The Pennsylvania Dutch have a wise saying: “Good looks don’t last; good cooking do.” What do you do when the old excitement is gone? Today’s devotional explains. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Matthew 19:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)
Teaching About Divorce
19 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”[a]
10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”
“What does God require when you no longer love the one you married?”
[Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994), p. 137]
“Emil Brunner has ventured the opinion that ‘this conceited generation’ is farther from the truth than any previous age…. Too often have Christian writers, owing to the poverty of the English tongue, fallen into the deadly error of confusing sexual desire with Christian love….
“Now, if we are to begin to understand the mind of Christ on marriage, we must set clearly before us the background of marriage law and custom against which He spoke and in accordance with which His words would be understood by His first hearers….
“In His day marriage was a matter more of family arrangement than of individual choice, and His words must be taken to apply to cases where bride and bridegroom never saw each other till their wedding day. However unattractive and unnatural this may appear to our modern western minds we must not forget that the great majority of the human family have always arranged marriages, and still do arrange them, after that fashion. Dr. Eleanor M’Dougal in Lamps in the Wind tells of an educated Indian girl of very beautiful character who, on being betrothed, ‘desired no communication by letter or interview with her appointed husband,’ on the ground, as she said, that ‘love should come after marriage, not before.’ Her view was that as we have no choice in our parents or our brothers and sisters, yet learn to love them and live happily with them, so also should it be between husband and wife…. We must, therefore, beware of interpreting our Lord’s words in terms of our modern romantic views of marriage which were unknown to men of His time….
“There are two passages in the Mosaic law dealing with marriage and divorce. In the first of these (Deut. xx.22) the penalty of death is prescribed for the adulterous wife and her paramour. This law was in force in our Lord’s day, and when the ‘woman taken in adultery’ was brought before Him and He was directly challenged by the law He did not question its validity but took exception of the right of sinful judges to execute it. When this law was afterwards abrogated under pressure from the Romans it was made compulsory that the unfaithful wife should be divorced. From all this it is manifest that adultery was held by universal consent to annul the marriage bond….
“The second passage in the Mosaic law (Deut. xxiv.1-2) declares that the husband may put away his wife if he find in her ‘some unseemly thing.’ Among the interpreters of the law a dispute arose and waxed hot as to what might justly be taken to be an ‘unseemly thing.’… The stricter school of Shammai argued that it must be something really grave and shameful; the laxer school of Hillel took it to mean almost any offence however trivial. This then was the specific point which was put by the Pharisees to Jesus: ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for ever cause?’ Is the precept to be interpreted with the strictness of Shammai or with the greater laxity of Hillel? To this question our Lord gave an answer which made the strictness of Shammai seem laxity and which lifted the whole subject on to a higher, and even, as it seemed to the Jews, an unbearably high level.” [J. H. Morrison, The Speaker’s Bible VII edited by James Hastings and Edward Hastings, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, n.d.), p. 62-63]