Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus Shows Us God’s Plan for Marriage

These are the readings for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost.

God’s Word for This Week

God’s plan for man was perfect. He created woman for man. They were to “become one flesh.” Sin entered the world and separation replaced union—separation from God and from one another. Bitter marriages and divorces are two examples. But thanks be to God, Jesus even suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone and create new life and new promise of union.

First Lesson – Genesis 2:18-24

What lesson did God teach Adam by having him name the animals?

By having Adam name the animals, God taught Adam that he was incomplete and needed companionship as well as someone to partner with him for reproduction.

What does the expression “one flesh” mean?

The phrase “one flesh” expresses the depth of unity in marriage—physically, emotionally and spiritually. Since the woman was created from man, the two originally were one, and when they come together, they again are one.

Traditional Second Lesson – Hebrews 2:9-11

Does the word “perfect” mean Jesus wasn’t perfect?

Jesus, being God from eternity and without sin, already was perfect. However, through his incarnation, life, suffering, and death, he acquired the experience and knowledge of what it is like to be human.

What was Jesus’ goal in life?

Jesus’ goal was to “redeem those under law.” He accomplished that goal through suffering. He did this by submitting himself to the law.

Supplemental Second Lesson – Ephesians 5:21–6:4

What are wives to do?

Wives are to yield lovingly to their husbands as the leader of the home, the same way we all yield to Jesus as our leader and Lord.

What are husbands to do?

Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies.

What are children to do?

Children are to obey their parents “in the Lord,” that is, for Jesus’ sake.

What are fathers, in particular, to do?

Fathers are to bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord Jesus. Note that Paul never tells husbands to make their wives submit, etc., or wives to make their husbands be responsible for eternal matters in the home. How wise Martin Luther was, when he wrote: Let each his lesson learn with care, and all the household well shall fare.

Gospel – Mark 10:2-16

If marriage is to be for life, why did Moses hand down some conditions that made divorce possible?

Moses handed down some conditions for divorce only because the people had totally disregarded God’s will for sex and marriage. Their hearts were hard. Government had to deal with it and regulate.

What remains God’s standard for marriage?

God’s standard for marriage is the union of a man and a woman for life. “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

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