Shalom and welcome to V’ahavtah Yisroel a Hebrew phrase, which means, you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes, as our teacher, Dr. Baruch shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.
Dr. Baruch: There are many things which are important to the living God, one of them is marriage. Marriage is not just an agreement, but marriage biblically speaking it is a covenant. It is a relationship, not simply between a man and a woman, but a man and a woman with the living God. And we’re going to see today what our Messiah taught concerning marriage, and how important it is to maintain that marriage at all costs. So with that said, do get your Bible and look with me to the book of Mark in chapter 10, the book of Mark in chapter 10. Now, Messiah is in a transition. Yeshua he has left the northern part of Israel and he’s heading to Jerusalem and he’s very close to the region of Judea. And with that change of location there’s also a change of subject. Also a change from what’s going to happen with the Pharisees.
So look with me to verse one. We read here in chapter 10 in verse one, “And he went up from there and came to the region of Judea on the other side of the Jordan.” So he’s kind of in a remote position. He’s in an area of land where very few Jewish people lived. He’s traveling, and most of the time people did not travel from the Galilee to Jerusalem through Samaria, but they traveled along what’s called the Beqaa or the Jordan Valley. And many of them traveled on the east side of the Jordan river. And when they got to Jericho, they would cross and go up towards Jerusalem. But Messiah, he hasn’t gotten there yet. He’s still on the east side of the Jordan river in a remote location. And what happens? Well, we keep reading and it says in this passage of scripture that, “They’re gathered again to him a crowd.”
Now it mentions again, because people were seeking him out. They weren’t seeking him out solely because of miracles and healings. When they would come to him, what would he do? Well it says, “According to his custom, he taught the people again.” So over and over, what we see as a nature, as the tendency of Messiah is simply to give people the word of God. Why? Because the greatest blessing, the way that we’re going to grow, the way that we’re going to become the people that God wants us to be is when we know and put into action the word of God. Now move on to verse two, “And came to him Pharisees.” Now I realize most Bibles will say the Pharisees, like it’s some specific group of leadership. But it’s not. There were many Pharisees. Many of the common people were Pharisees that lived in Judea.
They simply took on that lifestyle, that belief. So we read in this passage, that Pharisees came unto him with a question. And this question wasn’t one that they didn’t know the answer to. They didn’t ask that question because they were like that crowd of people who wanted to learn the truth to apply it to their life. What does the scripture say? Well, they asked him a question in order to test them. What was that question? They said, “Is it lawful?” Now that term in the Bible, is it lawful, is not responding to civil law, that is the laws of man, but rather the laws of God. When a Jewish person would ask that question, they were asking it from the position of the Torah, the law of God, Torah Moshe. So they say, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?” That is to divorce her.
Now, as I said, they didn’t ask that because they didn’t know the answer and they wanted assistance on that information. They asked that the scripture says, “Testing him.” And this phrase testing him does not mean they wanted to know if he knew or not. But the phrase means they wanted to entrap him. Why? Well, marriage is a very, very serious matter. And oftentimes people do not enter into marriage with a proper understanding that it’s a covenant, that there’s obligations to it, and really what marriage is all about. So they get into it, and what happens? They don’t like it and they want out. And today it’s very easy. You may have to pay some money, but it’s not that hard to get out of a marriage. And therefore people were doing that more and more back then. And even today, as we know, there’s an epidemic with divorce. The question is, what does God have to say about that?
And the people, they didn’t like what the word of God said. So what were the Pharisees doing? They were putting forth to him a question that they knew the answer to. They knew it wasn’t popular, but they were asking that in front of the crowd so that people would not like what Messiah had to say. So, that is the implications of that they were testing him. Verse three, “But Yeshua answered.” Now here’s the key, this word but means in contrast, he knew what their intent was, what they wanted to accomplish by asking that question. And he wasn’t going to play along, meaning he wasn’t going to submit to their desires. He was simply going to be obedient to his father.
And what does it say in this passage? He answered and said to them, and this is the best answer, “What does it say in the law of Moses?” I mean, what’s recorded there? Because he’s not going to give a different answer. He didn’t come to start a different religion. He didn’t come to do something that was new in the sense, different for what the prophets taught or what the law said. He came in order that it might be fulfilled in our lives. That is that we would be changed, that we would become a new, so that we would obey what the word of God had always said. So the hope that we should have is this, that we would become new, different, that we would change so that we could fulfill the old expectations of the living God.
