Monday, February 21, 2022
19 1-2 When Jesus had completed these teachings, he left Galilee and crossed the region of Judea on the other side of the Jordan. Great crowds followed him there, and he healed them.
3 One day the Pharisees were badgering him: “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”
4-6 He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”
-Matthew 19:1-6 The Message
19 Verse 1: When Jesus had finished these words, He left Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan;
Verse 2: and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
Verse 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?”
Verse 4: And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
Verse 5: And said, ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
Verse 6: So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no person is to separate.”
Verses 3-12 study: John was put in prison and eventually killed for his opinions on marriage and divorce, so the Pharisees had it in mind to hopefully trap Jesus. They were trying to trick Jesus by having him choose sides in theological controversy. Two schools of thought represented two opposing views of divorce. One group supported divorce for just about any reason. Others believed that divorce could be allowed only for extra-marital affairs. The conflict hinged on how each group interpreted Deuteronomy 24:1-4.
Deuteronomy 24:1-4: Law of Divorce
24 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens, if she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, that he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her away from his house, 2 and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, 3 and the latter husband turns against her, writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand, and sends her away from his house, or if the latter husband who took her to be his wife dies,4 then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.
In his answer, Jesus focused on marriage than divorce. He pointed out that God intended marriage to be permanent and gave four reasons for the importance of marriage. See 19:4-6 again.