Considering what’s going on in my life, I didn’t want to skip over Jesus’ teaching about divorce. Well, the truth is I wanted to, but I thought it was important for me to dwell there for a few listening moments. And, I’m glad I did. God showed me how he has brought into my life four Christian men that over the past 6 months the enemy has really turned up the heat in this area. Each has a different story, each has unique circumstances. In all four cases, I have tried to encourage the men that divorce should never be an option. In some cases it can’t be avoided, but You can plainly see that Jesus takes a hard stand on this issue:
5 But Jesus responded, “He wrote those instructions only as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness. 6 But God’s plan was seen from the beginning of creation, for ‘He made them male and female.’ 7 ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, 8 and the two are united into one. ‘Since they are no longer two but one, 9 let no one separate them, for God has joined them together.”
The interesting thing is, if the guys were willing to listen to God for a moment, and were able to give it over to Him – that resulted in changes and blessings that were very unexpected and could only be explained by God’s intervention.
Other interesting things from this chapter that I hate to pass over: verses 13-16 – we must become like little children to enter into the Kingdom. Not childish, but child-like.
The rich young ruler story is powerful and shows us how important it is for us not to fix our eyes on our possessions. I often wonder what happened to this man.
One last thing that caught my attention is found in the following verses:
29 And Jesus replied, “I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return, a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property – with persecutions. And in the world to come they will have eternal life.”
Did you notice the phrase, “with persecutions“? Even if we’re willing to give up all to follow Christ, we WILL be blessed a hundred times over, but not without suffering.
Jesus asks us the question in this chapter:
38 But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of sorrow I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?”
The disciples were able to answer, “Oh, yes. We are able.” Are we?