Divorce - the Answer: Part 1
August 3, 2021
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘Made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).
The wisdom of Jesus is beyond measure. Knowing the motive and intent of the Pharisees in bringing up the subject of divorce, Jesus did not answer the question with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Sometimes Jesus would respond to attacks by answering a question with a question. Sometimes He would respond by telling a parable. Sometimes He didn’t answer at all; He just walked away!
Since the Pharisees not only brought up the issue of divorce with Jesus, and used the Mosaic Law to justify their position, Jesus took the opportunity to school these intellectuals on a higher authority than the rabbis or even Moses. This was necessary because Jesus understood, and it was clearly evident, that points in Mosaic Law can be interpreted a number of ways depending on the situation, the interpreter, etc. “After all, Moses was just a man and could have misunderstood what God had said.” I’ve heard that argument even from Old Testament theologians in seminary!
The same kind of wrangling goes on today in our country with regard to the Constitution. “Well, how do we know what the founding fathers meant when they wrote . . . .”, or “What they wrote was for that time. Things have changed since then, so the Constitution has to be reinterpreted to fit the culture of today.”
Jesus did not answer the question of the Pharisees based on rabbinical interpretation. He went beyond the commentaries of the rabbis to the very Word of God itself spoken at the creation of man, woman, and marriage. Notice also that Jesus really didn’t answer the question of divorce. Instead He addressed the truth regarding marriage. His point was simple - if you don’t get God’s plan for marriage right, divorce becomes a moot point. The rejection of this very point is what’s destroying the family, the culture, and the country today.
By quoting Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, Jesus put the issue squarely where it belonged. In essence He said to these guys, “Hey, your fight is not with me, it’s with God Himself! Why bother Me with this issue. Since you are Doctors of the Law, go back and re-read what God’s Law really says!”
“Father, forgive us for taking the truth of Your Word and manipulating it to say what we want it to say, interpreting it from a humanistic point of view, or disregarding it altogether. Take us back to the simplicity of Your Word. Open our understanding to the intended meaning of Your truth so that we can be set free from the godless misinterpretations and misapplications of the Bible in our schools, churches, and pulpits today. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”