March 11, 2024

Matthew 19:1-12 (HCSB)
The Question of Divorce
19 When Jesus had finished this instruction, He departed from Galilee and went to the region of Judea across the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. 3 Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,” 5 and He also said: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” 7 “Why then,” they asked Him, “did Moses command us to give divorce papers and to send her away?” 8 He told them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning. 9 And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” 10 His disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it’s better not to marry!” 11 But He told them, “Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those it has been given to. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

BJ Stahlin
Jesus said it and His words are true, period. Divorce is a difficult topic and this is an insufficient forum to comprehensively address it. Briefly stated, before Kim and I ever met, we were both married to, and divorced from our first spouses. Please forgive if I am being too open, but our divorces were painful, messy, embarrassing, expensive, and to our chagrin and most importantly, they destroyed relationships. While I wish I could go into greater detail here about my personal struggle with this passage, Kim and I welcome your inquiries regarding our experiences in these matters. If this is something you have been, or are, wrestling with, I recommend discussing your situation with HD or Julia Burns. Jesus concisely lays out the Creator’s design for marriage, including a couple of biology lessons and, in 2024, I’m glad He offers clarity. Paul will further expound upon the concept in several of his epistles. I would like to point out a note of context. Jesus is being tested. Evidently, the intention of these leaders was not entirely virtuous. Yet Jesus’ response is very consistent with His words found in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:21-48), “You have heard...But I tell you.” Man’s rebellion and unbelief created the need for divorce and defiled the intent of the Creator. All have sinned. One day He will return for His bride, spotless, washed, and clothed in righteousness, HIS! Again, if this is a struggle you’re facing, first turn it over to Him, trust Him, and seek wise counsel.

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