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Jesus is all about restoring the family.

Dan: (00:00)
Hi, everyone. And welcome to training for life redeemed. I’m your host, Dan. I am sitting here with my father. We are going through the book of Matthew. Today, Dad, we are up to chapter 19. It starts off with some really easy stuff to talk about. so tell me what’s Jesus got to say about divorce Dad.

David: (00:21)
What’s Jesus got to say about divorce. Well, the God who created man and woman in his image and designed the most amazing relationship to take two people who are equally the image of God and equally valued, but different with different roles like the, the cogs in a, in a machine almost. And so this relationship that has a man who had no sin. So he is a perfect man. Adam, he’s given a perfect woman and she is his ally. If you translate that word helper as ally, you start to appreciate what God designed here. The man needs help, and he hasn’t sinned. There’s nothing wrong with him. He was designed to need help, and she is designed to fit his inadequacies and vice versa. It’s a great wisdom of God relationship and like everything else, when we decide we want to redesign it, we’ve got a better idea, we break it, we smash it and people get hurt. And quite frankly, I don’t know that there’s a deeper hurt than a sexual sin. Mm-hmm . And I don’t know that there’s a deeper betrayal, than you can experience through a broken marriage. Our society paints this as normal, and tries to whitewash over the pain and the what goes on. The Bible doesn’t. The Bible recognizes, this is a trauma. And how do you handle a trauma? Well, the rabbis, (I’ll put this up on the video) this is for those at home listening. This is the Mishnah. It’s 1100 pages. And it’s just the summary,. a very short summary, of all the arguments and everything else that rabbi’s got into trying to figure out how you handle all the issues of life. So you take the Old Testament commandments, then you take circumstances.

David: (02:36)
What if, what if, what if, and then you have a rabbi meeting to discuss what you think we should do. What if, what if, what if, and then we’ll come back in a couple hundred years and we’ll write an Encyclopaedia Britannica commentary on what the rabbis said about what if? And so you get into this ridiculous process, but we do the same process while we rubbish the rabbis. Every Christian has to sit down and work out, “How does the Bible apply?” Mm. We all have to figure out how to do divorce. it’s gonna happen. It’s one of the things that happens in a fallen world and a broken world. It’s a sad business that we have to manage and manage with the gospel. The rabbis didn’t have the gospel, so they’re managing it with, you know, arbitrary rules. So one rabbi says, oh, if she burns the toast, if she spoils your meal, you know, I divorce you.

David: (03:32)
I divorce you. pack your bags, get outta here, go back to your father. I’ll go and buy a new one. And you treat women like, you know, you’re buying a pair of shoes. Mm. which is still our culture. I mean, everybody rubbishes biblical legalism. Yeah. But the fact of the matter is men still treat women like they were buying shoes, and relationships generally. So this is about fixing relationships, not about breaking them. And what do you do when it is broken then becomes a difficult question. Like church discipline, what do you do when they say no. Well, in 1975 in August, Australia brought in no fault divorce, sorry. In September 75, we had no fault divorce come in. They thought that would make life easier. It didn’t. The divorce rate went through the roof because there we institutionalized this idea that marriage is what I feel like today. And if I don’t feel like it tomorrow, well, then I walk off and buy a new one.

David: (04:45)
Jesus. Isn’t into that. So step one, there shouldn’t be any flippant divorce. If you were part of God’s family, you understood grace. You’d be working on getting life. Right. You’d be following the instructions. Okay. So if one member of the family decides to flick God and flick the marriage, what do you do with the other party who tried and tried and tried to reconcile to forgive, to do grace? What do you do with them? Well, you do justice for them. And so while the rabbis are doing injustice, Jesus comes along in this section and explains to you how you can do justice. And part of that justice is the innocent party is free to remarry. Yeah. Whereas the guilty party, not only are they guilty of adultery, if they remarry, but the person they marry is made to be an adulterer through no fault of their own almost. Yeah. So this is you don’t violate this wonderful thing called marriage. and you work this through in the Bible and you discover it’s not, you know, and legalism, the way the world paints. you look at a world that is lonely living in a shoebox, dating on an internet site and going from one partner to another and sitting at home at two o’clock in the morning in tears. And you go to couples that are sitting together after 47 years of marriage going, it just gets better.