Now, what did he say? “Well, what does it say in the law of Moses?” And they answered, and they said, “Moses permitted a biblion. That is a document where we get the word Bible from, but it’s simply a document of sending forth or divorce. So they say here, “Moses permitted us to do so. He permitted that a document of divorce be written and to send her away for divorce to be allowed.” But notice Messiah’s response. Now he understands it from God’s perspective and why that commandment is written in the law of Moses. He permits it. Why? We’ll look at verse five, and Yeshua said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts, he wrote to you this commandment.” Why? Not because it was what God wanted, but rather because of the spiritual condition because of the hardness of our hearts. That we’re not what? We’re not in a position to live up to God’s expectations.
Now understand something. That is true prior to the work of Messiah. We know it says in several places that Messiah’s work upon that tree, his redemption that he offers us by faith, by faith, causes us to become a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold all is new. Therefore, because we are a new creation, we can now live up to the expectations of God. We shouldn’t compromise. We shouldn’t live out as believers based upon those things that were said due to the spiritual condition previously of those who had a hard heart. And we were those people. So he says, look again at verse five, he says, “Moses gave you that, he permitted that commandment to be written because of the hardness of your hearts.”
But look at verse six, “But from the beginning of creation,” now this is what God wanted. This is what the word of God revealed in the book of Genesis, “from the beginning of creation this wasn’t so.” Why? Look again, verse six, “From the beginning of creation, male and female, he made them.” Now, he’s referring to a verse or scripture. When it speaks about Adam in the book of Genesis in Genesis chapter one, it speaks about Adam, man. It says he made man, male and female he created them. So man, one man, but he speaks of male and female. Why? Well, according to the sages, there was initially a strong unity, a togetherness between man and woman, how God made them.
We see another piece of information in the second chapter. In Genesis chapter two it says, “That God made the woman because he took her out of man. He took that rib out and made woman.” So here again, man and woman, this intimacy, this togetherness, this unity between them. So what he’s saying here is that there’s this unity between male and female originally in God’s plan. And that’s why he goes on and says, “On account of this,” look at verse seven, “On account of this a man will what? He will leave his father and mother and he will cling to his wife.” Now understand what’s saying here. It is not speaking of it from simply a physical standpoint. Why? Well, we know for example in the book of Genesis, let’s say for example, Judah. Judah he had some sons, three sons, the first get married and that wife Tamara came and lived with that family, with Judah, with his son Er and with the other brothers. And that was common. The wife would come and live with groom and with his family.
So what does it mean here when it says, “The man must leave his father and mother if he didn’t leave physically.” It’s talking about an emotional cutting away detachment. Now we know something. We know that usually in the marital relationship one of the greatest threats is the mother-in-law. And not the mother’s mother, but literally according to studies, it is the husband’s mother that can cause the greatest amount of problems. Why is that?
Well, the answer is this. Because, and they don’t realize it, but both the wife and the mother compete for the son’s or the husband’s attention. And it’s almost a competition. Where is his allegiance? Who is first in his life in regard to two women? And what the scripture is saying is this, that this man he’s got to leave his father and mother, that relationship of being their son has to change. And in order for him to truly cling to his wife for there be intimacy and this unity that God wants. For them to be at the scripture says one flesh, got to leave that previous relationship and understand this new relationship with his wife. So that’s why Messiah quotes and all of this is right up from the book of Genesis. Look again verse seven, “On account of this, a man will leave his father and his mother, and he will cling to his wife. And they too, those two shall become one flesh with the result that they are no longer two, but rather one flesh.”
And then we have a very important statement. Now, remember what we’re talking about here? We’re talking about the marital covenant, and there’s power. We’ve said, “It’s just not a relationship.” Like you enter into a business relationship, there might be a contract, or some friendship with someone else. When we are married, there is a covenant. And that covenant is between that couple and one another, and with the living God. And therefore he says a very, very important statement. We read in verse nine, “Therefore that which God has joined together,” he’s brought this relationship through this covenant, the covenant of marriage. And he says, “let no man dissolve.” Let no man, basically the word means to separate. Now that’s a pretty hard statement and it’s one that’s not popular. Why? Well, people oftentimes enter into marriage with not a biblical understanding. They may not even know the living God. And therefore, because marriage is a biblical relationship. It’s one that needs God at the center, at the heart of it. And when it’s lax, what happens? Well, it becomes very difficult.
