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Gods plan is for faithfulness

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Faithfulness is Gods Command

Matt 19 marks a shift in Jesus preaching and teaching
Jesus’ primary target for the last few chapters has been the disciples
Now Jesus is moving towards Jerusalem, which means more people, more encounters with the RL and more hostility
Matthew 19:1–12 ESV
Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 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’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 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. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 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.”
Chapter 18 concludes his teaching on forgiveness and he leaves that area he heads towards Jerusalem
Matthew 19:2 ESV
And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
Jesus is always drawing a crowd
The miracle were an amazing thing to behold and it always brought a crowd
Beyond that, we do see Jesus compassion for the sick and hurting
Many of these people the RL wouldnt even get near much less touch as he does with the leper or the blind man for fear of being unclean
Jesus- keeping the law- does not fear this
Jesus isnt made unclean by lepers or sinners, however his purity makes them clean
Jesus cared and the people came- May we keep that mission idea in mind
People dont care what you know or who you are until they know you care. True point
But the crowds didnt just bring the masses as he approached Jerusalem
The Pharisees show up- He is competition on their religious monopoly
John 12:19 ESV
So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
Matthew 19:3 ESV
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”
This is a test--- the crowd is big---- they are trying to ruin in him in the peoples sight
So they choose a very debated topic among the Jews at that time---- Divorce
Jesus has already addressed this in Matt 5:31-32
However here is the dilemma
Their were two traditonal Rabbinic schools that taught two different teachings
Shammai- taught divorce was required only on the basis of sexual immorality
Hillel- taught that it was justifiable and required to divorce under any instance the wife did something to displease him
Both used Deut 24:1-4 as their basis and in both cases it was men only who could divorce
So the point in this is to trap Jesus against Moses- the law giver
No way to squirm out of that so to speak
Plus this would put Jesus at odds with many men in Israel
Matthew 19:4 ESV
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
But Jesus doesnt answer their question so to speak
He takes the teachers back to Genesis and says arent you supposed to know this, this is where God created and defined marriage
God made male and female- Its said to have to make this point but this is the only legitimate union permitted by God
All else is sin
God made Adam and Even both with qualities that would best glorify God, complement each other and fulfill his first command- to be fruitful and multiply
God didnt make Adam and Steve or Eve and Jill anymore than than he made Adam and Eve, Jill, and Susie
No- monogomous heterosexual relationship is what we see describe in Genesis 1 and 2
It is reaffrimed here again and then Paul in Ephesians 5 will do the same thing when speaking on marriage in
Ephesians 5:31 ESV
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
This point is clear- Its not even up for debate in the church but sadly many have
Denominations after leaving Gods word and settling for wordly idealogies
Jesus reaffirms Gods model for marriage and it has not changed
Matthew 19:5 ESV
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’?
He continues solidifies this point that marriage involves the separating from one parents and uniting with your spouse
This is strong point in a culture that was very family oriented
Jesus isnt being disrespectful to the family but is establishing its importance
The statement “you dont just marry the spouse you marry the family” is true but their a line if seperation that is needed
Husband and wife have united to be one
Older man story
-Mans wife dies and he tells his family everything will be ok
-They ask how can he be so strong
-I wanted your mother to die first because i wouldnt want her to hurt with me gone and be in fear
-Beautiful isnt it? Its a desire for the other over your own
Matthew 19:6 ESV
So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
What was two is now one and it appears here that it wasnt just a choice two people made
God himself is author of marriage and there is something unique about the bond formed
Ephesians 5:32 ESV
This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
I believe this is way marriage is so unique because it has been given to man to show the unique self sacrificing love God has for the church
Its not a game, its not temporary- God has given marriage to us so we can experience to some extent the deep love of God for his people that never stops.
If Gods love never stops for his people- then neither should our love and commitment to our spouse
Matthew 19:7 ESV
They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”
The pharisees can smell blood in the water
They set the hook- who is wrong Jesus, Moses or You?
Deuteronomy 24:1–4 ESV
“When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then 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 of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.
Kostenberger says- says that it appears that they viewed Deut 24 to supercede the Genesis mandate
However their is a interpretive tool called the “law of first mention”
-the point being that when something is mentioned first in the bible- it determines the context of it throughout
Jesus says- No, Gods stipulation on marriage has never changed
Moses allowed you to divorce out of the hardness of your heart so a women could be protected and not viewed as property
Deut 24, even if a women was found unfaithful- didnt have to be stoned- which was the punishment for adultery
We see in Hosea that God will actually tell Hosea to go buy back his adultering wife multiple times
Deut 24 permitted divorce for the protection of men treating them as property and neglecting their husbandry rights of providing for her
But grace to the unfaithful was always an option
Matthew 19:9 ESV
And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
In similiar fashion he did in the Sermon the Mt, correcting the religious teaching of the day and bringing the truth back to the law- he says “I say to you”
The same one who spoke to Moses to write Gen 1 and 2, is the same one who spoke to Moses concerngin Deut 24:1-4 is the same one speaking to them now
Jesus affirms again the only possible exception is in a case of adultery where it is permitted not necessary
Gods desire even when things have happened inside a marriage is for those to be restored
This requires great work, genuine repentance and forgiveness
Its not fixed over night but it can be done
What we see with Jesus is here that God values marriage highly as it represents the His love for the church
Which is another reason why I only marry believers and hold them to biblical standards while we walk through marriage counseling
Divorce has never been seen in the eyes of God as a suitable exit door for marriages
Malachi 2:16 ESV
“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
NKJV
The New King James Version Chapter 2

For the LORD God of Israel says

That He hates divorce,

For it covers one’s garment with violence,”

Says the LORD of hosts.

Therefore take heed to your spirit,

That you do not deal treacherously.”

God hates divorce- He hasnt chanegd his mind on this topic
It is sin that has corrupted marriage and the RL minds upon the institution
Matthew 19:10 ESV
The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
It appears the gravity of Jesus’ remarks hit close to home upon disciples and they understood the weightness of this
-they say if marriage is this important and prized for life then maybe its better to not marry
Just because they understand the gravity doesn't mean they understood the concept
If Marriage was a bad thing then God wouldnt have ordained it
But marriage is not to entered into whilly nilly- but carefully and with all commitment till death do you part
Matthew 19:11–12 ESV
But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 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.”
Jesus point here isnt that all people need to be celibate
Celibate is the better word rather un married
If people are going to enjoy the pleasures of marriage but yet remain unmarried- its sin
There is no place in the bible speaks of cohabitation of male and female without being married
For some a life of celibate singleness is possible and allows for better service to God not a pursuit of themselves
1 Corinthians 7:7 ESV
I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
Even list this as a possible spiritual gift- it will only be kept with great self control
But for the majority of people Paul again confirms in
1 Corinthians 7:1–5 ESV
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
That marriage is good- God honoring, and self denying
It represents Christ sacrificial death for his people.
He willing took our sin and shame so we could have life
Unbeliever would you turn and come to Jesus
Teenager, Singles- Marriage just something you get in that you can get out no matter what society does
Gods desire is for you to be married to another Godly person and if they are not then stop now
Believer with unbelieving spouse- live your life as light to your spouse- endure at times the ridicule and shine the light of Jesus for them
Married believers- commit everyday to your spouse
Guard your eyes, guard your heart, guard your conversations
Delight in your spouse- Men love your wives, Women respect your husbands- Glorify God til death do you part
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