Bible Study Lesson about Marriage and Divorce – Matthew 19:1-12
Is Divorce the Answer? Although the Pharisees were only trying to trick Jesus (again) the points He makes about conflict and divorce are very clear.
This Bible study from Matthew addresses the issue of basic rights for women and the scantily of marriage.
Jesus Talks about Conflict and Divorce?
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”
And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from 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 they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.
And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” – Matthew 19:3-9 NASB
Did the Pharisees Really Care?
The Pharisees were up to their old tricks again, with the intent of trapping Jesus just as John the Baptist was imprisoned and finally put to death – partially because of this same issue.
This was just another opening to try to get Jesus involved in a controversial subject matter, marriage and divorce.
For and Against
There were two factions in the group.
One pretty much accepted divorce for any and all reasons while the other adhered to reasons of adultery or other moral reasons.
What Did Jesus Do?
As always, Jesus took their question and answered in a way they did not expect.
He quoted Scripture from Deuteronomy 24 which states the importance of marriage and that it should be permanent.
He added it was the hard hearts of the people leading Moses to make such a restrictive window for divorce.
Women’s Rights – Choices
When we dig deeper, it all makes perfect sense.
Women of Moses’ day were not self-sufficient. They many times had no way to make a living other than begging or prostitution, so the law was a civil one offered in protection for the wives.
Today, we would call the law basic civil rights but this was an extremely radical idea in Old Testament times.
A Time of Pause
When a man divorced his wife, he had to write a letter of divorce which sometimes gave him second thoughts.
Jesus concentrated more on keeping the marriage together rather than emphasizing the rules for divorce.
Till Death Do Us Part
Bottom line? God meant for marriage to be permanent – not done on a whim.
He expects couples to work hard at keeping their marriage together until all avenues of reconciliation have been explored.
Husbands and wives should try to reconcile differences before hurrying into divorce court at the first sign of trouble.
What about Cases of Marital Abuse?
Although Jesus did not go into specifics in these verses, a common problem in today’s world is abuse.
A few years ago I received a desperate letter from a woman involving abuse and the church’s stand on divorce – she was trapped.
A friend and Biblical scholar helped by writing the answer for me. Here’s what Dr. Brooks Walker says about living in an abusive marriage..
Common Sense and Biblical Solution?
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”1449035639″ locale=”US” src=”http://www.makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/61WfqCa0MhL.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”100″]If your marriage is on a rocky path right now, take a step back and find what you and your spouse can do besides separation.
Seek counseling if possible. And, above all, pray!
You might be surprised at the answer you’ll receive from God.
Love in Christ
If you would like to learn more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to Read this verse from John for information.