Ban the ‘D’ Word – Divorce
The Pharisees were trying to corner Jesus by getting him to take sides in a controversy over interpreting Moses’ regulation about divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).
Could it be granted for a variety of reasons, or only for marital unfaithfulness? By quoting Genesis 1:17 and 2:24, Jesus pushed the discussion back to the prior question of God’s design for marriage.
Interact with God’s Word: Matthew 19:3-9
- Why, according to Jesus (in v. 6), does dividing a husband and wife run counter to God’s plan?
- Why (v. 6) are human attempts to justify separation usurping God’s authority?
- To what human failings does God attribute the breakup of a marriage (v. 8)?
- How does Jesus describe God’s allowance of Moses’ provision for divorce (v. 8)?
- How should current rationales for divorce, such as “incompatibility,” be viewed in light of Jesus’ statement in verse 9?
Spend Time in Prayer: Ask God for the unshakeable resolve and sacrificial love required to keep your marriage intact for a lifetime.
3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for any reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ 5 And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’
6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together.” 7 “Then why did Moses say a man could merely write an official letter of divorce and send her away?” they asked.
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended. 9 And I tell you this, a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.”