“On Your Mark”
Marriage on the Rocks (Chapter 10 Verses 1-12)
The modern view of marriage and divorce has sunk our society into a cesspool of sin and corruption. These Pharisees considered a husband and wife to be two not one, like master and servant, and it did not matter if they separated at any time. That is not God’s view of marriage. Permanency is God’s view (v9). And the man, or woman who takes apart, or teaches others to, what God put together in creation, flies in the face of God. A very serious opposition. Once again the disciples are treated to further exposition within the confines of the house (v10-12). Again it is sparked by their own question. The sin people involve themselves in, in divorce proceedings is clearly brought out by Jesus here (Matthew 5.32; 19.9). Whoever divorces his/her spouse commits adultery against them, why? Because in the eyes of God they are still married to their former partners. And there is only one exception, one! In the case of adultery, sexual immorality (Matthew 5.32; 19.9), which would include the “going after strange flesh” (Jude 7), i.e., sodomy. It is bad enough people get divorced without having these grounds, that is sinful. But to aggravate it further by taking another partner, by remarrying they add to it, the crime of adultery. And in that second relationship they are perpetually committing adultery, every time there is a union. It works both ways, says Jesus (v12).
Like every other social disruption, problem in society, it is caused by sin, hardness of heart, it comes from the heart (Jeremiah 17.9). This includes the sin of destroying a marriage, or running to a court whether in Moses’ day (Deuteronomy 24.1), or in modern Britain, that does not make it right. It is morally wrong, corruption, a violation of the commandment of God. The blame lies totally on the one who breaks the marriage. The innocent party is not bound in such circumstances (1Corinthians 7.15), by either Paul or Jesus here. The more trivial the reason for breaking up a marriage, the more serious it must be surely. Incompatibility, do not like her/him anymore? Whatever the difficulties, they must be overcome, however hard it gets, you stick with it, in sickness and health etc., remember? Evangelicals take note! But it must be said before we move on, surely for any sin, the way of repentance is open and for any other who has offended in any relationship. There is a way back to God from the dark path of sin, Jesus is that way (John 14.6). There is grace enough expressed at Calvary for any and all sin, including sin that leads to broken marriages.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)