Jesus leaves Galilee and travels to Judea to the other side of the Jordan River. He healed many. Pharisees came to test Jesus again and asked him if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason. Jesus answered that God made man and woman to be one, and a man will leave his parents and be united with his wife. What God has joined let no man separate.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 2: Matthew 19:1-6
3) Pharisees came to test Jesus again and asked him if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason. Matthew tells us they are testing Jesus. They are also looking for ways to trap him, to get him to say the wrong thing, so then they can accuse him of blasphemy and either throw him in jail or even kill him. They were also seeing which side of the law he fell on — if he supported the Mosaic law or not.
4a) Jesus is showing the Pharisees he knows and understands Scripture. He also is answering their question with God’s words, so they cannot counter him at all. He is ensuring his answers will not provoke the Pharisees so he can continue his earthly ministry. Jesus is emphasizing that marriage is from God, not man and man’s arbitrary rules.
b) God intends for man and woman to be together once they commit to a marriage; divorce was never God’s idea. Yet, He allows it because He understands we are broken. God commands a man to leave his parents, never his wife. Jesus is pointing this out to the Pharisees that their rules are wrong.
5) Because that is our ideal and what we should strive for every day of our lives. Does it always happen? No. But we can move towards God’s plan one small step at a time every day. That is all we can do and all that God asks of us.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 2: Matthew 19:1-6
I love studying about God’s plan for marriage. It’s so relevant in today’s world.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 2: Matthew 19:1-6
We only have a bit of Jesus’s ministry recorded in the Gospels. It’s safe to say that Jesus had many more adventures, healed many more people, and went to many more places that what is recorded here. Jesus made waves wherever he went — and for good reason. He is now headed towards Jerusalem and his ultimate destiny — the cross.
In ancient times, you were expected to get married and have many children. Remember, first the earth was not as populated as it is today. Next, people needed one another to work together; the idea of being independent did not exist. Family was highly valued and sacred. Finally, children were depended upon to help procure food and help the family survive. Jews were encouraged to marry and have many children — it was considered breaking the law of procreation if not.
Because the Pharisees had interpreted the Bible with the eye of man and not God, men could divorce their wives over the most frivolous things.
The “for any reason” is what is up for debate here. Mosaic law permitted divorce Deuteronomy 24:1, but what was up for debate was the reasoning. One school of thought believed divorce was only for adultery, while another taught it was for anything.
For Jesus, divorce is about marriage, which is why he talked about marriage. The emphasis on what God meant marriage to be is from the very beginning of time with Adam and Eve. Note that polygamy was never allowed either. The Bible clearly stated one man and woman, or two, are to come together as one. Polygamy was allowed but was never meant to be long term. Marriage is for our good.
In sum, what God has joined was never meant to be broken by man.