Unlimited: Teaching on Divorce
Jan 29, 2021 1885
When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this.He answered, “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” (Mark 10:10–12, NIV).
Jesus answered the Pharisees’ question about marriage. He said that Moses’ regulations allowing divorce was not God’s original intention. Jesus said that, “What God has joined together, let no one separate.”
In apparently not allowing divorce, Jesus had thrown his disciples into quite some confusion.
Didn’t Jesus allow any exceptions in which divorce was permitted?
Throughout this whole discussion on marriage and divorce, it’s interesting to see how Jesus was especially concerned to protect and uplift women. In a culture that sought easy divorce, it was the women and the children who were the prime victims. They were the ones whom Jesus was protecting.
The culture in which Jesus lived was strongly patriarchal and hierarchical. Women depended almost entirely on their marriage relationship for support, including social identity, and even their physical survival.
In fact, I think it’s very important that Jesus treats men and woman as equals in the marriage relationship when he suggests that either might divorce the other. This didn’t reflect the reality of that culture at all. There was actually no way for a woman to divorce her husband legally. So, what Jesus said here would certainly have raised a few eyebrows.
Jesus said that although he has stated publicly that marriage was intended by God to be forever, because of the work of sin in the world, there are exceptions in the most serious of circumstances. God never intended women, or men for that matter, to stay in abusive relationships.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: What would you say to a friend who confided in you and asked you whether to stay in a marriage or leave? In his answer to the Pharisees, Jesus goes back to the principles found in the book of Genesis. What principles from the Word of God would you use to help you answer?