Fighting for Marriage, Pt. 3

May 28, 2023

Fighting for Marriage, Pt. 3

Passage: Matthew 19:10-12

Preacher: Jeff Crotts

Series: Matthew

Category: Sunday Morning


Fighting for marriage – Matthew 19:1-12 (Pt. 3)


Prop: Three reasons Jesus fights for marriage

  1. Marriage, explains God original design for “men” and “women” (vv. 1-6)
  2. Divorce is God’s merciful concession to the original design of marriage (vv. 7-9)
  3. Singleness is God’s preferred exception in view of the normalcy of marriage (vv. 10-12)


Intro: Message series and today’s on singleness?


[TRANS] This is X’s closing remarks to strong defense of marriage.

  • Jesus, as a single, fights for marriage.


  • By propping up singleness as a preferred exception.


  • Jesus’ fight for marriage has been his fight for truth!
    • Exclusively btwn/ a man and a woman.
      • Original design.
      • Pointing to its Designer.
      • Fulfilling the earth.
      • Fostering companionship.


  • Picturing, God’s covenant to his church.


  • Foundational to family and raising kids in the Lord.

[Question] “How can singleness hold a candle to this?”

  • Good and bad reasons to be married.
  • And good reasons and bad reasons to be single.


[Appl] Country, trending singleness (culture), not for good reasons.

The Hill, The end of marriage in America by Joseph Chamie (2020)

While it may not have ended, marriage in America has unquestionably declined over the recent past and is now at historic low levels for the country.

Throughout the 20th century, the annual U.S. marriage rate was generally no less than eight marriages per 1,000 people. The marriage rate also varied considerably over the years of the past century. It declined to around eight marriages per 1,000 population at the time of the Great Depression and peaked at more than 16 marriages per 1,000 at the close of World War II. 


Since the start of the 21st century, the U.S. marriage rate has declined from more than eight marriages per 1,000 down to six marriages per 1,000 population in 2019. That marriage rate is the lowest level since the U.S. government began keeping marriage records for the country in 1867.

Also, 70 years ago a large majority of U.S. households, approximately 80 percent, were made up of married couples. In 2020, the proportion of households consisting of married couples fell to 49 percent.

Some of the major factors behind the long-term decline in the marriage rate have been female education and labor force participation, women’s economic independence and gender equality. America is also experiencing growing numbers of women and men living alone as well as increasing unmarried cohabitation. In addition to the 15 percent of U.S. adults living alone, no less than one-quarter of those aged 25 to 34 years are living with an unmarried partner. 


[KEY] Good and bad reasons to be married [single].  

  • People claim singleness but live like, married w/no commitment.


  • Contrast: X’s preferred exception in singleness.
    • Meaning singleness, never lesser existence, lesser human, lesser you.
    • The Word props singleness as a value.


  • No other religion puts this value on singleness.
    • Cult of marriage necessitates progeny.
    • Family is apex, but not in NT Xianity.

[Illus] Late Tim Keller referenced in book, The Meaning of Marriage; Paige Benton Brown, “Singled Out by God for Good”

“As soon as you’re satisfied with God alone, He’ll bring someone special into your life” God’s blessing earned by contentment.

“You’re too picky” As though God is frustrated by you being fickle.

“As a single you can commit yourself wholeheartedly to the Lord’s work” as though God requires emotional martyrs.

“Before you can marry someone wonderful, the Lord has to make you wonderful” God grants marriage as a second blessing to the sanctified.

“Beneath these statements is the premise that single life is a state of deprivation for people who are not fully formed enough for marriage.

[Illus] I’d like to speak from the heart on my version of Christian singleness, from the age 17 to 25. Eight years of being sold out for Jesus, while single. My experience to my recollection was both very good and very difficult.  

When the Lord turned my heart inside out and I was born again, my life opened up in ways I never expected. As a single young man, I had the opportunity to talk to Jesus about everything, all of the time.

The concept of having to designate time to meet with Christ was not on my radar because as a single man, I had loads of room, capacity, and energy to meet with Christ. As a single, I also bonded with other young men, in a way that was extraordinary.

