Jesus on Marriage


Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan.Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.

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.“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

Mark 10:1-12

As most of you know, I have been moving systematically through the Gospel of Mark, so I did not just turn to this passage to comment on the current affairs in our nation. That being said, let’s see what Jesus says about the matter.

First, Jesus does something very bold (He had a habit of doing bold things) – He finds fault with Moses handling of the matter of divorce. Jesus seems to be referencing the fact that Moses made an allowance because men were creating problems by abandoning their wives, but Jesus makes clear it was never God’s intention for divorce to be common among His people.

Jesus then clearly states His Father’s design for marriage: one man and one woman becoming one flesh for a lifetime.

According to Jesus, the only legitimate ground for divorce is adultery. We must also understand that other commands address physical abuse and cruelty and Jesus would not expect a woman or man to remain in an abusive relationship. Jesus was specifically speaking to divorce for convenience which had become so common in Israel.

The reason that Jesus did not address the possibility of marriage between one man and another or one woman and another was because, to a Jew, the sinfulness of that situation would be as clear as the sins of murder or adultery. Jesus did not need to point that out, any more than He needed to clarify the evil in stealing your neighbor’s possessions.

There is simply no way to read the Bible and arrive at any other conclusion regarding God’s design for marriage.


June 29th, 2015 by

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