Disciple (n./v.): The Gospel of Matthew
Divorce is extremely commonplace in our world. We hardly give it a second look, even in the church. Jesus lets us know how commonplace it should be. Time for a double-take.
Monday, September 16
Read Matthew 19:1-15. Jesus’ teaching on divorce is clear and concise. Why is there such a thing? When can it happen? Who can receive this message? (v.11) Is it just a coincidence that a teaching about children occurs right after a teaching about divorce?
Tuesday, September 17
After reviewing Matthew 19:1-15, read Genesis 2:18-25. What was the problem with having just a man? What does it mean to be “one flesh?” If this is the nature of the relationship intended by God, what does that say for all of our creative sexual variations?
Wednesday, September 18
After reviewing Matthew 19:1-15, read Deuteronomy 24:1-4. This is the passage the Pharisees referred to in their challenge to Jesus. Why does this law exist? Who is it protecting?
Thursday, September 19
After reviewing Matthew 19:1-15, read Ephesians 5. What is the instruction to wives and husbands? How are they different? How are they the same? This has often been seen as demeaning to women. Is it really? Notice also the emphasis on sexual immorality in the first half of the chapter.
Friday, September 20
After reviewing Matthew 19:1-15, read 1 Corinthians 7. Paul is trying to apply basic marital principals to the Corinthian church who lives in a very sexually permissive culture. What parts of his advice are specific to their situation? Which ones are enduring for us today?
Saturday, September 21
After reviewing Matthew 19:1-15, read Matthew 18:1-14. Jesus bookends the discussion on divorce with teachings on being childlike. What is the relationship between parenting and being childlike? What should we do when a member of the flock strays through sexual immorality?
Bethel Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN – bethelstpaul.com