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Summary: Jesus was asked of the Pharisees regarding divorce, not necessarily desiring to learn from Him. Unfortunately most approach the issue this way today. Their minds are already made up. We need a biblical perspective.

The Debate about Divorce (Part 2)

Mark 10: 1-12

Today I hope to conclude the passage we began to consider in our last study. I am well aware that this is a very sensitive and somewhat contentious issue. Likely everyone here has been affected by divorce in some way or another. I too know the hurt and devastation it brings to the family and home. I was raised in a broken home due to my parents divorcing.

Jesus was approached and questioned by the Pharisees regarding this issue. They had no desire to learn of Him, and clearly were not interested in what He had to say regarding the matter. Their minds were already made up, and they merely sought to discredit Jesus. Unfortunately this is how most approach the issue today as well. Modern society has adopted a standard regarding divorce, and most approach the issue influenced more by modern standards than by biblical truth.

Again, it is not my intention to cause additional hurt to anyone affected by divorce, but we do need to consider this issue from a biblical perspective. God never intended for marriages to dissolve through divorce; He ordained they should endure for life. As we continue to examine the truths revealed by Jesus, I want to conclude our study of: The Debate about Divorce. Let’s take a moment for a quick review of our previous study.

I. A Tempting Word (2)

A. Their Question

B. Their Motivation

II. A Trusted Word (3-9)

A. The Response (3-4)

B. The Reality (5-6)

C. The Responsibility (7-8)

D. The Requirement (9)

III. A Timeless Word (10-12) – As Jesus and the disciples departed from the people, entering a house, the disciples questioned Him further. Jesus responded with a timeless word for all generations. Consider:

A. The Affirmation (11-12) – And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. [12] And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. Although they were in a private setting, Jesus affirmed what He had taught publicly. He spoke of:

1. The Separation Involved – Jesus spoke of a man or woman putting away their spouse. This bears a strong implication. It literally means “to let go; dismiss; disown; or cast off.” It has the idea of cutting all ties. We are all aware that divorce causes separation, but that puts it in perspective. It reveals the harshness and devastation of the separation. Keep in mind it was never God’s will for this to happen, Vv.8-9.

I have experienced the separation caused by divorce, being raised in a broken home. I have lived with the hurt and devastation of that separation. I know the pain of a home that was divided due to divorce. Often a couple feels divorce is the only option, but they never stop to consider the difficulty of the separation it always brings.

Sadly it isn’t limited to physical separation. There is always an emotional and psychological separation as well. The scars and hurt of divorce heal very slowly, if at all.

2. The Sin Involved (11-12) – Jesus spoke of the adultery associated with divorce. Sin is always at the heart of divorce. I say that with a heart of love, but it is true nonetheless. You may have suffered a failed relationship that ended in divorce, by no fault of your own, but there was sin on the part of your spouse. You may have been faithful to the marriage relationship, seeking to work through the difficulty, but your spouse was engaged in an extramarital affair. Sin was at the heart of that affair. God intended for marriage to be for life and yet many times sin enters the relationship and it is terminated. I can think of no circumstance where sin is not directly involved with divorce.

3. The Succession Involved (11-12) – The devastation of divorce does not end once the papers are final. It has lasting effects that often affect other people. I will deal with the exception in a moment, but apart from that, those who marry divorced persons are engaging in adultery as well. Sin has consequences that are often far reaching. Divorce is no different; it always affects more than the two people that decided to get a divorce.

This is a different aspect, but it is related to the succession of divorce: often children who grow up in broken homes are more likely to view marriage as temporary because of the example that was set before them. Typically one of two things happens: they will either follow in the footsteps of their parents, or they will determine to take a different path. Clearly the divorce rate in our society reflects the casual approach that many have regarding marriage. I always counsel couples to make a commitment that they will not resort to divorce as a solution to their problems.

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