Matthew 19:3-9 (READ)
In Matthew 19 the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus by asking Him what they thought was a tough question about divorce. ¡§Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?¡¨ (vs. 3). To put it in modern-day language, ¡§Can you get a no-fault divorce for any reason you want?¡¨ In Jesus¡¦ day there were two schools of thought among the Jews regarding divorce. (1) The conservative Jews and their rabbis held that a person could not get divorced for any reason. (2) The liberal rabbis taught that a person could get divorced for almost any reason. So the Pharisees thought they could trap Jesus by making Him choose sides between these two schools of thought.
Of course, Jesus knew what the Pharisees were up to, and He wasn¡¦t about to fall into their trap. Instead, He asked, ¡§Have you not read?¡¨ (vs. 4). In other words, ¡§Don¡¦t you read your Bible?¡¨ What Jesus was saying is that the issue of marriage and divorce should not be left up to debate, discussion and personal viewpoints. See, when it comes to divorce everybody has an opinion. If you are having marital difficulties, you can always find someone who will make you feel comfortable about your position. But Jesus was not interested in popular opinion. In verses 4-5, He took the Pharisees back to God¡¦s original plan for man and woman in marriage. (Genesis 1:27; 2:24). The great tragedy about marriage and divorce is that we listen to what everybody else has to say about it, but we don¡¦t know what God has said about it. God, through His Word has spoken very clearly to us about the subject of divorce.
Simply put: God¡¦s plan for marriage always has been one man and one woman together for a lifetime.
Our goal this morning is to find Biblical answers rather than human opinions for this issue that has become so damaging in our culture today and in so doing, to answer the question:
What Does God Really Think About Divorce?
HERE ARE THREE THINGS WE KNOW FOR SURE CONCERNING GOD¡¦S VIEW OF DIVORCE.
I. GOD BELIEVES IN MARRIAGE! ¡V He should; He started it!
Matthew 19:4-5 (READ) When God performed the marriage of Adam and Eve, divorce was not part of the formula. That¡¦s why Jesus chided the Pharisees for not going back to the Scriptures to see what God said about marriage and particularly, divorce. Jesus rehearsed the biblical marriage formula and added the statement that is repeated at almost every marriage, ¡§What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.¡¨ (vs. 6).
Jesus is saying that before we can talk about divorce, we need to understand God¡¦s original will and plan for marriage. He intended it to be a one-flesh commitment for life. Now the reason this is so is that it takes a lifetime to get marriage right! So many people say, ¡§Well, I didn¡¦t know what I was getting into.¡¨ Think about it. Of course you didn¡¦t know what you were getting into! You weren¡¦t married yet! And when you did get married, you didn¡¦t just marry your mate. You married your mate¡¦s history and upbringing and family. See why it takes a lifetime to get marriage right? So before we talk about biblical reasons for divorce, we need to affirm God¡¦s original intention. Marriage is His idea, so He gets to set the rules.