The Bible is the only book of its kind in the world. The gospels are eye witness accounts to the life of Christ, which intersect with Old Testament writings of history, law, poetry, and prophecy. The main theme of the Old Testament is the declaration of the person of God through the Messiah that was prophesied to come. Each and every chapter of the New Testament fulfills the main theme of the Old in the life of Christ.
In chapter 10 of Mark’s gospel there are 5 incidents that are used by Christ to teach the way to heaven. He then further instructs His disciples to the cost of their entering heaven for Himself and what it will cost them to follow Him.
We are told at the beginning of chapter 10 that Jesus got up, which may not seem irrelevant until you realize that sitting was the position of a teacher in Israel. Following that remark we are further told that it was Jesus’ custom to teach the people, and what Jesus taught the people was the way of salvation. The main theme of the Bible centers around man’s soul and how it is in relationship to God his creator. Either the relationship is broken due to sin, or else it is mended through God’s forgiveness found in the sacrificial death of Christ, which is received by faith.
Jesus’ teaching was interrupted by some religious leaders who questioned Jesus about divorce. The leaders of Jesus’ day were very permissive regarding divorce but Jesus pointed out that the only reason God allowed divorce is because he knew the hardness of men and women and that they would be unfaithful to their marriage vow. Immorality was rampant in that day as it is in ours. To be right with God a man must be faithful in marriage and therefore give no reason for divorce. Jesus concluded His teaching by saying to them, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
By today’s standards Jesus’ remarks are hard, unyielding, and without sympathy. However, He set forth point number one in understanding the only way to heaven; entrance into the kingdom of God is denied to sinners by the fullest extent of the law. (Mark 10:1-12)
This thought becomes even more clear by what Jesus taught later on in the house to His disciples,
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; 10:12 and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery." (Mark 10:11-12)
Jesus made clear the extent of the law when He explained that God’s law cannot be annulled. Divorce was permitted by Moses because of the hardness of men’s heart, but divorce does not annul a marriage, which is instituted by God. That is not to say that men and women cannot leave each other and be joined to another and constitute another marriage. However, each time a person is married again he or she commits adultery. Adultery is the act of unfaithfulness against the marriage vow. Marriage is for a lifetime in the eyes of God, no matter what men think. Divorce was permitted in Israel in the same way that sin has been permitted in the world since the fall of Adam, that it is permitted does not make it justifiable.
The full extent of God’s holy law denies access to heaven to all men. God is never passive with regards to His holy requirements for living in His universe. It is the righteousness of God that will one day make heaven a great place to live for those who enter therein. God permits some sin but only for a time and only to fulfill His greater purpose in eternity. Because God is holy man must be forgiven for every infraction of His law and forgiveness is only obtained through the sacrificial death of His Son and by faith in Him.