So we have reached a point in our society where people can no longer deny that religion influences our culture, customs, institutions and the like. People’s eyes are starting to open given the wild changes we’re experiencing. The 2015 Supreme Court Decision Obergefell v. Hodges claimed that a man has the constitutional right to marry another man. Transgenderism is being normalized to the degree that Boston Children’s Hospital now has a Gender Multispecialty Service that provides affirmative care to gender diverse and transgender individu- als. And these services are provided for children as young as 3 years old.
Our culture is increasingly confused about fundamental principles: What is a man? What is a woman? What is marriage? And this confusion is the result of God handing us over to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. God’s Word sheds light on these matters. And through his Word, God graciously restores man so that he can know both himself and his Creator.
“And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?’ tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ And they said, ‘Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female . . . ‘” (Mark 10:2-9)
SUMMARY OF THE TEXT
The Pharisees attempt to trap Jesus with a question about divorce (v. 2). Notice this is a temptation of Christ, not a genuine question about particular grounds for divorce. That being the case, biblical grounds for divorce (and there are such grounds) don’t come up in this exchange. Jesus replies to the Pharisees by asking them about the law of Moses (v. 3). They read Moses to say that a man can put his wife away through divorce papers (v. 4). But Jesus explains that Moses took that measure because of their hard hearts (v. 5). From the beginning of creation, God made male and female (v. 6). And this is the very reason a man leaves his parents and holds fast to his wife (v. 7). This cleaving is such that the two are no longer two, but one flesh (v. 8). And man must not tear this one for God is the one who joined the two into one (v. 9).
A GRENADE AMONG THE UGLY ISMS
This passage is truly a death blow to many of the vain ideologies that beset us. If we take the sword of the Spirit seriously in these nine verses, then transgenderism, nihilism, paganism, and secular humanism are slain. We see the rise of these empty philosophies around us in the dissolution of marriage and the defaming of the image of God. And the text at hand speaks directly to that image and the divine institution of marriage.
GOD MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE
Verse 6 states plainly that God made them male and female. We hear this same truth in Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 5:2. It is clear that God likes to create in binaries. He made sun and moon, heaven and earth, sea and land, peanut butter and jelly. We are not surprised to see him make male and female. And we are not surprised that they go together so well. This is his craftsmanship and it is glorious.
Genesis tells us that God made man and woman in his image. Here is the fundamental answer to the question. What is man? The image of God. What is woman? The image of God. But Scripture tells us more. 1 Corin- thians 11:7 says that man is the glory of God and woman is the glory of man. There are those who would look down upon this verse, believing it to in some way degrade the female. But what is degrading about being the glory of the glory of God? Who thinks being the crown of the crown is a slight?
THEY TWAIN NO MORE TWAIN
God made them different so that they might pair so well. And here is why androgyny is not only boring but the pits. It attempts to erase the two rather than join the two. Marriage is glorious for its leave and cleave. There is action there. There is something captivating. There is a miracle, a work of God. If you get rid of the distinction, then you get rid of the unity. And if you get rid of the distinction and the unity, then you get rid of the fruit.
This one flesh union in marriage and its fruit obliterates nihilism with its meaninglessness and despair. The first woman came from man. And man has been coming from woman ever since. Along these lines, Paul says, “For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God” (1 Corinthians 11:12). In other words, all of this leaving, cleaving, and procreating is a big neon sign pointing you to your Creator. How could you despair in ear shot of the babies cooing? The kiddos giggling? And in the case of our covenant children, God stills the enemy and the avenger with the noises coming out of the mouths of those babes (Psalm 8:2).
WHAT GOD HATH JOINED TOGETHER
And this leads to another point. Jesus does not only say that the two become one, but God joins the two to- gether (v. 9). It follows that there is no room for paganism. That is, there is no room for thinking that creature alone did this. Creature did not make them male and female in the beginning. And creature did not keep mak- ing them male and female down through the centuries.
Look at a man. Look at a woman. God’s fingerprints are all over them. Then, look upon man and woman joined in marriage. And remember as you do that this is the very picture Obergefell attempted to defame. Neverthe- less, look at that marriage. And here again, you see God’s handiwork.
LET NOT MAN SEPARATE
Jesus provides an imperative that you might think should already be clear. That imperative is, “Let not man separate what God has joined together.” And we can hear the rage of the kings in the background, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:3). The kings of the earth from Psalm 2 do not like the bonds that have come down upon them from the Creator. Those given to homosexual lust and acts are in the same situation. They do not like God’s order and design. They do not like two becoming one. In this sense those given to transgender confusion are the same. They too reject the design of the Creator. And according to our Lord’s words, those who would divorce without cause, while not stumbling to the same degree, are stumbling in the same direction, tearing apart what God himself has fashioned.
The good news is, amid all of our futile attempts to stamp out the image of God, amid our attempts to tear apart what he has fashioned, the Father sent his Son, a Son of Man, a Second Adam. Through his blood, man is reconciled to his Creator and the image of God in man is restored.