Wednesday, May 16, 2007



Matthew 5:31-32

31 "It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

NOTE they were used to "Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce." Divorce was allowed by Moses in the Law as an accommodation to the failure of a marriage. Divorce was permitted for about as many reasons as we have in our society today. The reasons were as loose as they are today-even for being obnoxious!

The way they thought about divorce was that it was important to do your paperwork, so that it was all lawful. So, they divorced for the most minute reasons. As long as they did there paperwork, then divorce was allowed. Jesus is saying that marriage is more serious than this. In Luke He says that the problem is divorcing one woman in order to marry another. Divorce is not a frivolous transaction, but demands your full attention. It's a very serious and destructive thing, especially handled in this way.

Two observations here: FIRST-When you divorce your mate, you force him/her into an adulterous situation. When a person's 1 + 1 = 1 relationship is broken, then the adulterous play is set in motion.

SECOND-Your marriage is a serious commitment and therefore divorce is a serious offence. God hates divorce. He hates it, because it brings destruction and distortion to the individuals involved and to His image of one flesh.

Remember, the issues of divorce and making vows are being used as illustrations by Jesus of how the Jewish leadership has typically had an improper emphasis of the Law. This goes along with other teachings of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law regarding purifications, keeping the Sabbath and tithing. With respect to purifications, they were like whitened tombstones-looking good on the outside, but absolutely dead on the inside. With respect to keeping the Sabbath, they taught that the Sabbath was to be kept so legalistically that even showing compassion and healing was forbidden until after sunset. With respect to tithing, they practiced tithing the very smallest of things and as Jesus said, "They swallowed camels." They tithed the little things in order for the show of it all, yet ignored the weightier things.

All of this adds up to being technically righteous, but practically quite unrighteous. I'm reminded of the statement, "Being so heavenly minded that you're no earthly good." It's all about the show.

All religious expressions run the risk of being all about the show and little reality. I recently heard, "Showing off is the fool's idea of glory." Or, the Texans say it this way: BIG HAT-NO CATTLE. In the Kingdom of God your lifestyle is all about a life of substance, reality and authenticity. And, this is exactly what everyone is seeking-EVEN YOU!