Dan: (06:21)

David: (06:22)
so here is God’s plan and there’s the world’s. We can do it better. And it’s just a smashed mess. Yeah. So this is an important part of the Bible working through divorce. We’ve actually posted on our website, a long analysis of what the Bible says about divorce. So if you want to get involved in that, go and do it. I have been through that process. I’m not divorced, but my parents were. And, that trauma was terrible. And at the time I was at seminary. So I sat down with the best professors in the world, and we worked through what the Bible said and what I was gonna go home and say to Mum and Dad, and for the record, what I said to my father, he was back with my mother a couple of years later. he didn’t like what I said, but yelling and screaming. But at the end of the day, he came home, we have to speak the truth in love. so Jesus does that.

Dan: (07:29)
Okay. So we to move on to Jesus blessing, a few little children here, it’s a short little bit in this chapter, but, so we’ve got some children who were brought to him so that they might bless him. The disciples still haven’t really worked things out. still trying to stop the kids from getting to Jesus. Yeah. they’re not good enough. I don’t know what, what their issue is. Don’t

David: (07:49)
Interrupt the

Dan: (07:50)
Teacher. Yeah. Yeah. They’re too noisy. Go away. Yeah. I, I can’t focus, but Jesus welcomes them in. He blesses them, he kisses them and stuff. It’s almost like, you know, American president going around. Yeah.

David: (08:00)
Babies only do it during elections. Yeah. Look at, just look at this. I mean, here is the, here is God in the flesh running a Bible class and some woman brings her baby along and asks him to pray for her. And the disciples turned around and say, don’t interrupt the teacher. It, it, you wouldn’t interrupt the university lecturer. You don’t interrupt the school principal. When he’s delivering a, a Bible talk,

David: (08:31)
Some random woman walks in with the baby and says, would you pray? It’s her one shot? And Jesus says, what on earth are you guys think you’re doing? Bring the kid don’t ever get in the way of a child coming to Christ. there’s a lesson for every church in town, never, ever get in the way of a child coming to Christ. And I think he talks somewhere about putting a millstone around your neck. Yeah. You know, you cause a child to get trapped, outside the gospel and, and be judged and go to hell. You do that. You stop a child, coming to Christ. You know, go put a millstone around your neck and jump in the Harbour. a quick death would be better. the millstone that he’s talking with. There’s two words from millstone. There’s a little one. The big one.

David: (09:19)
Hmm. This is the one that you need a donkey to turn. it’s just bigger than my desk. It’s yeah. There’s a photograph in the, on the notes, but take these kids seriously. And particularly, can I plead with people if a little child comes to you and says, I want to become a Christian, never ever say or do anything that says to that child, you are not old enough to fully understand the decision you’re making. The Puritans had a beautiful phrase. The phrase was “improve your baptism.” And they in old English, the word improve is what we use for home improvements. Yeah. Build on it. Don’t push the child away till they’re whatever age the minister says, you can come. I mean, ministers are like rabbis. They set random ages for kids. I remember one minister turned you away. Actually. my children were all baptized as believers.

David: (10:27)
We went to a, a church. I won’t name it. but the, the minister said he wouldn’t give my children, the Lord supper because they hadn’t turned 15. Didn’t matter that they were believers, that they professed faith. He was not gonna let them anywhere near the Lord’s table. They weren’t part of God’s forever family because they weren’t old enough to understand the significance of what they’re doing. That passage says that minister needs to go jump in the Harbour. Yeah. God is gonna judge that. That’s a really serious thing to do. Encourage the children affirm when they repent and believe in Jesus, build on it. Don’t ever, ever, be cynical about what children do. My wife was converted at five and the church wouldn’t baptize her till She was 16. It’s just, we, we are not encouraging these kids to come to Christ. And then

Dan: (11:21)
You wonder why they’re gone when they’re teenagers

David: (11:23)
And you wonder why they graduate from church. Hmm. You know?

