Heis Sarx

Matthew 19:3-6
“Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.””

One flesh is “heis sarx” in the Greek. (Mark’s Gospel also gives the same account, Mark 10:2-9.) It’s the unique term which Jesus uses to describe a monogamous, husband/wife dynamic… a marriage.

Unfortunately, the world is ever-challenging the meaning of the term. I’m now at the point where I believe that the world can have the word “marriage.” It’s no longer a hill worth dying on. The conclusion I’ve come to regarding the term “marriage” (in a generic sense), is that it’s no longer any different than the all-encompassing term “civil union”; at least in public circles anyway. Within our (Christian) circles, though, the term “marriage” will always mean heis sarx. Nothing can or ever will change that. It’s how Jesus defines it. But in the world, let’s be honest, the word “marriage” is now just another inclusionary term. However, we need to be better equipped as to how to handle the world’s attempted watering down or dilution of one flesh.

The problem for the world is, in attempting legitimize it’s artificial versions of one flesh, the world has cornered itself to where the use of the word “marriage” now needs to be qualified in order to understand which version is in view when the term is used. For example, if someone now claims to be “married”, what exactly do they mean? The different relational dynamics would either be a “Christian” marriage, or an infinite amount of ____________ marriage possibilities. The thing which needs to be made clear is that whatever “marriage” the world invents, nothing is synonymous with what Jesus describes as “one flesh” (Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5-6, Mark 10:8).

From now on, if faced with this worldly challenge, I will just make this point to the one making the challenge:

“You can label your version whatever you want, it doesn’t matter. Regardless of what you decide to call it, or force everyone to call it, it will never be what Jesus calls one flesh.”

Here’s a simple way to think of it:

All “heis sarx’s” are marriages,
but not all marriages are heis sarx.

The world can change legislation, or even change the meaning of words. However, such attempted measures will never legitimize their artificial, relational dynamics, in comparison to what Jesus labels as “heis sarx” (one flesh).

I’ll leave you with these sobering words from Paul:

1 Corinthians 6:15-20
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

Godspeed, to the brethren!

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