Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Divorce in the 1st Century, part 2

The Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce with the malicious intent of tripping him up. After all, John the Baptist had spoken out against Herod Antipas’ marriage/divorce situation (he had married his brother’s wife who was also his niece) and John was thrown in prison and eventually beheaded at Herod’s command. I’m sure the Pharisees were hoping for a similar fate for Jesus.

Jesus parries their question and thrusts the truth at them with crushing finality. The Pharisees’ views are unscriptural and Jesus very quickly sets the record straight on marriage and divorce: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Wow, Jesus went clear back to the beginning to give an understanding of God’s will. Also quite clear in his explanation is the fact that God made one man and one woman to be united in this union. The two becoming one flesh is beautifully fulfilled in procreation as a sperm and an egg become one flesh.

But divorce happens and Jesus’ disciples wanted to know more (Mark 10: 10 – 12) and Jesus says: “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

How does God feel about divorce? In Malachi (the last book in the Old Testament) 2:16 it states: “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel.

So . . . um, I’m divorced and remarried, does God hate me? Nope, God loves me, so much, in fact, that He sent His son to die for every one of my sins. I am forgiven. Thank you, Jesus.