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Divorce and Remarriage

The Story "An Interwoven Gospel" Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage - What does Jesus teach on it.

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A Touchy Subject

(Slide) There are a few subjects that modern day Pastors, preachers, ministers like to avoid. Sin, Hell, Homosexuality, and Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage.
We are doing a series, working our way through the Gospels so there is no avoiding any of these subjects. So today on the heals of Jesus teaching, preaching about forgiveness, facing questions on Sabbaths and signs this brought the religious people out of their comfort zone. Now they think they have another way to get him regarding divorce and remarriage, something they even themselves could not agree on.
(Slide) Some statistics show
It is said that 50% of first marriages end in divorce and the rate for 2nd, 3rd are even higher. Some say that the divorce rate within the church is not much different but I do not see that statistic, what I did see is:
50% of marriages end in divorce or separation
(Slide) Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, that 60 percent of these have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced.
60% of second marriages end in divorce
I want you to pay attention to the scripture and how Jesus deals with the question.
Let’s turn to the section together and have our bibles open to Mt19:1-12
73% of third marriages end in divorce
I have broken it down like this.
While there are rumors that Christian marriages are close to the 50% rate, there are really some staggering differences in polls so let’s turn to the scripture and see what Jesus has to say.

Have everyone turn to pg.108 of story book; Mt19:1-12 have someone read it.
The original Creation Law (vv.3-6)
(Slide) What is your first observation?
A side trip to - the 7th commandment (Mt5:27-30)
OK, how about some preliminary questions before looking at the teaching of Jesus.
(Slide) Where is Jesus at this time (v.1)?
(Slide) Who is with Him, what is He doing (v.2)?
(Slide) Who is asking Jesus the question about divorce (v.3)?

I. Jesus and the Original Creation Law

The question that is asked of Jesus is coming from Deu24 and it was highly disputed within the Jewish sects varying widely.
(Slide) There is the view of Rabbi Hillel - view that a husband can divorce for any reason
(Slide) There is the view of Rabbi Shammai - divorce only where immorality is involved (sexual)
So no matter how Jesus answered, someone was going to be offended and someone would be able to accuse Him of not believing the Law, even when they could not agree, so let’s see how Jesus addresses the issue.
(Slide) OK, look at (vv.4-5) where did this quote Jesus uses come from? - Jesus does not go to Deut24 like the Pharisee’s were Jesus goes all the way back to Gen1:27, 2:24 to creation. Jesus looks at what was God’s intention in the first place at creation, marriages built on God’s creation law there is no need to worry about divorce law (in general).
A. (Slide) Reason for marriage
For procreation - Gen1:28
We are doing a series, working our way through the Gospels so there is no avoiding any of these subjects. So today on the heals of Jesus teaching, preaching about forgiveness and it brought the religious people out of their comfort zone. After being challenged abo(void sexual sin - 1Cor7:1-6
God’s appointed way for physical joy between husband/wife
God’s appointed way
The Mosiac Law and divorce (vv.7-8)
The Lord’s Law of marriage (vv.9-12)

I. The original Creation Law

(Slide) What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you in this passage?
(Slide) Preliminary questions:
(Slide) Where was Jesus when this transpires (v.1)?
(Slide) Who was with Him, what was He doing (v.2)?
(Slide) Who questioned Jesus and what was the question (v.3)?
I know that is basic, simple questions, but we want to glean what the scripture says and not miss anything.
(Slide) Look at (vv.4-5) where do you think, or know that these quotes from Jesus come from? - it comes from Gen1:27 so instead of going to Deut24 as the Pharisee’s were doing, Jesus goes back to the beginning.
A. (Slide) The Reason for Marriage
(Slide) For procreation - Gen1:28
(Slide) To avoid sexual sin - 1Cor7:1-6
(Slide) God’s appointed way for physical joy between husband and wife.
(Slide) Wiersbe says “If we build a marriage after God’s ideal pattern, we will not have to worry about divorce laws.”
B. (Slide) The Characteristics of Marriage
(Slide) It is divinely appointed by God - God created marriage for it was not good for man to be alone
(Slide) It is a physical union - while being of one mind and one heart are important, marriage starts with being of one body
(Slide) It is a permanent union - God’s plan for for a lifetime not to be easily disgarded. we will address divorce in a few minutes, But God’s plan was for man and woman to be married for life.
(Slide) It is a union between one man and one woman - God clearly states man and woman, there is no provision in the scripture for any variance to that, in fact to the contrary other things are considered an abomination to God.
(Slide) Can you think of other reasons or characteristics for marriage?