I had High School friends who were brothers then and they are still brothers now and that is because these relationships were my lifeline in the earliest days being a believer. We together were all new in X, so we talked our way clear on how to put away all our youthful lusts. We supported each other as we would fight our flesh and learn to have appropriate friendships with sisters in all purity. If we needed prayer, we would pray with each other for long seasons. Sometimes and often for an hour.

We would also attend multiple Bible study’s throughout every week. Whether by way of our local church, or any other church that was open. I found myself attending Wednesday evenings and Sunday evenings when my church was not open. I went to conferences all the time. Listened to hundreds of recorded expository sermons and read handfuls of books over breaks and retreats.

I also found myself evangelizing people on the fly. I enjoy people in general, so I was able to dedicate myself open-ended evangelism, I would talk to people about X as long as necessary. Whether late night or early morning prayer times, long Bible studies, long personal study hearing preaching or reading theological books, long worship services, helping others in need for free, or striking up conversations about Jesus, it was all there. And it was easy for me to do.

Outside of working jobs, or going to school, everything else were those activities. This is no exaggeration. At the same time, I struggled with contentment and would often revert to whether or not I should be married. Internal dialogue based on the list above [See Tim Keller].

Being married to Judy was absolutely coordinated by X. Before Judy, I was a one-man-show and I enjoyed that unless I was longing to be married.

[Barclay] It has been said, "He travels the fastest who travels alone." 

So, Judy coming into my life was by absolute design and providence, down to the exact details. I have to say, when you understand the fine detail to the sovereignty of God, you understand that that finding a spouse comes under God’s sovereignty.

Likewise, whether you are single, married, widowed, divorced, all scenarios are ordered by our sovereign Lord. God is not responsible for your sin; He cannot be. But God is the Designer of the way your life is playing out. He is in charge! So, we should all rest in this reality.


[Prop] Matthew 19:10-12, Christ’s offers three paths leading to a life of singleness.

  • None, describes what disciples prescribe.

[Context] Disciples believe X’s marriage teaching is too final. A problem.

  • Untenable, not dissimilar to modern culture.
    • Marriage boxes you in.
      • If no way out, then singleness is better.
        • Singleness is viewed as an “out.”
        • Absolute opposite of wt/X’s teaching.

[TRANS] Path to singleness, that Jesus prescribes is only good motivation for singleness.

First path:

  1. Providence determines singleness (vv. 10-12a).

Disciples were exasperated w/X’s teaching on marriage.

  • Siding w/the Pharisees,
    • “Marriage certainly cannot be this permanent.”
      • Perhaps inner fear of disqualification from sexual immorality.
      • Or vise-versa by unfaithful spouse.


  • X’s teaching “too strict” from X’s vantage point.


  • But X’s point is our sin warrants strictness.
    • Stay committed bc/sin should not dissolve what God brought together.
    • But unrepentant sin is where an exception is made.


  • v. 8 “…Because of your hardness of heart…”

[KEY] Disciples acting in man-centered, not God-centered way.

  • Jesus’ point, God is the originator of marriage.
    • By design (implying Designer).
    • Two people, image-bearers, a male and a female are brought together by God.


  • Marriage as a work of God.
    • Meaning Truth is ultimate arbiter.
    • Disciples’ response is totally pragmatic.


[TRANS] Jesus’ response verse 11 is complex at first.

  • Instead addressing the disciple’s concern, he addresses their wrong notion @ singleness.
    • Singleness [passively sought] to avoid X’s standards for marriage is bad.
    • Singleness for the Kingdom is entirely different.
      • Syncs w/X fighting for marriage.
        • Righteous singleness, picture of Gospel truth!
        • Fighting for this brand of singleness, fights for truth!


  • Singleness comes by one of three paths; each path builds on the other.

[TRANS] The first is by Providence.

  • Verse 11, Jesus states upfront how his explanation has to be taken by faith.
    • Receiving what he says is countercultural.
    • Non-pragmatic.


  • X’s first explanation is singleness by providence.
    • Verse 12, “For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth…” (v. 12).
      • Born w/physical malady or deformity.
      • Hinders him from pro-creating.


  • Scenarios, deeply personal, but X’s saying sometimes have no say in life as single.
    • Desire to marry,
    • But beyond choice of own,
    • never going to have the opportunity.

[Appl] This could be by way of a physical or even a mental deficit that makes being married, untenable, or even a practical impossibility. Someone not meant to take care of someone, but who instead is meant to be taken care of.


