Marriage and Divorce
A. The danger of interpreting the Bible in your own favor (1-5, Deuteronomy 24:1-4)
1 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them. 2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied. 4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” 5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.
If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, 2 and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, 3 and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, 4 then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)
B. The original meaning of marriage (6-8)
6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
1. Not a hierarchical relationship
(Genesis 1:27) So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
2. In order to be united as one and help each other
(Genesis 2:18) The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
C. About divorce
1. Does Jesus mean not to allow any divorce? (9)
9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
2. We commit the sin of exploiting the other instead of helping each other (10-12)
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
D. About singleness (Matthew 19:11-12)
Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others―and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” (Matthew 19:11-12)
Our thoughts about marriage and divorce are strongly influenced by the values of our time and culture. We need to acknowledge that none of us is free from these influences and that we all have prejudice, in order to read the Bible carefully. The marriage that God first intended is for us, both men and women equally, to help each other as we are all imperfect. This relationship is hard to reach, unless each of us acknowledges his/her limitations and seek God’s help.
1) What does Jesus mean by the verse 9?
2) What do you think about homosexuality?