46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.
Jesus came into the region of Perea which is beyond the Jordan River.
He was TESTED concerning His beliefs about marriage and divorce.
We are all being tested about marriage and divorce.
There is story in Matthew 14 that serves as a background here. John the Baptist did his ministry in this area called Perea – beyond Jordan. At this time the entire area of Israel was ruled by a tetrarchy from Rome: Archelaus over in the west, Phillip up north and Herod Antipas in the east. Here’s what had happened. Herod Antipas took Herodias, the wife of his brother Phillip. John the Baptist stood up and said, “That’s wrong!” As a result, this ended up getting John the Baptist killed. They beheaded him. Ultimately it was because of his stand on marriage.
The Pharisees knew this. Jesus was preaching in the very same territory that John the Baptist was martyred over his stand about divorce and remarriage. So, the Pharisees TESTED Jesus.
I’m sure they hoped Jesus would in some way end up like John the Baptist.
Testimony: Terry and Debra Howard