You can download this week’s entire Daily Devotional in booklet form here.
Jesus the Son of God left the region of Galilee for Judea (v. 1; cf. vv. 32, 46; 11:1, 12, 15, 27). As he traveled he taught the people and was frequently tested and opposed by the Pharisees. The Pharisees did not agree among themselves about what were legitimate grounds for divorce. Many Pharisees as well as Mark’s Gentile, Roman readership believed that one could get divorced for any reason and then remarry. In verses 3-12 Jesus denied this, teaching that God created marriage to be a life-long relationship between a man and a woman (vv. 6-12). In OT Law divorce had very strict parameters and was permitted to protect spouses from fickle abandonment (v. 5; cf. Deut 24:1-4).
Parents brought their children to Jesus but the disciples told them to stop it (v. 13). Jesus rebuked the disciples, commanding them to allow the children to come to him and teaching the character of saving faith (vv. 15-16). The disciples had not listened to nor learned Jesus’ teaching earlier (9:33-37).
One came to Jesus asking about the way to eternal life (v. 17). Jesus told him that the evidences of faith must be present in his life (vv. 18-9), which included not loving the things of this world but rather loving the Lord and one’s neighbor (v. 21). The inquirer left, loving the world too much (v. 22). Jesus taught the disciples that while truly believing in and following him involves denying oneself, the Lord abundantly cares for his children (vv. 23-31).
Truths to Nail Down and Apply
- Nothing has changed about God’s intention and will regarding marriage. Marriage is a life-long covenant between a man and a woman. Though our society thinks it can ignore and change the character and plan for marriage, God’s will still stands.
- Children are the Lord’s blessing (Psa 127:3-5) and Christians and the church must have Jesus’ valuation of them, not the world’s (v. 14).
- You will love and live for what you trust in, whether that is the things of this world or the Lord. You cannot trust in, love, and live for both the Lord and the world. Following—believing in—the Lord necessarily involves “taking up the cross” (v. 21), being willing to leave everything for the sake of Christ and the gospel (v. 29).