AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #31-b
- Marriage & Divorce?
“Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?
“And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED 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 no man separate.” (Matthew 19:3–6).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
So, what is the question? Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him. So, they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”
Before we get to Jesus’ answer, let’s take a quick look at the real motive.
The Greek for “testing” is “periazo”, which means to test one maliciously, craftily to put to the proof his feelings or judgments, to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin, to solicit to sin. This is the epitome of evil. Tempting Jesus, the Son of God, God Incarnate, to sin.
So, the question posed by the Pharisees was asked under guise of divorce, but, the intent was to maliciously TEST (periazo) the Son of God in order to tempt Him to sin.
This is the same word used when was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (periazo) of the devil. (Matthew 4:1) The devil tempted (periazo) Jesus as a man on three levels: Bread for the body, the Well being in the soul and the ego of the spirit of man. Jesus rejected the temptation as a testimony and a teaching. He testified to the sufficiency of God His Father.
This is Christ’s example for all Christians:
- ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”
- ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”
- ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”
The Pharisees and the devil were consorts in many ways. In this case, they were complicit in an ultimate evil, that is, the temptation of the Son of God to sin.
Now, just for you information, here is a quick review of the Jewish views on divorce:
The rabbis of the Talmud considered marriage a holy contract, and the dissolution of marriage an unholy act. They quote the prophet Malachi, “. . .the Lord has been witness between you and your wife of your youth against whom you have dealt treachorously, though she is your companion, the wife of your covenant” (2:14). Jewish Oral Law added in Sanhedrin (22a), “Even [G-d] shares tears when anyone divorces his wife.” https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/divorce-in-judaism
Aaron Moss, in ‘The Jewish View of Divorce’ says, “When a couple gets married in a Jewish wedding ceremony, their souls become one. It is like a spiritual operation that takes separate beings and fuses them into a new whole. The Jewish divorce ceremony is the reverse of this. It is a spiritual amputation, severing one part of the united soul from the other, creating two separate beings. Divorce, like an amputation, is a tragedy, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do. Our attitude to divorce parallels our attitude to the amputation of a limb in several ways… https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/387647/jewish/Jewish-View-of-Divorce.htm
But, what is God’s view on divorce?
Matthew 19:4 “And He (Jesus) answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?” 8He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
How about you? What is your view of divorce?
Have your ever asked the question, “Is divorce OK”? Are you thinking about getting a divorce? Are you are tempting the Son of God with these intentions?
Divorce is a complicated and serious matter. It will affect you and those around you on all levels:
- You body is affected,
- your soul and mind are affected and
- your spirit is injured.
Divorce is sin in the eyes of God. And, sin is to miss the mark of God’s plan of a purposeful, meaningful life and life with peace (Romans 8:6).
Life can be tough enough without causing deliberate damage to yourself and to others. Finding the way to a life full of purpose and peace be difficult. So, call on God and let Him light your path and follow Him in all your ways.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Now, it is your turn:
HOW MUST YOU DO IT?
HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: Have you been divorced? I was divorced before becoming a Christian. I know the pain and the regret. But, remember that God is merciful and quick to forgive those who have been divorced and turn away from sin and ask Him for forgiveness.
I did that and thankfully, I was remarried to the same woman, right after we both came to Christ. We have been married 53 years, now.
A woman once asked my wife “How have you managed to stay (re)married for all these years?” My wife responded with, “Just never get a divorce!”
It sounds simple, but it is not. It take commitment, some hard work and sacrifice. And, it is worth it.