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Summary: A sermon dealing with the attempt of the pharisees to trap Jesus by asking his opinion about divorce.

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Is it okay for a Christian to divorce? Is divorce a sin? If I get divorced, can I remarry?

Just what are the rules about divorce?

That’s what they asked Jesus.

If this was a timely topic in Jesus’ day, it is at least as much now.

I went to Google and typed in “divorce laws.” Google found 18,300,000 sites. There was divorcenet.com, there was www.law.cornell.edu/topics/Table_Divorce.htm, there was divorcelawinfo.com, and on and on….millions of pages.

I typed in “Who can divorce?” a question more in line with what they asked Jesus. This yielded over 36,000,000 sites. Topping the list was “I want a divorce.com, followed by “can divorce have a silver lining, followed by, in third place, “Jewfaq.Com” (frequently asked questions) about whether Jewish law allows divorce, followed by, in fourth place – meaning it has the fourth most visits of all 36 million sites – is a site dealing with how an Islamic man can divorce.

Do you see a theme here?

The popular question is, “How can I get out of this marriage?”

No doubt the men who came to Jesus that day also wanted to know. If not for themselves right now, then for the future when their marriage became a burden to them.

Look how Jesus answers! He asks first for what the law says – the Torah. It allowed for divorce, but then Jesus says that law was only a consolation because of human sin.

Then he stops talking about divorce and starts talking about marriage! And for this he goes all the way back to the story of creation at the very beginning of the Bible. He quotes the second chapter of Genesis where we are told that God created a man but saw that the man was lonely, so God brought him potential helpers – all the animals God had made. But none of them was an apt companion. None was eligible to be a “partner.”

So in the very first anesthetizing in history, God puts Adam into a deep sleep and takes out a rib and makes a woman. Adam is absolutely delighted – and ever since then, men have admired the work God did in creating this female of the species. “Wow!” men say when she walks down the street.

Jesus points out that the Bible says that God put them together – and if God put them together, let no one put it asunder – rip up the marriage.

It is a little known fact that when God created Eve she was a very jealous woman. Adam would be out in the garden longer than he should, planting tomatoes, or talking to the giraffes, and he’d come home and Eve would look at her watch and ask, “Where have you been? You have a girlfriend, don’t you?” Adam would be very hurt because he loved Eve and would say, “No, honey, there is no one but you!”

And you know, Adam was right – she was literally the only woman on the face of the earth.

But Eve was very jealous. One night, after Adam had come VERY late, Eve started jabbing Adam in his sleep. The pain from her jabs woke him up and he asked, “Eve! What are you doing?” “Counting your ribs,” she said.

We need to see something here. This is not as much a passage about marriage as it is about life. It is about how we live.


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Dennis Starr

commented on Oct 17, 2006

Excellent use of the Amish tragedy to illustrate that the Law is fulfilled through love for God and our neighbor.

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