BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 2: Matthew 19:1-9

Summary of passage:  Jesus now has gone to Judea from Galilee to the other side of the Jordan.  Large crowds followed him and he healed them.  The Pharisees once again are trying to trick Jesus by asking when is divorce legal.  Jesus said that when a man and woman marries they become one and no man should separate them.  So why did Moses allows divorce the Pharisees ask Jesus.

Jesus said only because man’s hearts are hard and that is why divorce is allowed only in the case of marital unfaithfulness but God never meant for there to be divorce.

Questions:

4)  Jesus said that since we are created by God in His image and women are created from man that we were meant to be one flesh that no one could separate–not God or man.  But man due to his hard heart (sin) caused the separation between man and woman and thus divorce entered society.

5a)  Deuteronomy said once a man divorces his wife, he cannot take her again.  This reinforces how much God hated divorce and how permanent it was.  Once done, there could be no reconciliation between the parties. The husband must have a legal certificate of divorce declared; he just couldn’t leave her.  Some scholars think this passage also goes both ways –that  woman could divorce her husband as well.

b)  Because their hearts were hard (sinful)

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This is a bit extrapolation here but because of sin and hard hearts we all have problems in our relationships where we are either prideful or blinded or unsympathetic or selfish or any other sin that causes separation where there should be unity.  I hold on to hurts much longer than I should so this causes problems in my family.

Conclusions:  This is very clear on when you can divorce and when you can’t.  Also, it’s very clear how God never intended for divorce so you should try to work out your problems before even considering it.

End Notes:  The root word for divorce in Hebrew meant “hewing or cutting off” so it was akin to cutting off a body part.

The Hebrew root word for “indecent or uncleanness” carried the meaning of sexually immoral, meaning literally “nakedness”.  Once again, we see how man has interpreted this law and by Jesus’ time men could divorce women for anything displeasing to him and were in fact encouraged to do so.

In ancient times, Jews viewed marriage as a sacred duty.  If they were not married by the age of 20 (unless they were studying the law), then they would be seen as breaking God’s commandment of “be fruitful and multiply” in Genesis 1:28.  Yet, men had such a low view of women that most entered into a loveless marriage–viewing it as their duty only and nothing more.

At this time, the interpretation of the law given in Deuteronomy had two views:  one that “uncleanness” meant sexual immorality only and another that “uncleanness” meant for any reason.  The Pharisees therefore hoped to trap Jesus by getting him to side one way or the other and thus become either unpopular or unreligious.

Jesus, as always, thwarts the Pharisees by going back to scripture.  God permits divorce, not commands it, because of man’s hard heart and sin.  And if you are separate or divorce for other reasons, then you are committing adultery because you are still married in the eyes of God.  Just because man allows it, doesn’t mean God does.

Just to be clear:  there are 2 reasons only for divorce:  1) if one of the spouses is unfaithful 2) if a spouse is abandoned by an unbelieving spouse (added by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:15).  The rest is all from man.

More Conclusions:  I always hate the most popular reason given for divorce these days: “irreconcilable differences” for that could be anything and is exactly what Jesus railed against.  Man cannot twist God’s laws; yet, he does anyways, continues to do so, and doesn’t seem to care.

Great lesson for those of us who have a strong marriage:  we need to know how to counsel those who don’t since the odds are we probably know someone who is considering divorce or who has had one.

Great lesson for those considering divorce as well.  It is not God’s will.  So keep persevering to the end and have faith God will work it out.

Final Note:  We are still in 29 AD and Jesus is leaving Galilee, his homeland, for the last time. Jesus will never again return.

I found this website HERE that traces Jesus’ movements with a timeline and verses from the Bible.  Kind of neat to see how much Jesus does in his short time here on Earth.

This site HERE is really cool!!!  It’s the same timeline as above but with pictures of what the places look like today.  This site will take some time to explore but really cool to try and visualize what the places would have looked like when Jesus walked there.

2 comments on “BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 2: Matthew 19:1-9

  1. Ellie says:

    “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” –Jesus Christ

    Jesus calls remarriage after a divorce ADULTERY because…

    “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:39

    “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Hebrews 13:4

    Scripture clearly slams the door shut on remarriage. Only the first marriage exists, there is no husband and wife in a second marriage, only two people living in adultery.

    • Julia says:

      Good Biblical comments posted above by Ellie. The main problem here is the challenge question on 6e for the 3rd day asking for scriptural promises to help/encourage a person who has divorced and re-married and is troubled by these teachings. Also some churches can be quite tough on divorced people by stating they are still living in adultery, and deny them membership into church. I thought AtoZ Mom’s comments were very good and compassionate on that answer posed by the challenge question. Also how about divorce secondary to spousal abuse, child abuse, porno, drugs, alcohol? These are not adulterous/ unfaithful situations but could they be a type of abandonment as listed in I Cor 7:15 and possibly be biblical grounds for divorce and separation? Divorce is a sin as Ellie mentioned above, but if God can forgive that sin if the couple goes humbly before Him and confess, then the church should too! Then the couple can live rest of their lives to the glory of God in whatever place He has put you in. Makes for interesting thoughts regarding the above comment that the Bible “clearly slams the door on remarriage” as Ellie wrote.

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