[Illus] Language Jesus uses, reminds me of the blind man who was that way from birth (cf. Jn. 9). Obviously, you can be blind and married, but my point is that this man (though accused of the contrary) had absolutely nothing to do with his singleness.


[Appl] One application is to again see that singleness is less a personal choice for some, and more simply God’s providential lot he has given this one. Something to accept, by way of the fact that singleness chose the person, rather than the opposite.  


  1. Paganism determines singleness.

[KEY] Jesus’ next emphasizes a circumstance or an event.

  • God’s providence chose someone’s singleness and here someone is made single “by men” (v. 12).
    • Cannot imagine what this scenario would be.
    • Except in a pagan society where castration is required.

[TRANS] Bible documents a history of eunuchs.

 ESV  2 Kings 9:32 And he lifted up his face to the window and said, "Who is on my side? Who?" Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. (2Ki 9:32 ESV)


ESV  2 Kings 20:18 And some of your own sons, who shall be born to you, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon." (2Ki 20:18 ESV)


ESV  Esther 1:10-15 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus,

11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at.

12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him.

13 Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times (for this was the king's procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment,

14 the men next to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and sat first in the kingdom):

15 "According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?" (Est 1:12-15 ESV)


ESV  Esther 2:3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the citadel, under custody of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women. Let their cosmetics be given them. (Est 2:3 ESV)


ESV  Esther 2:14-15 In the evening she would go in, and in the morning she would return to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines. She would not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.

15 When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king's eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. (Est 2:14-15 ESV)


ESV  Esther 2:21 In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. (Est 2:21 ESV)


ESV  Esther 4:4 When Esther's young women and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them.

5 Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was. (Est 4:4-5 ESV)


ESV  Esther 6:1-2 On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king.

2 And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. (Est 6:1-2 ESV)


ESV  Isaiah 39:7 And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon." (Isa 39:7 ESV)


ESV  Jeremiah 29:1-2 These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

2 This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. (Jer 29:1-2 ESV)


ESV  Jeremiah 34:19 the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf. (Jer 34:19 ESV)


ESV  Jeremiah 38:7-8 When Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern-- the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate-- 8 Ebed-melech went from the king's house and said to the king,

 9 "My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern, and he will die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city."

 10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, "Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies." (Jer 38:7-10 ESV)


ESV  Daniel 1:1-13 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.

2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.

3 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility,

4 youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5 The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king.

6 Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah.

7 And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.

8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.

9 And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs,

10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, "I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king."

11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

12 "Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.

13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see." (Dan 1:1-13 ESV)


ESV  Daniel 1:18 At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. (Dan 1:18 ESV)


ESV  Acts 8:27-40 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship

28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.

29 And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over and join this chariot."

30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"

31 And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.

33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth."

34 And the eunuch said to Philip, "About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?"

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.

36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?"


38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea. (Act 8:27-40 ESV)


  • Requiring castration as external measure, does nothing for heart.


  • Origin (second century) took castration literally, to his demise.


  • RCC, Celibacy, as external via force of will has made for casualties.
    • Temps heart.
    • Relying on religion, leads to corruption.


  • Pagan culture is not just antiquated.
    • Today, biological mutilation to transition is no different.
    • Ignores heart.
      • People need a changed heart not changed gender.
      • Nothing @ identity changes from externals.


  • Morbidity, championed as brave, butchering children.   


  1. Piety determines singleness.

[KEY] Finally, there is a form of devotion for singleness.

  • Faith makes singleness the preferred exception.
    • Motivation, “…for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (v. 14).


  • Based on Bible, becoming this eunuch is 100% metaphorical.
    • Extreme Hyperbole.
    • Jesus says, “If your right hand causes you to stumble to cut it off.” “If your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out.” [cf. Matt. 5:30]


  • Jesus never solves the heart by way of physical pragmatics or religion.
    • Always a matter of the heart.
      • Path means being given over to X by faith.
      • Conviction you are set-apart in singleness.
        • Devotion, “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (v. 12).
        • Piety – uncommon devotion.


  • Life is heaven-like.
    • Life devoted to the Kingdom!

[Question] “Is this single life, truly a realistically blessed life?”

  • It is impossible for X’s life to have a deficit.
  • Paul’s life, as he followed X.


