Scripture: Luke 18:1-14; Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12

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READ and STUDY the WORD

Jesus Tells Parable Of The Persistent Widow

Luke 18:1-8 (KJV) And Jesus spake a parable unto them (His disciples) to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.  And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.  And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.  And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?

Questions:

1. Why did the judge decide to help the widow (Luke 18:5)?

2. So when we seek God’s help what can we expect (Luke 18:8)?

Answers:

1. The judge didn’t want her to wear him out.

2. God will help us.

Jesus Tells The Parable Of Two Men Who Prayed

Luke 18:9-14 (KJV) And Jesus spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Questions:

1. Who were the two men in the parable Jesus was teaching (Luke 18:10)?

2. Considering their prayers, which one do you believe thought highly of himself (Luke 18:11-12)?

3. Which one recognized he was a sinner (Luke 18:13)?

4. Which one did Jesus say went down to his house justified (Luke 18:14)?

Answers:

1. A Pharisee and a publican were the two men in Jesus’ parable.

2. The Pharisee thought he was better than other men.  He said he wasn’t like them.

3. The publican asked God to be merciful to himself because he was a sinner.

4. The publican went home justified.

Jesus Teaches About Marriage And Divorce

Matthew 19:1-12 (KJV) And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, He departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; And great multitudes followed Him; and He healed them there.  The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?  And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  They say unto Him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.  And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.  10 His disciples say unto Him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.  12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Mark 10:1-12 (KJV) And Jesus arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto Him again; and, as He was wont, He taught them again. 2 And the Pharisees came to Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting Him. 3 And He answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart He wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  10 And in the house His disciples asked Him again of the same matter.  11 And He saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.  12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Questions:

1.With what question did the Pharisees tempt Jesus (Matthew 19:3; Mark 10:2)?

2. What was Jesus’ answer (Matthew 19:8-9; Mark 10:5-9)

3. What did Jesus’ disciples ask Him (Mark 10:10)?

4.What did Jesus tell the disciples (Matthew 19:9; Mark 10:11-12)?

Answers:

1. The Pharisees asked if it was lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause.

2. Jesus said God made male and female at the beginning.  For this cause the man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife.  They should be one flesh. And what God had joined together man shouldn’t put asunder.

3. The disciples asked Jesus about the same thing that the Pharisees asked about – marrying and divorcing.

4. Jesus told His disciples whoever puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her.  And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery.

HEAR the WORD

Matthew 19:7-8 They say unto Him (Jesus), Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?  He (Jesus) saith unto them, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” 

Mark 10:2-5  2 And the Pharisees came to Him, and asked Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting Him.  And He answered and said unto them, “What did Moses command you?”  And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.  And Jesus answered and said unto them, “For the hardness of your heart He wrote you this precept.”

MEDITATE on the WORD

My Bible notes: Moses in Old Testament time instituted some laws to help the victims of divorce.  These were civil laws designed especially to protect the women in that culture.  God has always wanted marriage to be lasting but it isn’t always.

My thoughts: If you’re in an abusive situation please consider removing yourself (and any children) from the situation. And then seek help from someone who is equipped to help you – a Christian counselor, a pastor, or even a trusted Christian friend. God loves all His children and wants them safe.  And by putting space between you and your spouse you may be saving their life too. 

Read slowly and carefully what Jesus says in the verses below. Matthew, Mark and Luke all recorded what Jesus said. And I believe it apply to the above situation.

Matthew 18:6 (NIV) “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in Me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Mark 9:42 (NIV) “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in Me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.”

Luke 17:1-2 (NIV) Jesus said to His disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

Perhaps you’re in a safe place but don’t know if you still love your spouse or if he/she loves you.  By reading the passage below, you may be able to decide what you should do. This is written by Paul but remember all scripture is inspired by God. 

1 Corinthians 7:10-18 (NIV) 10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.  12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any (believing) brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a (believing) woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband.  Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.  15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?  17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 

I pray God will be your ultimate guide in every situation, every day.

MEMORIZE the WORD

Matthew 18:6 (NIV) “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in Me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

If we know God loves us, we can trust Him to help us. 

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

May we have compassion for and show mercy to those that are struggling in their marriages.

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will seek Your help (Luke 18:8).  Lord, I pray we will seek mercy from You (Luke 18:13).  Lord, I pray if we are married we will honor one another (Mark 10:11-12). In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I love our spouse.” <>< Dona