Summary: A New Testament take on Divorce
Divorce and the Bible Part 3
The Book of Mark
A. A few weeks ago we started to explore what the bible has to say about marriage and divorce.
B. Our study revolves around Jesus’ teaching on the subject in Mark 10.
C. As I have said before this is a difficult subject given the degree to which it permeates our society today.
1. One in every 2 marriages ends in divorce in our country today.
2. The church is not exempt from this either because the statistics for people who go to church mirror those of other parts of society.
3. Many people if not directly impacted by a divorce in their own family are acquainted with someone who has been.
D. What I want to do today is review a little bit because we missed last week and to get those who may not have been here up to speed as to where we have been and where we are going.
E. First of all we defined marriage from God’s point of view.
1. He is the one who created marriage in the first place so we should look to Him for a definition.
a) Gen.2:24 sets the ideal.
(1) One man.
(2) One woman
(3) United for life
b) The fact that the ideal hadn’t changed from creation till the first century AD is clearly indicated by Jesus’ quote of that verse in Mark 10:6-8.
(1) Jesus’ statement in vs.6 is often overlooked but I think it is of significant importance.
(a) Marriage isn’t an institution created by men to oppress women.
(b) It isn’t something thought up by people it was instituted by God the on the 6th day of the creation of this world.
(2) Jesus didn’t refer back to the Law for the existence of marriage He went back to the very beginning.
c) We can be assured that if it hadn’t changed in the 4000 years from creation to Jesus’ proclamation that it hasn’t changed in the last 2000 years either.
d) Marriage has an historical president that was established 6000 yrs. ago.
2. This definition makes no room for man made variations.
a) Multiple wives or husbands.
b) Same sex marriage.
3. Marriage by God’s definition is between one man and one woman and it is permanent.
F. Last time we looked at the corruption of the ideal - Mark 10:2-5.
1. The bible clearly says that God hates divorce
a) However because of the sinfulness of man and the hardness of our hearts He set forth principles to regulate it.
b) Divorce is always destructive never constructive.
c) God never condones nor does He command it.
2. The issue Jesus addresses in Mark 10 was the result of a misinterpretation of the law in Deut.24:1-4.
a) The people had corrupted its interpretation to the point that a person could get a divorce for any reason as long as they had all the paperwork right.
b) This statute was given to protect the innocent party in a divorce and to emphasize that divorce was sin even if you have paperwork.
3. Jesus’ answer to them reemphasized God’s original intent and strengthened it vs.9.
G. Today I want us to look at the NT view of divorce and remarriage based upon Jesus statements here, in Matthew and Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians.
II. Jesus and Paul’ teaching on divorce and remarriage.
A. Jesus’ statement in vs.5-8 caused the disciples to question Him.
1. They had been brought up in the erroneous teaching of the day.
2. They were “use” to the process practiced by the Pharisees and others in the society around them.
3. Jesus’ words startled them Matt.19:10.
4. Jesus’ teaching on divorce was consistent with God’s original intent.
a) To divorce your wife or husband is to cause her or him to commit adultery.
b) Jesus added women to the mix.
(1) Before this time only the husband divorced his wife.
(2) Roman law allowed divorce by both parties.
(3) Jesus is making both parties responsible by His statement.
B. Paul’s teaching 1Cor.7:10-11.
1. Paul remains consistent with what Jesus taught.
2. Divorce is a recognized act but it is not condoned.
3. Paul is writing to believers here in chapter 7
4. Paul gives two options to those contemplating divorce.
a) Remain unmarried after divorce.
b) Be reconciled to your spouse.
C. The teaching of the NT is consistent and reflects or amplifies the teaching of the OT which is consistent with God’s character.
1. Divorce is a terrible thing.
2. It should never occur because God intended marriage to be a permanent illustration of His relationship to us.
3. However because we are sinners divorce is inevitable so God has laid down provisions to regulate it.