Summary: What does GOd’s word say about this difficult subject? How can the church be there to help people?
A troubled man came to his lawyer to seek a divorce. The lawyer asked, "Do you have any Grounds? The man replied, "About three acres. "The lawyer tried again, "No, I mean do you have a Grudge? The man said, "No, but we have a carport. "The lawyer made one last effort: "Are you really sure you want a divorce?" The client replied, "No, I don’t but my wife does. She says we can’t communicate!"
As we continue on with or look at the Sermon on the Mount, today we are going to look at a subject that once again is not a very comfortable one to talk about. This subject is one that elicits strong emotions in many people because of the way that they have been affected by it.
Today’s subject was so important that Jesus included it in the wonderful Sermon on the Mount. It is the third of six areas in which our righteousness is to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees.
Today we are going to look at hat Jesus says about divorce and marriage in general.
According to a 2001 study by George Barna of the Barna research institute; Overall, 33% of all born again individuals who have been married have gone through a divorce, which is statistically identical to the 34% incidence among non-born again adults.
There are millions of people who affected by divorce in our society today. There can be very devastating effects on children who are touched by divorce.
According to Colorado Representative Dave Schultheis who is the author of the 2002 Children of Divorce Protection Act- A stable, two-parent home has no equal in terms of its benefits to children. Over 80 percent of inmates in Colorado prisons come from homes where one or both parents were not around. Risks of teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, incarceration, poor performance in school and many other indicators are multiples greater for children of divorce than for children of two-parent homes. The data are undeniable. Divorce has a life-long effect on children that, for many, is never overcome.
What does God have to say about divorce? There are a variety of opinions offered as to how God feels from some saying it is an unpardonable sin to “God does not care.” Understanding what God says about the subject can help us to deal with the ever important question “How is the church to deal with it and how can we help people who have and are going through it?”
It is my hope today that if you have been through this that you will gain comfort in knowing what God says about the subject. For the young people here today, I hope that this message may help you to see the seriousness of marriage and that you will choose your future spouse very carefully. Lastly, I hope that we all realize that no matter what our situation that God loves you and that if you fall on the side that is contrary to God’s will, that there is forgiveness in Jesus.
Today in order for us to understand what Jesus is going to say about divorce, we will look at the original intent for marriage, the state of marriage during the days of Moses, the state of marriage during the time of Jesus and then God’s true intent for marriage.
We will look at a variety of passages today but I want to start with the text for today in Matthew 5:31-32.
Why would Jesus put this passage in this sermon? What was it that lead Him to add this part of the sermon?
Jesus in the previous verses was saying that it was sinful to look too long at a woman and that if we looked at a woman who was not our spouse with lust in our heart, that we had committed adultery with her in our hearts.
The lawyers and Pharisees who were listening to this may have rationalized that the Law allows for divorce and therefore a married man can obtain the woman that he is lusting after as his wife if he desires. (Lightfoot commentary in Matthew)
I. THE ORIGINAL INTENT FOR MARRIAGE GENESIS 2:20-24
Verse 20. God desired that man have a suitable helper so he took a rib from \Adam and made Eve for him! Adam was excited with this new mate! Our English does not do the passage justice. Adam was one happy man!
Verse 24. In this verse God said that because of this a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and that the two shall become one flesh.
We see a pattern of LEAVE-CLEAVE-BECOME.
God shows us that we are to make a new life together and during the course of that effort, we become one inseparable flesh. God intended marriage to be a beautiful thing that makes each persons life better.