October 17

Read Mark 10 -- 11

In Today’s Reading:

Jesus on divorce; children blessed; rich young ruler; request of James and John; blind Bartimaeus healed; triumphal entry; cleansing the Temple; lesson from the withered fig tree; Jesus' authority questioned.

The Pharisees asked Jesus: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? He answered: From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And the [two] shall be one flesh: so then they are no more [two], but one flesh. What therefore God [has] joined together, let not man put asunder (Mark 10:2, 6-9; Genesis 1:27; 2:24).

The husband and wife relationship is linked, both jointly and individually, under the authority of Christ (Romans 12:5; Galatians 3:28). Most divorces are the outcome of not recognizing that God said to both the husband and the wife: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:21). A mutually supportive attitude will characterize both husband and wife if they are to succeed in building a harmonious marriage. Both must recognize their responsibility of caring for each other's spiritual as well as physical well-being.

It is the husband's privilege and responsibility to provide for his wife's spiritual needs, for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Church: and this is made possible when Husbands, love [their] wives, even as Christ also loved the Church. . . . Let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (5:23,25,33).

God created the world and put Adam in charge. He created woman to be his helpmate. Among other things, a helpmate is a copartner who gives support. Perhaps most important, the key to true Christian conduct in the home, as well as in the church, is to be . . . kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake [has] forgiven you (4:32).

The more we become like Christ, the more we desire to be His servant. As Jesus said: He that is greatest among you shall be your servant (Matthew 23:11). The faithful servant, like Jesus, may need to wash the feet of a Judas who will reward him with ingratitude. But the servant of Christ is always caring for the interests of his Master, since his Master is the King of kings. The servant recognizes that to love and to serve like Jesus did is the highest privilege and brings the greatest spiritual joy. Nowhere is this more important than in the home. Jesus said, the Gentiles (the unsaved world) exercise . . . authority upon them (lord it over them). The nature of the unsaved is to control whoever they can. But so shall it (that attitude) not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister (willing servant): And whosoever of you will be the chiefest (position), shall be servant of all (everyone). For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (served), but to minister (help others), and to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:42-45).

Thought for Today: A person can become a slave to the one he hates by allowing bitter thoughts about that person to dominate his mind.

Word Studies:

10:1 resort = gathered; 11:8 strawed = spread.

Cross References:

For Mark 10:6: See Gen. 1:27; 5:2. Mark 10:7-8: See Gen. 2:24. Mark 10:19: See Ex. 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20. Mark 11:9: See Psa. 118:26. Mark 11:17: See Isa. 56:7; Jer. 7:11.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Virgil Goode, Jr. (VA), Rep. Gene Green (TX), and Rep. David Hobson (OH) · Pray for the President · Country: Bahamas (284,000) in the northern portion of the West Indies · Major languages: English and some Creole · Religious freedom · 72% Protestant; 26% Roman Catholic; 1% Afro-American spiritist · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your life will be a good testimony to others, even when faced with opposition (I Peter 2:12).

Memory Verse for the Week: John 15:5