10 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them.
2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,[a] 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her,12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
I am going to bullet point this one:
1. The Bible tells us the good and bad – especially regarding the behavior of human beings. It is clear that God was greatly displeased when David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then topped it off by having her husband murdered. Even though David is a Biblical hero, this information was not omitted from Scripture. The fact that Hebrew men took multiple wives does not mean it was God’s intention. The fact that Moses allowed them to divorce does not mean it was God’s plan.
2. Jesus definitively states God’s plan for marriage – one man and one woman joined together in a sacred union. And it is not just a partnership, but the two shall become one flesh. Yes, there is a sexual aspect of the two becoming one, but it is more than just a physical union. The man and woman’s hearts and minds are to be committed to a oneness throughout their life together. How anyone can invent some other concept of marriage and suggest that Jesus would bless or even agree to it is beyond heretical. If Jesus was going to announce some sexual revolution this would have been the perfect time and place. Jesus’ teaching did not stray one iota from the picture of marriage painted in the Book of Genesis.
3. Jesus gives the basis He considers valid for divorce – adultery. The wife of an adulterous husband can divorce him and vice versa. The notion that any sin can be forgiven is habitually misapplied to divorce. Simply getting a divorce because you have decided you would like to try something new will not be blessed by God. It is not a matter of sin and forgiveness, but of commitment to sacred vows. In other words, divorce is not the unforgivable sin, but it entails way more than telling God that you are sorry the marriage didn’t work out. The point being that the people Jesus was speaking to took vows very, very…very seriously. We should take our wedding vows serious enough to avoid divorce and certainly not practice divorce for convenience.