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!
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