Jesus Teaches On Divorce
Scripture reading for October 18th: Mark 8-10
“Some Pharisees came and tested Him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” “What did Moses command you?” he replied. They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. (Mark 10:2-6) Questions about divorce were prevalent in Jesus’ day as they are in ours. The religious leaders came to test Jesus in His views. In that day, they believed that if a woman was not pleasing to the man, he could just write her off. They took the writing of Moses and justified their legal ruling. (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)
Jesus told them that it was because of hard hearts that Moses allowed this to take place. He took them back to God’s original plan from Genesis, also a writing of Moses. God designed marriage. It was to be with one man and one woman, male and female. The man was to leave his mother and father and be united with his wife and the two would become one flesh. God joined them together in such a way that they should not be separated! (Mark 10:6-9)
The disciples later questioned Jesus about this teaching. He answered them with further insight about divorce. “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:11-12) Jesus tied divorce to the breaking of one of the ten commandments, which is a sin against God. That particular sin was punishable by death under the old covenant. God was trying to help mankind understand the need to stick with His plan for marriage and raising godly children. (Malachi 2:15) Divorce was destructive to what He had joined together, the one flesh relationship. Adultery defiled the relationship and caused violence between those who once loved and were intimate. (Malachi 2:16) God hates divorce for what it does to the family and children!
In our present time, divorce is common, even in the church. It is not the unforgivable sin, but we take it much too lightly. It is having a devastating effect on the fabric of the church and nation. We must humble ourselves and pray for obedience to our loving Jesus. “Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10:9)