Archive for March, 2016

Why This Waste?

Written by Marshall. Posted in Matthew, Matthew 26, New Testament

Matthew 26:7b-8

Why This Waste?

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Matt. 26:7b (Holman) She poured it on His head as He was reclining at

the table.

This lady found what we seek; she drew near to God’s heart. What lessons can we learn from her to help us in our quest to know Jesus better?

One, she was bold, unashamed of Jesus. The religious establishment turned on Him, but she didn’t. We never have any valid reasons whatsoever to be ashamed of Jesus. His people may disappoint us, but He never will.

We cannot draw close to anyone we are ashamed of, or embarrassed to be identified with. Ask the Holy Spirit to give us supernatural courage toward Jesus in a culture slipping ever father away from His influence.

Two, she was focused on Jesus, not herself. She could tell He was preoccupied. She was perceptive enough to sense a foreboding in Him. Others were distracted with everyone else, but she focused on Him. Sensing the weight on His shoulders, she wanted to encourage her sad, weary friend.

Jesus needed to know someone understood and cared. She looked into His soul and saw in His eyes a shadow; not knowing a cross was casting it.

Our prayers are too often solely about us. When did we last express concern to Jesus about His pain over the suffering caused by a world run amok, and by multitudes entering a Christless eternity? We are not the only ones sorry about

Marrying After Divorce

Written by Marshall. Posted in Matthew, Matthew 19, New Testament

Matthew 19:9

Marrying After Divorce

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Matt. 19:9 (Holman) “And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for

sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

This famous “exception clause” is difficult to know how to apply. We start by making sure we know the issue here is not divorce, but remarriage after divorce.

The Biblical ideal is for the divorced to remain single and celibate. The second best option, remarriage, is better than the third option, promiscuity. One reason for marriage is to reduce the number of sex sins (I Corinthians 7:2).

Our text has been so battered by the arguing of Christ-followers that it is easy to miss the chief message Jesus presented here. Its main emphasis is grace.

Under Old Testament law, sexual immorality was punishable by death. Jesus commuted this death sentence to divorce. The guilty, though spared from capital punishment, had committed an act equal, under the Old Law, to having died.

Had the guilty one died, the innocent could have married without guilt. Since God’s grace to the guilty should not penalize the innocent, the text extended grace to the innocent, sexually pure, spouse, who can remarry without guilt.

Based on this principle of fairness, the early Church looked with favor on a divorcee entering with humble repentance into a marriage. Not till the Middle A