Day 25 | LCBC Church

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  1. Bible Reading
  2. Daily New Testament: Quarter 1

Day 25

Matthew 19

This chapter contains two controversial teachings, controversial both then and now. The first was on the subject of divorce. Moses had said in Deuteronomy 24 that a man could divorce his wife if he discovered some “indecency” in her. Some Jewish teachers, called rabbis, said that it meant a divorce could happen for any reason for which a man wanted to divorce his wife and others said it could only happen if she committed adultery. The question was asked to trick Jesus into taking sides. Regardless of his answer, one of the groups was going to be upset. Jesus did take sides and say divorce could only happen in the case of adultery and even then only as a concession.

The second seems strange to us but would have been more controversial then. Jesus tells a rich man to stop relying on his wealth and goes on to say that it is difficult for a rich person to enter heaven. The common teaching in that day was that God blessed good people with wealth and punished bad people with poverty. That idea caused rich people to think they had all the advantages in this life and eternity. Jesus is letting them know that those who rely on their possessions to prove their relationship with God are mistaken. Jesus’ teaching on divorce is that it cannot take place without causing damage. God designed marriage to be permanent. It doesn’t always turn out that way, but it was the original plan of the One who created it. For those who are married, our marriages should be considered a permanent commitment. We should take all possible steps to avoid divorce. We also need to avoid relying on anything other than Jesus for our relationship with God. For the man in this story, it was wealth. For others, it could be being good, going to church, staying married or being generous. Those things are good, but Jesus is the only way!

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