Were the Disciples Married?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Leviticus 25; Mark 1:23-45


29 After leaving the synagogue, Jesus, James, and John went home with Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed, sick with a fever, and they told Jesus about her at once. 31 He went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them (Mark 1:29-31, Common English Bible).

I have just spent the weekend in Boerne, Texas, where my mother and some of our other family members live. We were there for my niece’s wedding. I had the privilege of officiating the ceremony. So, maybe I have wedding on the brain right now. It was a great time and got to catch up with some family I haven’t seen in quite a long time.

When I sat down last night and started reading the lessons for today, deciding which lesson I would use for writing today’s post, my mind went back some 26-28 years ago to a conversation that took place at a church Bible study.

I was serving as pastor at Elwood United Methodist Church outside of Madisonville and Midway Texas. That congregation had a long-running Wednesday night Bible study. I forget how long the study and run or how many times they had worked their way through the Bible. It had been several times. Each week we would read two chapters a paragraph or so at a time, discussing what we had read as we moved through the text.

One night, as part of our discussion, Bill asked a simple question. He was looking at me for an answer but would gladly have taken it from anyone in the room. He asked, “Were the disciples married?”

I told him that I knew some of the disciples were young and may not have married as yet. But, others, like Matthew, were older and perhaps were married. I didn’t really know, I told him, I didn’t think it was something anyone would probably know, a fact lost to history.

We left Bible study that night and I thought it was the end of the subject. How could anyone really know the answer?

The next Wednesday came around and we were all back in Bible Study. We had our opening prayer and then Roscoe said, “Before we begin our lesson for the night in earnest I would like to reopen a topic we discussed last week.” I thought to myself, what were we talking about that he would like to open again?

Roscoe then said, “Turn in your Bibles to Mark 1:29-31.” I quickly read the Scripture in question. When I finished, I still had no idea what we were looking at or why. Back in those days, I didn’t know the Bible as well as I do today but I am still not sure I would have picked up on what Roscoe was talking about. When everyone had a chance to finish reading he said, “Last week we asked if the disciples were married. No one knew the answer. The answer is right here.  “Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed, sick with a fever, and they told Jesus about her at once.”

As Roscoe looked around the room, he must have thought his fellow classmates were all pretty dense. Not one of us still picked up on what Roscoe was trying to say. Roscoe, then a bit exasperated said, “If Simon had a mother-in-law he would also have a wife. If, then, he had a wife, the disciples were obviously allowed to be married.”

Obviously, that idea and logic, while sound, was not something I would have picked up. I am not even sure that with a sounder Biblical education by now, that I would have picked up on it today.

That, and today’s lesson, which always these days, reminds me of that conversation. It also reminds me, don’t shut the door on what the Bible has to say. Most anytime we read Scripture, we miss some things. Hopefully, we don’t let the search of Scriptures deviate us from trying to learn and discover new things in the Scriptures.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved



Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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