Dan: (11:28)
Okay. Dad, the next story here is about a rich young ruler who comes in,

David: (11:33)
An important person.

Dan: (11:34)
Yeah. He’s an important person. He’s high up on the ranks. He says, you know, teacher, good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life or, you know, to be in the kingdom and stuff. And Jesus says through, you know, you know, the commandments, but he then quotes all the, like the second half of the commandments. Yeah. Yeah. Doesn’t talk about the first couple, nor the very last one about coveting. he tends, tends to just focus on, you know, murder, adultery, stealing the ones that are he’s. I always say easier to do

David: (12:07)
Or easier not to do. Yeah. Can get through life without killing people.

Dan: (12:10)
Yeah, that’s right. So this guy says he’s kept these off since he was a young age. and Jesus identifies that he lacks one thing and tells him to go and take all his money and basically sell it all and get rid of everything. He’s beautiful. And then come and follow him. obviously the guy walks away. He’s pretty sad cuz he’s very wealthy. I do like the fact that I’d tell us whether or not he did sell and come back that’s they saying he was sad about it. and you know, I hope that he was sad and then did it. And then he is, you know, one of these people following Jesus around yeah. For the rest of the story. Uh, but what, what’s the point of this? Is it just like, are we talking about the fact that he’s just like, is he worshiping the money at the point? That’s the thing that he’s lacking or is it are all rich people meant to go and get rid of all their money to follow God. In which case we are both not doing very well

David: (13:01)
Trouble. Look the, the contrast it’s the juxtaposition little child, baby, come pray for the insignificant person. Yeah. Who interrupts your lesson? And then the important person arrives who thinks he’s, you know, he’s done everything he can possibly do, but he’s very aware that it’s not enough. Hmm. That covers the first four commandments. I think he’s recognized who God is. He’s not into idols. He, he understands how serious this is. What more do I need is I want to be there. I want wanna be in the kingdom. And Jesus quite sarcastically lists off all the other ones and he’s going, yeah, I did them. I’m doing them. And can I say, we as evangelicals, we tend to say, oh, we’re all human. You know, we could never keep the commandments. Mm that’s actually not what the Bible says. If you’re born again, you can obey God, you have no excuse when you don’t.

Dan: (14:05)
Yeah. You never tempted beyond what you,

David: (14:07)
What you’re able to do. Yeah.

Dan: (14:08)
Always provides a way to say no, thanks. Yeah.

David: (14:11)
Throw out this line that says, oh, we’re all human. We’re all sinners. I’m a Saint. I’m born again. I’m new creation. I can do this. I got the holy spirit, the word of God, a new nature. We’re often running. We can do this. So I take this guy seriously. When he says I’ve kept all of these commandments and Jesus taps right into the core issue because you can’t have a loyalty to two masters. You you’ve gotta let go of one. Now his master was his money. So let go of that one. It raises the question. When you come to Christ, what’s your other master? What is the one that you’ve gotta, what’s that loyalty that you’ve gotta break in order for Jesus to be Lord and Jesus provokes that question. it’s a great question. I don’t think we ask it often enough. I just like Peter’s response to that. don’t you love Peter.

Dan: (15:14)
When are you gonna give us, so

David: (15:15)
What do we get outta? I give up all your money. We,

Dan: (15:18)
We we’ve given up everything. We

David: (15:19)
Did it. We did it. What do we get? What do we get? He go, are you kidding? Peter? you, you get to live yeah. Jesus died for your sin. But Jesus does more than that. You will sit on Thrones in my kingdom. What Thrones? What does that mean? Mm. And the answer is I’ll show you when we get there. Yeah. It’s it’s it’s beautiful.

Dan: (15:47)
Well, now that brings us to the end of this episode. You may well have heard my children running around in the background or that episode, but you know, we choose not to get rid of them.

David: (15:55)

Dan: (15:56)
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