[Point] X and Paul, model enough that the single life for the kingdom is an incredible life. But Scripture gives the rational for singles who follow this life/calling.  


[Key] We know God created man and woman (Gen. 1:27).

  • God created union and these unions make lineage and lineage makes God’s people.
    • Pro-creation through God’s line made God’s chosen people.
      • Documented and traceable, accounting back to Adam and Abraham.
      • Cff: Matthew’s line and Luke’s line.


  • Levirate marriage significant for Jews to ensure family name and progeny.
    • Complex scenarios absorbed by levirate marriages.
    • e. Boaz, Kinsman redeemer of Naomi and Ruth.

[Question] If marriages and pro-creation God’s means to join God’s family, then what about the outsider or single?

[Appl] Same questions singles have inside church community! How do I fit in and contribute? God’s Word answers this by what singleness symbolizes!

ESV  Isaiah 56:1 Thus says the LORD: "Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed.

2 Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."

3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, "The LORD will surely separate me from his people"; and let not the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree."

4 For thus says the LORD: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant,

5 I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. (Isa 56:1-5 ESV)  

  • The point is that faith supersedes ethnicity and physical pro-creation.
  • These picture children of the Gospel.

ESV  Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isa 53:5 ESV)

ESV  Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (Isa 53:10 ESV)

ESV  Isaiah 54:1 "Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married," says the LORD. (Isa 54:1 ESV)

ESV  Isaiah 56:5 I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. (Isa 56:5 ESV)


[Question] “What does the New Testament say about this?”

ESV  John 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Joh 3:3 ESV)


ESV  Galatians 3:6-8 just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"?  

7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." (Gal 3:6-8 ESV)


ESV  Galatians 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Gal 3:26 ESV)


ESV  1 Peter 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (1Pe 1:3-4 ESV)


  • Entrance into X’s kingdom is always by grace through faith.
  • By regeneration by the Spirit.


[TRANS] Paul applies this specifically to singleness in 1 Cor. 7.


ESV  1 Corinthians 7:7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. (1Co 7:7 ESV)


ESV  1 Corinthians 7:8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. (1Co 7:8 ESV)


ESV  1 Corinthians 7:32-35 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.

33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife,

34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.

35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. (1Co 7:32-35 ESV)



Conclusion: This gift is God’s preferred exception, propping up heart change that makes for someone’s mission on earth.

[KEY] Jesus’ final phrase on this: “Let the one who is able to receive this receive it” (v. 12).

  • Singleness is a Christian’s ultimate goal, in term of heaven.
    • One day we worship the Lord corporately, all as singles.
    • Like the angels in heaven (cf. Matthew 22).

ESV  Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (Mat 22:30 ESV)

  • This is God’s plan for all believers, whether you are married on the way to heaven or not.
  • Jesus will show himself sufficient.
    • Marriage and singleness can become idols.
      • This is difficult to “receive” (v. 12).


  • Resting in and maximizing the circumstance God has given you is difficult.

ESV  1 Corinthians 7:17-24 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.

18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision.

19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.

20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.

21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)

22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.

23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.

24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. (1Co 7:17-24 ESV)

  • If you’re single “Don’t waste your singleness!” [John Piper].


  • And for the married: “Don’t waste your singles, in the Body.”


Dietrich Bonhoeffer was engaged to be married to Maria von Wedemeyer when he was hanged at dawn on April 9, 1945, at the age of thirty-nine. As a young pastor in Germany, he had been opposed to Nazism and was finally arrested on April 5, 1943, for his involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler. [Piper, This Momentary Marriage].

So he never married. He skipped the shadow on the way to the Reality. Some are called to one kind of display of the worth of X, some to another. Martyrdom, not marriage, was his calling.

Life Together: The physical presence of other Xians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer…The prisoner, the sick person, the Xian in exile sees in the companionship of a fellow Xian a physical sign of the gracious presence of the triune God. Visitor and visited in loneliness recognize in each other the X who is present in the body; they receive and meet each other as one meets the Lord, in reverence, humility, and joy…It is true, of course that what is an unspeakable gift of God for the lonely individual is easily disregarded and trodden under foot by those who have the gift every day. [Bonhoeffer, Life Together]



  • Lord’s unique gift, devoted to the Kingdom.


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