What God Has Joined Together (Part I)
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Some questions don’t really deserve an answer. Either because they are asked insincerely, or with a desire to gather ammunition against the one being questioned. But to the Pharisees ill-devised inquiry, Jesus offers some of the clearest and pointed instruction about God’s holy matrimony. The Pharisees are looking for permission for divorce, but Jesus wants to teach them about the purpose of marriage.
Questions For Discussion & Discovery
1. In what sense were the Pharisees “testing” Jesus with their question (verse 3)? What did they hope to accomplish?
2. Why does Jesus take this discussion with the Pharisees all the way back to the beginning of creation (verse 4)?
3. As it relates to male and female, “we have a choice: we can either delight in diversity or destroy distinctions” (Longman). What does this statement mean? Do you agree?
4. What are some ways that marriage pictures God’s love for his people?
5. How have you experienced God’s faithfulness in your life this month? Last year?
6. What does it mean to “see God’s glory in your spouse”? How do you model that practice in your marriage (if married)?
1. Read Matthew 19:1-12.
2. “When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her…he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house.” – Deuteronomy 24:1
3. Listening for Understanding vs. Listening for Ammunition
4. Read verses 4b-6 again.
5. 01. The faithfulness of God is reflected in the exclusivity of the marriage covenant.
6. 02. The Triune nature of God is imaged in the uniting together of two equal yet distinct persons: male and female.
7. “Why male and female? Why two different persons who are equal in being? The answer is perhaps simple. God is three persons and the same being. [As male and female] we reflect God in his unity and diversity. Male and female are equal, but if they were identical—physically and internally—then they would not reflect God’s diversity.”
8. “To love my wife truly and rightly, I must have a vision of how she is different from every other woman on the face of the earth. I must study glory. I must be captured by my wife’s potential, her giftedness, her burdens, her passions. But even more than that, I must learn what it means to draw our my wife’s uniqueness, to draw her to live out God’s glory in a way that no one else can or should do.”
9. “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.“ – Matthew 19:6
10. 03. God is unwaveringly concerned about his glory and the way his people represent him.
11. “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” – Isaiah 42:8
12. “O Lord, enable me … to redeem the time which I have spent in sloth.” – Samuel Johnson
13. “Almighty God, enable me to shake off sloth, and to redeem the time misspent in idleness and sin, by a diligent application of the days yet remaining.” – Samuel Johnson
14. “When I look back upon resolutions of improvement and amendment, which have year after year been made and broken, … why do I yet try to resolve again? I try because reformation is necessary, and despair is criminal.” – Samuel Johnson