I am feeling the effects of spending the last week on the road. This bro is feeling tired today. I was able to get a nice, smooth 5k in around 3pm. What a beautiful day! I ran exactly 3.1 miles in 24 minutes and 20 seconds, which was a 7:51 average pace.
My plan is to keep the nice, smooth 5k runs going this week, but then to stretch them out a little longer next week. I want to take it easy on my hamstring for the week, and then see how I’m feeling. I will be in Pittsburgh and Lancaster over the weekend, so I will not have a lot of time for long runs, anyway.
There is one exception to my 5k plan for this week. On Wednesday evening I will plan to join the Wooster Running Group at Vertical Runner of Wooster at 6pm. The group typically runs a 6 mile loop, but Brian at Vertical Runner has told me that he will have a special 5k loop available for anyone who is a part of #5kMay2018. Of course, anyone is welcome to join us on the longer loop, but you don’t have to! I would love to see people come out and join the fun this Wednesday, May 9 for Day 9 of #5kMay2018! It’s going to be a blast!
I was stopped in my tracks pretty early in the reading today of Matthew 19-21.
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” (Matthew 19:3, ESV)
I understand that this is a bit of a hard topic. In this day and age, so many people have been affected by divorce. I certainly have. My mom and dad were divorced when I was very young. Many of my friends have been through a divorce. I have walked with youth group members while their parents were going through divorce. I am not approaching this topic as someone who is unaffected. Still, I am approaching this topic in the same way that I try to approach every topic, which is to simply ask, “What is God’s best?”
Jesus answers their question.
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6, ESV)
That seems pretty straightforward. They asked if it is lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause. Jesus essentially said, “No.” It is not lawful because God created male and female, designed them to come together as one flesh, and blessed that union in a way that man should never separate -especially if they care about living in accordance with God’s perfect law.
The Pharisees were not satisfied with this answer, but that is not overly surprising. After all, remember that they came up to him and tested him by asking the question (see verse 3). They already knew the answer. They already knew that the right answer was not politically correct, and it hadn’t been for generations, so they pressed him further.
They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” (Matthew 19:7, ESV)
This is a trick question. They are not really asking why. They are actually making a statement, Moses gave us a different answer, do you think you are better than Moses?!
Probably tired of the game and mildly irritated by the accusation, Jesus goes for the jugular.
He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:8–9, ESV)
His words here are perfect! Because of the hardness of your heart… The Pharisees said Moses commanded one… it was a statement pointed at someone else. Jesus went ahead and pointed right at them. Your heart is hard.
Jesus also pointed out that Moses allowed divorce. He certainly did not encourage it. It was a compassionate decision from a leader of rebellious, wicked people. Rather than force women to live in terrible circumstances because their husbands refused to care for them and they were unable to leave the relationship, Moses allowed for divorce. But it was not that way from the beginning. God designed something good, men distorted it, Moses tried to make the best of it.
Divorce is simply not God’s best. It is not lawful. It is not right. It is not God’s design.
It is tempting to throw out what about’s like the Pharisees did, because we all have what about situations in mind. I will concede that it is not an easy teaching and that real life is messy, but the question of is it lawful and is it God’s best has a simple answer. No.
However, none of this is what got me hung up as I was reading today. What got me hung up was this:
Jesus gets a bad wrap for his teaching about divorce, but He was really just answering the question.
That is interesting, isn’t it? To me, there is a big difference between someone going around with a message like, “Divorce is unlawful and whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” and someone who simply answers the question honestly and Biblically.
Not much has changed. In our day Christians get a bad wrap for “standing against” politically correct positions, but I don’t personally know of many Christians going around proclaiming politically correct positions. Instead, I see many Christians slammed when they are asked a question and answer honestly and Biblically.
If they persecuted Jesus, they will certainly persecute us. He said as much (see John 15:20). It is still right (and actually loving) to answer honestly and Biblically -even if we end up being crucified for it.
*5k Every Day in the Month of May 2018 is brought to you by Jeff Polen Music and Vertical Runner of Wooster. If you are joining the fun, don’t forget about the Facebook group, the Strava group, and the printable PDF.