out that three matters that may frustrate our entering into the kingdom of God are marriage, oldness, and riches. We have seen that if we are replaced by Christ, we surely shall have the way to handle these matters properly. Let us now consider in more detail what the Lord says in 10:2-31 concerning marriage, oldness, and riches.
When God created man, He did not create all the people He needed for His purpose at the same time. If God had wanted to create a great number of people at the same time, He certainly could have done so. He could have created billions of people. However, this was not God’s way. Instead, God created a couple and charged them to multiply and replenish the earth. According to God’s ordination, the propagation of mankind takes place through marriage. Marriage, therefore, is second only to God’s creation.
We should never despise marriage. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all.” Marriage is holy, and we must honor it.
Mankind was brought into existence through God’s creation, and God ordained that mankind be propagated through marriage.
We need to see that marriage is honorable and holy, for it is ordained for the propagation of mankind for the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Apart from the creation of man and the propagation of mankind through marriage, there cannot be the fulfillment of God’s purpose. We need to look at marriage from this point of view. If we consider marriage in this way, we shall honor it. We shall realize that marriage is for the propagation of mankind so that God’s eternal purpose may be fulfilled.
In our marriage life we need to be honest, faithful, and pure. If we are not honest, faithful, and pure, we shall offend God in a very serious way. According to the Bible, God condemns fornication and adultery. Hebrews 13:4b says, “Fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Fornication and adultery are second only to idol worship as sins that are most offensive to God. Therefore, we need to care for marriage in a proper way before God. We need to see that fornication and adultery damage the proper propagation of mankind. This is the reason that God does not allow divorce.
Because marriage is such a serious matter, I would caution the young people against entering into it in a hasty way. Young people, before you get married, you need to have much prayer and consideration. Do not simply consider marriage from your point of view. You need to consider marriage especially from God’s point of view. Do not get married in haste, for once you are married, you no longer have any alternative. Divorce is highly offensive to God.
Since we are on our way to enter into the kingdom of God, we especially need to be firm in our standing regarding marriage. We need to realize that once we are married there should not be any divorce.
All married people should be “blind” to the shortcomings of their mate. They should not try to learn the faults of their spouse. All the investigating concerning the other party should be done before the time of engagement. After you are engaged, and especially after you are married, you should close your eyes to the defects of the other party and be blind. Unless you are willing to be blind in this way, you will not have a proper married life.
According to 10:2, the Pharisees questioned the Lord Jesus “whether it is lawful for a man to put away a wife.” When He asked what Moses commanded them, they replied, “Moses permitted us to write a certificate of divorce and put her away” (v. 4). This commandment was not a part of the basic law, but a supplement to the law. It was given by Moses, not according to God’s ordination from the beginning, but temporarily because of the hardness of man’s heart.
In 10:5-8 the Lord goes on to say, “In view of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, He made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. And the two shall be one flesh; so that they are no longer two, but one flesh.” Here the Lord’s word not only recognizes God’s creation of man, but also confirms God’s ordination of man’s marriage, that is, one male and one female to be joined and yoked together as one flesh, inseparable by man. The commandment concerning divorce given by Moses was a deviation from God’s original ordination. But Christ takes us back to God’s ordination in the beginning.
In 10:9 the Lord says, “What therefore God has yoked together, do not let man separate.” Here we see that divorce is not merely against the law of God; divorce is against God Himself. What God has yoked together man should not separate.
On the one hand, marriage is a necessity. On the other hand, married life is difficult. Nevertheless, we must learn to love this difficulty and even care for it with affection. This means that we should love our marriage and take good care of it. Otherwise, we shall be hindered in entering into the kingdom of God.
We believe that God is true, and we also believe that His Word, the Bible, is true. Hence, we must honor what God says in His Word concerning marriage. It is a serious matter not to handle our married life properly. Failure to take care of our married life according to God will keep us from entering into the kingdom. Yes, we now are on our way to the kingdom. But whether we shall actually enter into the kingdom in the coming age is still pending. According to chapter ten of Mark, whether we shall enter the kingdom in the coming age depends in the first place on the way we handle our married life.
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