Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 19:1-15
God wants us to have a community of love. God helps us to be in a community of love, where everybody cares for one another. To be a community of love, the strong have to look for the weak. The rich gladly take care of the poor. The powerful want to protect the powerless.
If we apply this principle to our family life, we can make our conclusions based on this biblical principle. Who is the stronger one in our family? In ancient times, women and children were weaker ones in a family. When women were young, they had to depend on their father. When they married to a man, they had to depend on their husband. When they were old, they had to depend on their sons. Women had no status in the society in general. It was the man who should take care of the woman and children in the family.
In this situation, we cannot build a community of love in a family. When one person, in this case, the husband or the father, made all the decisions and had all the power, there must be some people who were not heard and recognized. To realize the vision of God’s Kingdom, a community of love, we have to have a place where everybody, especially the weakest, is respected and loved.
We can understand a marriage in the light of this vision of community of love. When God created a human (Adam from Adama, a Hebrew word meaning “dirt”), God saw that all the animals were not suitable companions of a human being. Only another human being ( Isha, a Hebrew word meaning “woman”) from a man (Ish, a Hebrew word meaning “man”) can be a companion of a man. Now, a man leaves from a hierarchical relationship (Father-Son) and goes into a companionship (male and female) to become one flesh. That is the created order that God intended.
However, in reality, in real human societies, men have abused their power and women have suffered. To try to fix the situation a little bit, Moses required the men to issue at least divorce certificates. To issue divorce certificate, men had to think about the marriage at least three times. However, it did not protect women from abusive husbands at all. So, Jesus declared that whoever divorced his wife, except for unchastity, and married another committed adultery. When a woman was divorced in that society, she did not have enough means to support herself.
Jesus even let the children come to him and made the point clear: “Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these little children.” In other words, God cares for the helpless. When we feel that we are weak and powerless, God will be our protector and provider. When we boast that we are strong and powerful and able to treat others as we wish, God will act as our enemies. Let us humble ourselves and see who among us needs attention and care today at home and at church. They are the doors to the Kingdom of Heaven for us. May God bless all who open such doors with respect and love!
- In our community who is the one that needs our care today?
- What situation would require divorce as the sole solution to a married relationship?