Unlimited: God’s Intention for Marriage
Jan 28, 2021 1397
Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again, crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
“What did Moses command you?” he replied.
They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “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 flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:1–9, NIV).
Human relationships have always been one of the most difficult things for people to navigate. And it was like that in in Jesus’ time as well.
The Pharisees had a question for Jesus about marriage and divorce. To understand what Jesus said here and in subsequent verses, you have to first understand the context.
First, notice that this took place in “the region of Judaea and across the Jordan.” This is the region in which not too long ago, John the Baptist had been arrested and killed over what he had to say about marriage, adultery, and divorce. And Herod’s adulterous marriage was still a hot topic of conversation.
Next, that’s why the Pharisees asked him this question to “test” him. In other words, they weren’t interested in the answer. What they wanted to do was to trick Jesus – to corner him – into saying something that would get him into trouble.
Now, the first thing that Jesus said is that originally, in the perfect world he created, God intended marriage to be permanent.
The second thing that Jesus said is that he recognises that we don’t live in a perfect world any more, and that’s why divorce was permitted by Moses.
Jesus isn’t saying that an abused wife should continue to live with her husband. Not at all. He recognises that divorce may be necessary in serious circumstances.
However, like John the Baptist, Jesus doesn’t recognise the validity of divorce on frivolous grounds, like what King Herod did in divorcing his first wife because he had simply fallen in love with someone else.
What Jesus said here is that he is all about building relationships, and not about tearing them apart.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: What about you? Think carefully about your own relationships and interactions with others. Do your words and actions result in building or in tearing down?