We know that any relationship, life in general, when you have life and you’re living, you’re going to have problems, hardships. There’s going to be frustrations. So when the two come together, they’re going to share in those hardships, frustrations, problems and such. And the question is this, without God are we able to maintain that relationship and marriage becomes, marriage will become that instrument, a vessel that reveals the glory of God? Absolutely not. It’s only with him. And even with him, unless we submit and we understand our marital obligations, it’s going to fall far short of God’s expectations. That doesn’t mean that the marriage necessarily will end, but it won’t be the biblical marriage that God intended it. Well, without people who are knowledgeable of scripture, or people who are unwilling to submit to scripture, what’s going to happen? Well, what happens so frequently? They’re going to want out of that relationship.
And what Messiah is saying here is this, “As believers we have to meet the expectations of God and therefore,” look again, what does he say? He says, “Therefore, what God has joined together.” If you are buried, it is a covenant. God has worked in that relationship. And he says, “Let no man,” often when you hear, put asunder, but it means to separate, “man should not separate the marriage.” Now, Mark is speaking here from a very general perspective. That is this, marriage should last. And think of something. We know the scripture that says, “With God all things are possible.”
Therefore, with God, no matter what may have taken place. With God, there is the ability to reunite, to keep that marriage alive. We don’t have to resemble the world. The world is a selfish place. The world wants its own ways. And when they do not get it, the world wants a change. We’ll just leave this, we’ll just walk away from this. If I’m not getting my needs met. If I’m not getting my desires fulfill, if I’m not receiving the joy and the contentment that I want from this relationship, I’m onto a new one. Well, that’s not how God sees it. And therefore he says in a general sense, marriage should not end until what? Until death. Now, when Messiah speaks in Matthew’s gospel, he’s not speaking in a general sense. He gets very, very specific and he gives the one and only exception. And what is that?
Well in Matthew 19 verse nine he says, “That one should not divorce,” except for what? “Adultery.” Now understand something. It doesn’t have to be, but it can be. If there’s no way for that relationship to be healed, and there’s always a way. But if the people do not think so there is that exception because of adultery. And he’s going to talk about adultery. Adultery is a very serious matter. Let me ask you a question. Biblically speaking, what is the punishment of adultery? Death. So when we’re talking to a living person, death is probably the most severe issue that we can deal with. So what does he say here? Well, let’s move to the next verse. After saying this, giving no exception, just giving the general principle, “Marriage unto death, do not dissolve it. Do not write a bill of divorce. Do not leave.”
What happens? We’ll look at verse 10. Here the crowd, the speech is over, the teaching is finished and Messiah with his disciples go into a home to spend the night. And what happens? Verse 10, “And into the home again the disciples basically asked him concerning this,” meaning this issue. Now, why did they ask him? Because this was a difficult thing for them to hear. I mean, Messiah’s teaching that divorce is not an option. See, many people enter into that relationship, thinking to themselves, “Well, I’ll get married. And if it doesn’t work out, if I’m not happy, I can just get a divorce and move on.” And people always have that most of the time in the back of their mind if they’re not God centered, if they don’t know the word of God. So what happens? The disciples hear him saying, “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” That He stands sharply against the divorce option.
So when they’re alone, they come to him and they ask him again, saying, “Let us understand what you’re saying.” And that is what he does, verse 11. And he says to them, “Whoever divorces his wife,” meaning to just let go, to send her away, to just basically detach themself from this woman. Now here is the point I want you to see when. When we do that and detach, we’re leaving part of ourselves. One way of understanding that is children. And we have example, and this is the norm. The norm is this. When a man divorces his wife and there’s kids, he really divorces them. The relationship will never be the same. It’s not going to be as strong. And over time, the vast amount of studies have showed that the man distanced himself as well from those children, especially if he gets married again and has children with that other new wife.
So what does it say here? Well, verse 11. And he says to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, this one commits adultery.” Now here again, there is that exception for adultery, if that’s what’s happened. But if not, if that hasn’t taken place, then the one who divorces his wife for whatever other reason, and marries another, he what? He creates or commits adultery, and likewise as for a woman. Now, according to Jewish law today, a woman is not able to get a divorce, only a man can. But this basically speaks to perhaps our situation today. In many places a woman can get a divorce, and there’s no difference. There is equality here. Why? Well, what does it say? It says, “If a woman divorces her husband and marries another,” she what? “She also commits adultery.”
