Rev. William Ilnisky
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 01:16
This passage falls into three sections.
(1st) it begins with a rebuke to the Pharisees. It says that they derided Jesus. The word literally means that they turned up their noses at him. The Jews tended to connect earthly prosperity with goodness; wealth was a sign that a person was a good person. The Pharisees put on a parade of goodness, and they regarded material prosperity as a reward of that goodness; but the more they exalted themselves before men, the more they became an abomination to God. It is bad enough for a person to think himself as good; it is worse when he points to material prosperity as an unanswerable proof of his goodness.
(2nd) before Jesus, the law and the prophets had been the final word of God; but Jesus came preaching the kingdom. When He did, the most uncommon people, the tax collectors, and the sinners came storming their way into the kingdom even when the scribes and Pharisees would have set up barriers to keep them out. But Jesus emphasized that the kingdom was not the end of the law. True, the little details and regulations of the ceremonial law were wiped out but no man was to think that Christianity offered an easy way in which no laws remained. The great laws stood unaltered and unalterable. Certain Hebrew letters are very much like each other and are distinguished only by the serif, the little line at the top or bottom. Not even the serif of the great laws would pass away.
(3rd) as an illustration of the law that would never pass away, Jesus took the law of chastity. This very definite statement of Jesus must be read against the contemporary background of Jewish life. The Jews glorified fidelity and chastity. The Rabbis said, "All things can God overlook except chastity. Unchastity causes the glory of God to depart." A Jew must surrender his life rather than commit idolatry, murder or adultery. Jesus here lays down the sanctity of the marriage bond. The saying is repeated in Matthew 5:31-32 where adultery is made the sole exception to the universal rule. We sometimes think our generation is bad, but Jesus lived in a generation where things were every bit as bad.
Life Application: if you are married, how well are you protecting your marriage? Jesus made a big thing of protecting marriage, and we must follow Him in doing so.
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, I am so thankful that among all that He did while on earth, Jesus stressed the importance of marriage. He established rules that if we will follow them our married life will be a wonderful example to the entire world to want to copy. You didn't just give us rules to follow, You also sent the Holy Spirit to be our Helper. With the presence of the Holy Spirit, we can be more than conquerors. Amen!