Summary: A sermon on marriage from Jesus at Matthew 19:3-6
Sonja R. Ely- I was watching my 5 year old granddaughter Christy play with her dolls. At one point, she “staged” a wedding, her being the bride and her teddy bear was the groom. She picked him up and said to the “minister” presiding over the wedding, “Now you can read us our rights. Without missing a beat, Christy became the minister who said, “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be held against you, you have the right to an attorney. You may kiss the bride.” This is a cute and innocent illustration, but it helps to show us how far marriage has degenerated in our society.
Thesis: Let’s go over Matthew 19:3- 6 phrase by phrase and learn some things about the bedrock of the home, marriage
1. Some Pharisees came to him to test him- vs. 3
“Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.” Matthew 22:15, NIV.
2. “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”- vs. 3
A. This is a question that the rabbis often debated. The main crux of the matter comes from Deuteronomy 24:1: “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house...”. This is specifically talking about remarriage issues but no matter the debate was centered on this phrase: “Something displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her”- This phrase is difficult to interpret and understand. Many interpretations of this. One popular one was that the something indecent covered anything even burning dinner. This is the point of the question, “any and every reason”.
B. No matter what interpretation, in the end, every way of getting out of a marriage was acceptable. Man would write out a certificate of divorce and send the woman on her way. Many women always wore expensive jewelry so that if divorce did happen, they would be able to sell the jewelry and provide for themselves for a time. Women had little say in the matter
Many times the Rabbis taught from the Scriptures but they would teach what Rabbi so and so interpretation of the passage was. Jesus did not teach this way. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” Matthew 7:28, 29, NIV.
3. “At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female”- vs. 4
This comes from Genesis 1:27 on Day 6 of Creation, the creation of mankind. Why did he make them males and females? Tells us in next verse. “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. ” Genesis 1:28, NIV.
4. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?- vs. 5