Now, when we understand that, meaning adultery, what’s the punishment? Death. We have done something worthy of death. That most people, if you were to poll most people, they wouldn’t see that action as something worthy of death. But here’s the problem. We think things from our vantage point, rather than understanding the seriousness of marriage from God’s standpoint. It is a covenant, and a biblical covenant, a divine covenant is serious business. There are many different covenants in the scripture, but they all have one thing in common. And that is to manifest God’s glory. So when we take a situation, an instrument, a vessel such as the marriage covenant, instead of using it for the glory of God, to demonstrate his power in our lives. When especially believers say, “You know, this relationship is just too hard for me, I’m going to move on to something else. I’m not going to be faithful. I’m not going to live up to God’s expectations.”
What is that all about? Well, Messiah has already taught it. It’s about a hardness of one’s heart. Now, we know from the rabbis, this expression, the hardness of one’s heart is another way of saying, selfishness. And we tend to be selfish people. And we look at this world as a limited world, that is we have so much time and then it’s over. But the problem is this, many people, and one of the most common ages for people to get divorce is in that midlife. Why? People look at their life and they go, “Wow, I’m no longer a young person. I have a limited amount of time left.” Now we always did. But as a young people, we don’t think about that. And then we look and we say, “You know what? I’m not happy in my situation. And therefore I want to move, make a change, because I want to fulfill before I die.”
And the point is this, they see death as an end, rather than understanding this whole life. This whole life is ought to be viewed as preparation for the kingdom. I mean, how are someone going to feel when they go and stand before God? And they thought to themselves, “You know, I want to get as most as the time that I have left allows, and I’m thinking about myself.” And then they go and they stand before God. And they realized that they have totally missed out on the one of the best opportunities to glorify his name by demonstrating his character. By being a forgiving person, by being a loving person, by being one that endures, that suffers long, that displays the qualities of God. And what happens? Well, when I begin to do that, my wife’s going to begin to do that. And when she begins to do it, I’m going to begin to do it.
And these rough experiences, these hardships in our life, when we handle them according to the purposes of God, they’re going to change us. They’re going to change this marriage. And God’s glory is going to be manifested. And the love is going to be what? Well, it’s going to be a love that its origin is from God and not in the flesh. See, many people are having a life, a marital life where they’re not satisfied. Why? Because physical love is not enough. It’s not going to satisfy that inner person. And that’s why people go from relationship, to relationship, to relationship, never finding that satisfaction. But when the love is a result of God being involved in the marital covenant, when we obey God, when we submit to a biblical truth in regard to marriage, God will go to work.
He’ll go to work in our life. He’ll go to work in our spouse’s life, there’ll be a change. And the outcome is this. Despite these hardships, love is going to be grown. That’s the promise of God. Love is going to grow in a way that humanly speaking, we could never imagine or experience in and of ourselves. So that’s why Messiah says it. He doesn’t say that because he wants us to have a rotten lifetime and just endure that marriage at all costs, and then he’ll be pleased. No. He’s saying that why? Well, we know over and over in the scripture, it talks about God being that blessed God, he wants to bless us.
And it’s only when we endure these things that God will move in our life and what he is the best at. What he loves to do is to turn that which is evil into good. That which is bad into a blessing. That which is a hardship into something that is going to be a catalyst to change in our life, so we can be more useful to him. That we can accomplish what he put us on this earth to do. And marriage is a necessary part of it. So he says over and over in this scripture, he says basically, “Endure.” Why? Because enduring is basically an invitation to God to go to work. God brings about change. And when we are so shortsighted, when we are so stiff necked and hard-hearted to think, “You know what? God, he’s not able to make a change. He’s not able to turn this around.” Well, where’s the miraculous God that we are supposedly believers in?
So give God the opportunity to go to work in your marital life. Don’t just think, “This isn’t what I want. This isn’t going the way I imagine it and therefore I’m gone.” Endure, create a situation, make marriage a vessel that God will go to work. And he will turn that which is disappointing into that which is pleasurable. All things are possible with God. With faith God will heal any marriage. Well, we’ll close with that until next week.
Speaker 1: Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of LoveIsrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you in our Messiah Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him. Shalom from Israel.