Matthew 19:1-10 ESV
Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
I. GOD EMBRACES NO VIEW OF DIVORCE (1-6)
A. Divorce destroys what God puts together.
B. Divorce distorts the purposed picture of marriage.
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 “When a man takes a wife…, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce …her former husband, may not take her again to be his wife.
Genesis 2:24-25 — 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Malachi 2:16 — For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel,
Ephesians 5:31-32 — 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
II. WHY DID MOSES OK IT THEN? (7-8)
A. God never approved but only gave rules to limit the evil of divorce.
III. A POSSIBLE EXCEPTION (9)
A. 2 Interpretations
1. No exception. Jesus was talking about breaking off engagements not breaking apart marriages.
2. Most straightforward reading is adultery makes divorce allowable.
B. Adultery makes divorce permissible but not preferable.
1. Faithfulness is a learned habit.
2. Faithfulness is to be seen in all relationships, not just marriage.
3. What does your history reveal about your faithfulness?
4. Embrace that there are big things at stake in your marriage.
CLOSING THOUGHT: Faithfulness in marriage reflects the love of God for us individually. Faithfulness to the church reflects the love of God for us collectively.