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COMMANDS & PERMISSIONS // MATTHEW 19

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Divorce has been one of the greatest events that effects the way our children see marriage, relationships, and even sexuality. What did Jesus have to say about divorce? What did he have to say about marriage? If you have been divorced in the past, how can you biblically move forward in the Power of Jesus Christ? Turn to Matthew 19 as we unpack what Jesus has to say about these hard subjects.

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INTRODUCTION

Last week we talked about what happens when someone sins against us
We looked at the process of dealing with sin
What it should look like when someone sins against you
What you should do when we have been wronged by a brother or sister in Christ.
We also talked about the value of forgiveness.
We talked about how, we, the forgiven should be championing forgiveness in a way that makes the world desire what we have.
The Church should be the Catalyst of Forgiveness based on the fact that we are the most loved and most forgiven people on this planet.

THIS WEEK

We are going to look at a very sensitive subject.
The subject of Marriage and Divorce
The Pharisees who have been clearly against Jesus & His Disciples
Are trying to figure out a way to condemn Jesus
So far it hasn’t amounted to anything because Jesus was, and will continue to be sinless throughout the entire narrative.
Before we get into the text I want us to look at some very alarming facts:
As of 2016, both marriage rates AND divorce rates in the US are decreasing.
 Almost 50 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce or separation.
Almost 50 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce or separation.
 As of 2016, both marriage rates AND divorce rates in the US are decreasing.
7.  Researchers estimate that 41 percent of all first marriages end in divorce.
Researchers estimate that 41 percent of all first marriages end in divorce.
60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
8.  60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
9.  73 percent of all third marriages end in divorce.
73 percent of all third marriages end in divorce.
10. The United States has the 6th highest divorce rate in the world. Here is a chart of the top twenty:
The United States has the 6th highest divorce rate in the world.
50% of children will know first hand the pain of divorce
Almost 50% of those will experience it for a second time
10% of the 50% of children who experience divorce, will see it happen 3-4 more times.
Almost 100% of all children that experience divorce will experience it before they turn 18
People who come from broken homes are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide than those who do not come from broken homes
People who come from broken homes are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide than those who do not come from broken homes
Teenagers in single-parent families and in blended families are 300% more likely to need psychological help within any given year than teens from intact, nuclear families.
Teenagers in single-parent families and in blended families are 300% more likely to need psychological help within any given year than teens from intact, nuclear families.
Forty percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers.
Every 13 seconds a divorce is finalized
That means that by the end of this sermon, 200 couples would have recieved confirmation that their divorce is final
SO HOW CAN THE GOSPEL EFFECT THESE STATISTICS?
IF JESUS PUT A STOP TO THE STATISTICAL CONSISTENCY OF SIN
HOW CAN THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST EFFECT THE CONSISTENCY OF DIVORCE?

LETS LOOK AT THE TEXT

Matthew 19:1–15 NKJV
1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there. 3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted 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; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” 10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 12 For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.” 13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.
PRAY THAT WE WOULD BE USED IN EACH OTHERS LIVES TO PREVENT DIVORCE.
THAT WE WOULD BE USED TO ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER IN MARRIAGE.
THAT WE WOULD ALWAYS SEEK RECONCILIATION BEFORE ISOLATION.
Matthew 19:1–3 NKJV
1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there. 3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
MATTHEW 19:1-
JESUS, AFTER FINISHING HIS TEACHING ON FORGIVENESS, HEADS DOWN FROM GALILEE INTO JUDAEA.
It is here that he paused for a moment to heal the multitudes who had been following Him.
However, the multitudes weren’t the only ones following Him.
The Pharisees also came up, but not to be healed of their spiritual or physical condition
They came to test Jesus
To Challenge Him
To tempt Him by asking this general question:
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason”
Lets put ourselves in the shoes of the Pharisees
At this point in History
The Pharisees would have been broken up into two schools of thought
Shammai & Hilel
The Shammai RABINNICAL School of thought was more on the conservative side
Hilel
They believed that the only reason that justified divorce was in the case of Adultery
The Hilel RABINNICAL School of Thought interpreted very losely
They permitted divorce for any reason
If you didnt like her hair, her cooking, her opinion, you could divorce her
Though these two schools interpreted the Deutoronomy Text
One thing to note is that a woman did not have the liberty that men had.
Once married, her authority to make decisions was vastly diminished.
So how did Jesus answer this question?
How would Jesus set precedent for Future Believers?
What do we need to know about Marriage & Divorce in order for us to be successful in this manner?
Matthew 19:4–6 NKJV
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Matthew 19:4–6 NKJV
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Matthew 19:
JESUS DOESN’T GO TO HIS OPINION, HE GOES BACK TO WHAT THE WORD SAID
“Have you not read”?
Church, this should be our response every single time someone challenges what we believe
Our response should always be rooted in what the Word of God says
It is in the Word of God that we will find our deepest Identity
It is in God’s Word that we will find the deepest truths to the deepest questions
When our answers are rooted in the Truth of God
It will always prevent us from providing a mediocre answer
WHEN QUESTIONED ABOUT DIVORCE, JESUS POINTS BACK TO THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE
“Have you not heard, that He who made them at the beginning, made them male and female”
This is Jesus’ opportunity to set the record straight concerning Marriage and Divorce
This is where He could reshape what marriage should look like
This is where he could have redefined marriage
But instead of restructuring the Model of Marriage
He further solidifies His Father’s heart toward marriage
#1 When God created the Unit of Marriage
He created it in the Male and Female form
This is where it all begins
“In the beginning”
Made them male and female.
THIS MARRIAGE UNIT IS MADE UP OF TWO SOULS, ONE MALE AND ONE FEMALE
Not the male and female and both sets of in-laws
Not the male and female and the opinions of all in-laws
Not the male and male or female and female because Ceasar has allowed it
NLT: This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’
The two individuals, shall leave both families, and be joined together as one
For the two shall become one flesh, one unit, one body.
Now, they are no longer two, but one flesh
Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man seperate.
Let no anthropos divide, or sever what God has joined together.
JESUS IN THIS VERY CRUCIAL MOMENT, NOT ONLY DEFINES MARRIAGE BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE, BUT SPEAKS TO MARRIAGE AS A GOD ORDAINED UNION
Not only did He make them Male and Female
He made them one flesh
He is the glue that keeps them together
What He has brought together, may no one ever seperate
These are Jesus Words
They are in Red
They have value
“Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.”
Why divorce is a thing is because we allow our flesh to overthrow what God did on that day
We forget that what we celebrated that day is what God has done.
We forget the vows we made to each other
Our flesh overthrow
We forget that before God and man we professed that God was at work.
If we remembered His goodness toward us in giving us a spouse, maybe we wouldn’t treat this gift as something replaceable.
HOW WOULD THE PHARISEES RESPOND?
Matthew 19:7–9 NKJV
7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted 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; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
MATTHEW 19:7-9
Matthew 19:7–9 NKJV
7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted 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; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
NOTICE WHAT JESUS DOES:
He re-educates those who prided themselves on the law
The question was
“Why did Moses command”
Jesus responds:
“Moses permitted”
Two totally different things.
Moses never commanded the Israelites to hand their wive’s a certificate of divorce.
He permitted them because of the hardness of their hearts
It was not a command it was a concession due to the sinful nature of the Jews
Again, Jesus brings it back to the beginning
Reaffirming that this was not the heart of the Father for Marriage
This is not God the Father’s approval or restructuring of Marriage
This was a concession due to the devaluing of life that still exists to this day.
AFTER BRINGING CLARITY TO THE ISSUE, JESUS UPS THE ANTE!
Jesus not only exposes the heart of their Ancestry
He sets the bar for how the Church should view Divorce
Matthew 19:9 NKJV
9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
And I say to you,
Jesus sets the record straight
The only permissible excuse for divorce is sexual immorality
That word is Porneia
Which is a very broad word that points to all sexual immorality
Fornication
Prostitution
And in light of
We know that in the eyes of Jesus, even looking at a woman with lustful eyes would be considered adultery.
WHERE ELSE DOES THE BIBLE SPEAK ABOUT DIVORCE?
What about drug abuse?
In Luke and Mark we see Jesus use specific language
What about emotional abuse?

Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

It is not different from Matthew
A Christian Spouse should not allow their lives nor the lives of others to be at risk.
It is just that Matthew gives us further detail
The Apostle Paul in gives some insight to a culture that was struggling with sexual immorality
1 Corinthians 7:10–16 NKJV
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. 12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
1 Corinthians 7
If a husband or a wife departs or separates from the marriage
Let them not remarry
Let them remain unmarried
Or, be reconciled
If your spouse does not believe
But they are willing to live with you
DO not divorce
Why?
Because there is potential for the Holy Spirit to do a radical work through you
That your spouse may be sanctified by your testimony and your demonstration of following Jesus
However if the unbelieving departs
Let them depart
The victim in this case is free to do as they wish.
For God has called us to be at peace
The end goal of Marital Conflict is never to look for a way out
But to look for the way up
But to look for the way that God is working
Who knows that your perseverance will result in your spouses salvation?
This doesn’t just apply to marriage, but to everyone whether single or married.
Paul encouraged young Timothy
1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV
16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
THIS IS THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL
WE MUST ALSO LOOK AT DIVORCE AS SOMETHING TO BE REDEEMED.
THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE FAILED HAVE THE ABILITY TO GET BACK UP AGAIN
THIS IS THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL
PEOPLE WHO HAVE MESSED UP, WHO HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY IMMORAL
CAN GET BACK UP AND LIVE AGAIN
HAVE THE ABILITY TO ALLOW THE BLOOD OF JESUS TO CLEAN THE SLATE
BEGIN AFRESH AGAIN.
HOW DID THE DISCIPLES RESPOND?
Matthew 19:10–12 NKJV
10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 12 For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”
MATTHEW 19:10
THE DISCIPLES GOT IT
Marriage is nothing to play around with.
JESUS GOES ON TO SAY
Not everyone can accept this saying
Not everyone is called to marriage
Marriage is not only ordained by God, it is a gift from God
But its definitely not for everyone
For there are eunuchs that are born this way from their mothers womb
There are eunuchs made by men, to keep them focused
And there are eunuchs who have chosen that calling in order to be more effective for the Kingdom
To those who are able to accept that calling, let him live fully into it
Notice how Jesus doesn’t place a higher value on either of them
They are both of equal value in the kingdom.
Paul also encouraged this in
Paul also encouraged this in
1 Corinthians 7:6–9 NKJV
6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. 7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. 8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; 9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
1 Corinthians
AFTER TEACHING ON MARRIAGE, JESUS BRINGS IT BACK TO WHAT MATTERS MOST, THE KINGDOM.
MATTHEW 19:
Matthew 19:13–15 NKJV
13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.
JESUS MAKES IT CLEAR THAT CHILDREN ARE PRECIOUS IN HIS SIGHT
As many kids were brought to Him in order that He may pray and heal them
The disciples rebuked them
Stopped them from coming to Jesus
However, Jesus had a different plan
He says
Let the little children come to me
Never forbid them
For such is the Kingdom of Heaven
And He laid hands on them and departed from there.
For us parents, we can prevent our kids from being in the presence of Jesus
We can put things in place that prevent our children from knowing him.
We build rhythms that point to a different God
One of the saddest things, is knowing what our kids need, and not giving it to them.
Let the children come to Jesus, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.
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