The Seventh Commandment

There are people who want to say that the scripture and Jesus contradict itself and our passage today when compared to Mt5:27-32
Matthew 5:27–30 NASB95
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
Matthew 5:27–30 NASB95
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
OK, what do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you in this passage?
Matthew 5:31–32 NASB95
31 “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
(Slide) OK, what do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you in this passage?
Now while our section does not reference the 7th Commandment it is good for us to look at it. Without a doubt we know about it is not permissible to commit adultery (Exo20:14) but here it is expanded to even the thought of it, is adultery. And we know in other scriptures that no fornicator will enter the kingdom (Mk7:21; Rom1:29 and 1Cor6:13). Adultery is what is addressed for married people, all others are sexual sin and are kingdom keeping too
The commandment affirms the sanctify of sex as God created it.
The Law covered the physical whereas Jesus covered the spirit of the law.
Not enough to just control the body, we need to control our thoughts too, not commit adultery in the heart.
Jesus taught in our passage, answering the Pharisee’s question what God’s plan at creation in Gen1, 2 was and God’s moral law is shown in the Mt5 passage.

III. The Mosaic Law of Divorce

Matthew 19:7–8 NASB95
7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 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.
The O.T. reference here comes from
Deuteronomy 24:1 NASB95
1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house,
(Slide) Notice the subtle difference, in Mt19:7 it says “Moses command” but in it does not say command. In reality Jesus will address that in just a few minutes, it is really a concession not a command.
FYI, Moses only command when it came to divorce had to do with a divorced woman returning to her first husband if put away from the 2nd husband for then she would be defiled.
Remember God’s plan was for marriage to last a lifetime, what Moses permitted has been highly debated as I mentioned before with the schools of thought under rabbi Hillel and rabbi Shammai.
(Slide) Under the Mosiac law there were several provisions written for divorce
(Slide) Not truly a virgin - Deut22:13-21)
(Slide) Adultery - Num5:11f
(Slide) The consequences of adultery (proven) - Lev20:10, Deut22:22
Stability of the family, especially in the church was to be taken seriously and that is why such a harsh penalty (death) was in place. Adultery undermines the sanctity of marriage, breaks trust and faithfulness and in Mal2:10-16 we are given an illustration of a broken faithless, trustless people and God’s thoughts on divorce.
Malachi 2:16 NASB95
16 “For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”
I think that is pretty clear, even when the prophet is using this as an illustration of the nation, it is also applicable to the family.
Now there is provision for scriptural divorce (sexual immorality) it is not a command for divorce. It does break the marriage bond, it is allowed by God, man cannot put it asunder but God can and here it is allowed.
(Slide) Now Jesus makes it clear in why it was permitted by Moses in the first place.
Matthew 19:8 NASB95
8 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.
Again a reminder when looking at the Creation Law and God’s moral law - marriage was to be for a lifetime, the union, the covenant could only be broken by death or by sexual immorality. - you may wonder was adultery more serious then under the Law than it is under grace, in the church today. We do not put people to death (physically) but there is spiritual death of a marriage because of adultery. So there is still death that happens and that breaks God’s heart.

Our Lord’s Law of Marriage

(Slide) I already alluded to what the Lord thought and here is the scripture to prove it in (vv.9-12)
Marriage was to be permanent except for sexual sin
The let’s look at (vv.10-12) see what the disciples take away from that.
Matthew 19:10–12 NASB95
10 The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 “For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.
(Slide) Disciples thought better not to marry
(Slide) Jesus gives examples about celibacy
(Slide) Eunuchs born that way
(Slide) Eunuchs by man’s hand
(Slide) Eunuchs by own hand for kingdom sake
(Slide) Notice that in Jesus teaching He covered three laws.
Creation - It is a physical union not to be broken
7th Commandment - adultery a covenant breaker
Mosaic - divorce for sexual immorality permitted
Jesus does not teach that divorce is a commandment if the covenant is broken by infidelity, remember He just taught about forgiveness in chapter 18. Divorce should always be viewed as a last option not the first option.
Where the disciples views were that it would be better not to marry because its hard to keep it right, marriage is God’s plan and it takes work, it is fulfilling , enjoyable and satisfying when we are committed to God’s way, God’s plan and for God’s glory. (v.12) shows that each person needs to carefully consider marriage, to get married or not get married for the commitment to marriage is to be for a lifetime.
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