What Jesus Taught about Marriage and Divorce It's common to see headlines in the tabloids about the divorce of celebrities and other, high profile public figures. If there were tabloids in Jesus' time, a headline might read like this: “Royal Marriage Scandal: King Herod to Wed Herodius, the Divorced Wife of His Brother. John the Baptist Outraged!" With this divorce scandal on everybody's minds , the Pharisees approach Jesus with a question: "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" (Mark 10:2). In response, Jesus offers a lengthy teaching- a teaching that focusses, not so much on divorce itself, but marriage. The unspoken question that Jesus poses is this: What is God's ultimate will for marriage? What do the scriptures say? The response to this question ultimately informs Jesus' teachings on divorce. Join us as we take a closer look at Mark 10:1-12 .
"Even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the children's table!" When Jesus and his disciples journey to the gentile region of Syrophoenicia, they are interrupted by a pagan woman whose daughter is demon possessed. The Syrophonecian woman-- in a state of great desperation-- falls at Jesus' feet and begs him to cast out the demon. Jesus, however, says, no. "Let the children be fed first," he says, "for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs" (Mark 7:27). Undaunted, the woman replies, "Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs" (Mark 7:28). It is then that Jesus heals the woman's daughter. This story from Mark's Gospel raises a number of important questions. Why did Jesus say no to the woman? What did he means when he talked about the children's food not being thrown to the dogs? What did the woman mean by dogs eating the scraps that fall from the table? And, most importantly, what does this teach us about the woman's faith in Jesus? Rev. Terence will explore these and other questions in today's sermon on Mark 7:24-30.
King David has been forced into exile- driven from the capital city of Jerusalem by a group of insurrectionists. Fortunately, he is not alone. He is accompanied by his three generals, his cabinet ministers and a whole company of men, still loyal to his rule. David knows what he must do next; namely, reclaim the throne from Absalom, the usurper. There is, however, one complication: Absalom, is David's first born son. How can David put down the rebellion without putting down the rebel? How can he exercise judgement while, at the same time, showing mercy? How can he fulfil his duties as rightful King while, at the same time, act as a loving father? That is the tension at the heart of this story. That is the tension in the heart of King David.
The story of Shem, Ham and Japheth- the three sons of Noah- is a strange one. Although the original audience of the story would have understood the subtleties of the tale, its hard for a twenty-first century, western reader to discern precisely what's going on. In today's Bible Study, we'll take a closer look at some possible interpretations. We'll also discuss how this story helped the Jewish people define themselves as a distinct people, set apart from the neighbouring nations.