Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXXVII: Successfully Handling Entrapment Efforts By Opponents
(Mark 10:1-12)
  1. Introduction
    1. There are times when the Christian faces efforts of entrapment by detractors of the Christian faith. For example, an educated party may teach that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 appear to give two different creation accounts added by two dif ferent authors, for both tell of man's creation, cf. Gen. 1:27 and 2:7,20-24. Thus, the Christian is charged with holding to an errant Bible that reports two differing creation accounts.
    2. Jesus faced efforts to entrapment, and by following His example, we learn how to offset these as follows:
  2. Successfully Handling Entrapment Efforts By Opponents, Mark 10:1-12.
    1. Just before Jesus was confronted on the issue of divorce in Mark 10:2, He entered the area of Perea, east of the River Jordan, Mark 10:1 with Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 148.
    2. This region came under Herod Antipas' jurisdiction, and this Herod had caused John the Baptizer to be martyred for John's criticizing Herod's unbiblical marriage to his brother's wife, Ibid. Obviously, by questioning Him on the divorce issue, the Pharisees sought to entrap Jesus on Herod's "turf" by leading Him to take the same public stand on Herod's marriage as had John so that Jesus would face John's fate!
    3. Jesus responded with great wisdom, patterning for us the solution to such entrapment efforts:
      1. When the Pharisees asked Jesus if it was lawful for a man to divorce His wife, He asked them what Moses had commanded them to do, Mark 10:3. In so doing, Jesus appealed to God's Word, an authority recognized by all in Israel. Thus, He used Scripture to run interference FOR Him.
      2. The critical text used by the Jews on divorce, a passage to which Jesus referred here is Deut. 24:1-4:
        1. Though the KJV puts the "then" clause in Deut. 24:1b, the Hebrew text sets the "then" clause, the apodosis at Deut. 24:4, cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Dt. 24:1-4.
        2. In other words, the Hebrew text teaches that if husband "a" who is wed to wife "a" divorces her, and she marries man "b" only to be divorced by him, she cannot be married again to her original husband.
        3. Essentially, Moses was not commanding for the original divorces, but merely acknowledging that the evil existed, and began to put restraints on the practice of divorce itself!
      3. Thus, when the Pharisees referred to this text in Mark 10:4 to imply that Moses permitted divorce, Jesus responded that Moses tolerated divorce simply due to Israel's hardness of heart, but that the plan of God never intended to permit divorce from the beginning of creation onwards, Mark 10:5-9.
      4. Jesus simply quoted Gen. 1:27 & 2:24 in verses 6-8 to show that God intended there never be divorce.
    4. Having shown God's SCRIPTURAL basis for His stand on divorce, only in PRIVATE did Jesus apply this teaching to the sensitive political situation with Perea's rulers, Mark 10:10-12:
      1. Later, while they were in a private home, the disciples asked Jesus about His view of divorce, 10:10.
      2. Jesus then responded by privately incriminating Perea's rulers by applying His teachings to them:
        1. In the house, Jesus revealed to His disciples that if any spouse divorced his or her partner and married another, that party committed adultery, for God really did not recognize divorce, 10:11-12.
        2. Well, Jewish practice allowed only men to initiate divorce where Roman law gave women along with men that right. Thus, Jesus implicated Perea's Gentile rulers in Herod and Herodias who both had used Roman law to divorce their partners and thus commit adultery before God, Ibid.!
        3. Thus, in the absence of His opponents, Jesus privately condoned John the Baptizer's critical stand!
Lesson: When facing entrapment by opponents to the faith, promote only what the Bible says, for such a move replaces US with SCRIPTURE in the conflict so that the opponents cannot tackle US without attacking SCRIPTURE! Only in supportive environments should we freely open up with our applications. Otherwise, we initiate unecessary conflict with opponents who want to entra p us!

Application: In Mk. 10:6-8, Jesus quotes from both Genesis 1 and 2 to back His view on marriage (Gen. 1:27 AND Gen. 2:24). Thus, He felt both chapters accurately present creation! Hence, respond to critics of the credibility of Genesis 1 and 2 that JESUS felt they were both accurate to redefine the conflict as one the OPPONENT has with JESUS! That pressures him to think again!