Jesus Avoids a Trap
Remember the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. They prayed to their gods and cut themselves and danced around all day so that their sacrifice would be consumed and nothing happened.
And then Elijah – he not only prayed, but before he did he dowsed the sacrifice with water so it would be clear that his God was the true God. And then boom – a fire consumed the sacrifice and all the prophets of Baal were slain.
I would imagine that you would be feeling pretty good about then. Wow – now that was a display. Our God is greater, our God is stronger – god you are higher than any other – Our God is healer – awesome in power - Our God – Our God
Our God is an awesome God he reigns in majesty!!!
Following the worship service though the queen sends word to Elijah – by tomorrow this time you will be like my prophets – dead!
That’s pressure! That’s opposition! That’s hostility!
This was a clash of two cultures – of two belief systems – of two world views
We find ourselves in a similar clash today.
Elijah should have stood strong. He shouldn’t have buckled. But he did. He felt alone. That is exactly how we may feel at times and we may wonder if anyone else still believes the way we do.
There will always be Jezebels to oppose us and attempt to wear us down
If you feel this way you are in good company – at least Biblically.
Daniel Jesus encounters a question/confrontation
Paul in the same spirit of Jezebel
John the Baptist
And of course – Jesus
We come to another time in Jesus life where he was put to the test so that he would be discredited and even destroyed.
This is where we are like Elijah.
Stand up for marriage today. Declare this is God’s way.
Stand up for morality
Stand against divorce
Stand against promiscuity
Stand up for the traditional family
There are Jezebels lurking around the corner to mock you – or ridicule you – or destroy you in some cases.
Lessons from Jesus
Even though we are going to look at the subject of marriage and divorce I want you to think more broadly this morning. I want us to think of any moral issue. Of any teaching of Scripture that today isn’t popular or where there is a real divergence from what God says in his word.
Look at the Pharisees Question
Matthew 19:1–12 (NASB95)
1When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan;
2and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
3Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”
Their motive: to trap him; to make him look silly; to get him in trouble
This was the region of Herod Antipas, the Herod who had John the Baptist beheaded because John told him he was living in adultery!
|They want to show Jesus as being intolerant. And they also want to show Him as not being committed to the great teaching of the Rabbis and the great teaching of the Pharisees|
They are playing the Jezebel here!
This was religious in nature. The Pharisees are religious
Our culture has long stopped asking this question. They have already answered yes. They are following the path of the Rabbi – Hillel, who said you could divorce your wife for any reason at all.
Note Jesus answer:
4And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
|For this reason: Morality Something else: immorality|
6“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.”
Jesus defines marriage – and it permanence.
I want you to note a few things here:
Have you not read – where would they read this?
How long ago would this have been written?
What is stated here about Jesus belief in the truthfulness and authority of the Scriptures?
How did he make us? Male and female
Why did he make us this way: Because Adam was alone.
So what if he divorced Eve? He would be alone!
The human race would have come to a screeching halt! (that is a bit silly but you get my point) If there were not heterosexual relationships the human race would come to a screeching halt. Even if you create a baby outside of the womb it is still the result of Male and female! ! ! ! ! ! ! (it all harkens back to creation as God caused it.)
What God has joined together let no man separate.
What is our culture asking?
Do you need to stay married? No they say
Do you need to get married? No they say
Do you need to marry the opposite sex? No they say
Do you need to be monogamous? No they say
7They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.
9“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Jesus makes this statement to argue the permanence of marriage – not to accuse people of adultery
Moses didn’t command – he permitted
Hardness of Heart
The use of divorce to advance your selfishness – lust – unwillingness to practice Marriage God’s way causes you to become an adulterer
10The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.”
11But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.
12“For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”
. It is God who has made a man and a woman complement each other so they come together with the capacity to enjoy each other, to be fulfilled by each other, to be strength to each other's weaknesses, to produce children, to procreate the world. I believe it is a miracle of God that every union exists. Every single time a couple comes together and experiences the joy of companionship, or the joy of friendship, or the joy of sex or whatever else, they are experiencing the miracle of God. The miracle that a man should so love a woman and a woman should so love a man, that they can abandon themselves to each other in the fullness of a meaningful relationship, that is an act of God
Seems like it was only yesterday
She was living here
Yea, she was living here
Lord knows why He's taken her away
It isn't very clear, no it isn't very clear
Into every life a little rain must fall
And losing one you love is like a storm
But storms are passing
I hear Leesha
Singing in heaven tonight
And in between the sadness
I hear Leesha
Telling me that she's alright
Life goes on even after life
That's what I believe
Yea, that's what I believe
Leesha's gone, but she will still survive
In a memory that I'm keeping here with me
Silencing the voice of mortal tragedy
Listening to whispers of the soul