Shocking Kingdom Lessons. Brent. 12.20.20
Overall theme of this chapter is to remove all hindrances from our heart to serve God fully.
Lesson #1: Jesus wants the scribes and Pharisees to stop with the technicalities! They say well Moses says it’s okay but Jesus says no, it’s because of your hardness of heart and because you really don’t understand what marriage is all about. Moses allowed a certificate of divorce to limit the damage. But God never approved of divorce. People today are focused on what the exceptions are. What’s interesting is that there are no exceptions in Mark nor in Luke. What we need is much more teaching on what marriage really is, not what the exceptions are. There is a rule - marriage is forever! It is not intended to be broken apart.
The problem today is we have accepted society’s acceptance of failure. Marriage is an example of how to have a relationship with God.
What if we accepted that marriage is for life? That would mean all struggles must be worked out, all of them. There are no exceptions. Exceptions are the extreme. Exceptions are the teaching of humanity, not of God.
“The two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God was joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:8-9.
The disciples say this is really hard Jesus and He says, yes it is. If we can find any way to get out of marriage, it’s not hard. We have to be teaching our children what marriage really is, a permanent, forever decision. There are no outs. Difficulties must be worked out. You do not have a soulmate, there is not just one person for you. That is not reality.
The reality? Marriage is the most important earthly decision you will ever make in your life. Love is a choice that we make to live life with someone and become one flesh with them. Read Eph. 5.
Yes, there is an exception in Matthew 19, but there is not one in Mark, nor in Luke. Marriage is to be permanent.
Lesson #2: The stories seem to be disjointed in chapter 10 but they are not. At the heart of each story is this - we need to stop baptizing human perspectives. That’s the problem with the rich young ruler. He is not putting God first. He says he is following all of these rules Jesus tells him but Jesus knows his heart and where his values lie. It is not with God, in spite of what he says.
What matters is how he acts when told to sacrifice who he wants to become for what God wants him to be. This should open our eyes, slap us in the face, make us very uncomfortable. We are exceedingly wealthy in this country. This could easily describe any of us. Is God first?
If we try to “Christianitize” our world view, baptize our earthly perspective, it will not work. We cannot make Christian all the things that are secular and worldly. It will not work. We have to be very careful. Appearances can be deceiving. We can keep all the rules and say all the right words, but what are we inside? Where is our heart?
And in the midst of all this, Jesus extols children. He says unless you become like them, you will not enter heaven. He is telling them they do not get it.
Lesson #3- stop seeking self glory. The disciples are focused on their own glory and Jesus answers telling them about His death. He says whoever wants to be first will be last. Even the Son of Man came to serve. The poor blind man gets it. He runs to Jesus when he is called, casts off everything, gets all the obstacles out of his way, and follows Jesus. He is the opposite of the rich young ruler.
So, what do we need to cast off? What do we need to get out of the way to follow Jesus? The disciples still do not get that they need to give up themselves. Jesus says you need to give up whatever it is that is in your way and you will receive back 100 fold.
What is in first place in your life? Do we feel like the blind man who is willing to cast off everything and follows Jesus? It’s your choice. None can force you to follow Jesus? Do you love self, the passing pleasure of this world or do you love Jesus?