1When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River.2Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.
3Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
4“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’5And 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.’6Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
7“Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked.
8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.9And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.”
10Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”
11“Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps.12Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
Many people really dislike this scripture, but it is what it is. It also sounds degrading to women by the way the men discuss this. We must realize that in the time of Christ, women were treated like property most of the time, and not the most valuable property. A man could divorce his wife by just handing her a piece of paper. In an instant she would be on the street, without food, money or shelter. A woman could never divorce her husband.
Jesus’ statements were revolutionary is several ways. First he shows that marriage is man’s institution for them to break at will, it is God’s. He makes marriage sacred. The Pharisees challenge this by pointing out that in Deuteronomy God allowed men to divorce their wives. Jesus then introduced the revolutionary principle that God’s permission is not necessarily God’s desire. Lastly, lets be clear that Jesus is not denigrating marriage at all. He is simply saying that someone who is not married can be fully dedicated to serving God, a principle that Paul later echos in several of his letters.
Lord, help me to see my marriage is more and more sacred every day. Thank-you for the wife you have given me. Help us be a Godly family. And Father, through Your Holy Spirit help me to live as You desire, not just as You permit. Raise me up Lord. *obbs*