Summary: We look for loopholes like the Pharisees did, but Jesus' words are striking! He wasn't interested in getting us out of marriage, but keeping us in them!

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Passage: Matthew 19:1-12

Intro: Every person comes to this passage from a little different place.

1. divorced, not-divorced, considering marriage, friends or family who are divorced.

2. I did a lengthy project on this passage 30 years ago, and I did what most people do.

3. focused on verse 9 and the phrase “except for marital unfaithfulness.”

4. for the divorced, look to see if I am “OK”

5. for some unhappy married, “what are my options?”

6. in the process, we miss something wonderful and beautiful in this passage.

7. the Lord of the Universe, the designer of marriage, is telling us how to divorce- proof our marriages.

8. so divorced or not, whatever your state, here is powerful instruction from Jesus Himself on marriage, and how to make yours successful.

I. Don’t Look for Loopholes.

1. this passage is separated from the previous chapters by several clues.

2. v1 “when he finished saying…”

3. so geographically, chronologically, philosophically, we are moving on

4. but we can never forget what He said in 18 about grace, forgiveness, redemption.

5. but a while new issue presents itself when these feisty Pharisees interrupt his healing with a question.

6. “tested” same word as “tempt”, so it often has a negative purpose attached.

7. v3, “is it lawful…”= “is it permitted, acceptable?” To do what?

8. divorce for any reason.. 2 schools of thought in those days.

9. one much more liberal, “burn breakfast”

10. another more strict, often limited to serious sexual sin.

11. but is Jesus’ response that we should examine. He refuses to be drawn into the discussion at this simple level.

12. instead, He goes to the heart of the issue. What is marriage?

13. goes back to the beginning, to find the principles that form this greatest of all relationships.

14. but b4 we look at those, let’s learn something from Jesus’ whole approach. Go to the source!!

Il) when my dad invented a temperature control system…

15. Jesus didn’t want to talk about loopholes, how to get out of marriage!!

16. if we look for “a way out,” we have given up on God’s purpose.

17. later, we’ll see Pharisees dragged the conversation back to loopholes, but Jesus original response is very instructive.

18. looking for loopholes is a bad sign. Don’t do it

Il) agree together, “divorce is not an option.

19. your other marriage may be over, but this one can go the distance.

II. Celebrate the Miracle of Oneness.

1. what Jesus says in vv4-5 is incredible.

2. goes back to Creation, and the first “not good” that was stated in Scripture.

PP Genesis 2:18

3. means “complementary”,

opposite to him, like two halves of a whole.

4. now v5 is very interesting, when Jesus says, “for this reason a man will leave…” What reason?

5. that in making complementary male and female human beings, God created a potential miracle!

6. a time would come in their lives when they would leave father and mother and become one flesh, one person, in the plan and purpose of God

Il) and at the wedding, everyone would cry for joy!!

7. Jesus makes it extremely clear in v6

8. no longer two, but one, joined together my God.

9. this is the original design, and it is miraculous and powerful

10. other relationships don’t hold a candle, as powerful as they are.

Il) two ladies here who are PG, another in the hospital with twins!! They are sharing space, but on their birthday, they will separate from their moms and always be separate

Il) but on our wedding day, we become one in the eyes and purposes of God. Really!! (Blow out the individual candles when you light the unity candle)

11. this is a unique relationship between a man and a woman that is intended to be for life.

12. two men, two women? No oneness

PP) two drivers-side halves of a car do not make a car.

13. now because these two parts of the oneness are unique, there are some challenges to oneness.

14. like every other part of God’s plan that was ruined by sin, what was designed to be great is spoiled by sin. We will deal with that.

15. but for now, recognize that the differences between men and women were part of God’s plan, and are required for this miracle of oneness to take place.

16. appreciate what God is doing, how God made your mate!!

Il) twinkle in Jan’s eye “I live with a man!!”

17. celebrate it! Honor it! Preserve it!

III. Reject Threats to Oneness

1. the Pharisees didn’t give up on trying to find loopholes v7

2. “yeah, but Moses told us we could divorce our wives.” (women could not initiate divorce in OT)

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