Sunday, May 18, 2008

Matthew 19:3-9


3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus , testing Him and asking, ``Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?'' 4 And He answered and said, ``Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 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'? 6 ``So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.'' 7 They said* to Him, ``Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?'' 8 He said* to them, ``Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 ``And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality and marries another woman commits adultery .''

There were two Jewish theological positions on divorce-the strict view of the school of Shammai or the lax view of Hillel. They were trying to test Jesus to get something on which to attack Him. Jesus takes them all the way back to creation, before the Mosaic Law. They then bring up the fact that Moses permitted divorce and Jesus pointed out that Moses allowed divorce, but that wasn't the ideal way it was all intended. Then Jesus makes the statement that gives maybe the only legitimate "loophole" given as a reason for divorce.

On this matter of divorce I am convinced that there are two primary teachings:

1-GOD HATES DIVORCE. It destroys His image that He created in the bonding of male and female. It destroys individuals in the process. It's like glueing two pieces of card-board together, then tearing them apart. It is not a clean break.

2-GOD'S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. No matter what you have done or choose to do, God's grace is able to cover it. This is not to be used as a "Get out of jail free" card, but this is God's response to our brokenness-whether we caused it or whether it was leveled upon us.