Bible Reading for OCT08: Matthew 19-20

Because divorce is so much a part of today’s
society, I feel it is necessary to comment extensively on
chapter 19. In verses 1-15 Jesus was questioned about
marriage and divorce. The Pharisees had interpreted
Deuteronomy 24:1 to mean that a man could divorce his wife
for any cause; while others held to a strict interpretation
that marriage could be broken only by adultery. Jesus went
beyond both these meanings and reminded the people of the
original law of marriage. God instituted marriage in Eden,
long before the Mosaic Law. The Bible gives at least four
reasons, or purposes, for marriage: (1) To continue the
race (Genesis 1:25). (2) For companionship and enjoyment
(Genesis 2:18). (3) To avoid fornication (I Corinthians
7:1-6). (4) To illustrate the relationship between Christ
and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-33). God’s original purpose
was that one man should wed one woman and only death would
break that union (Romans 7:1-3). In marriage, two shall
become one flesh. The union of marriage is even stronger
than family ties, for a man is to leave his father and
mother and cleave unto his wife. It is a sacred union, for
Jesus said that God joins a man and woman together.

Jesus is questioned about Moses’ written law of
divorcement in Deuteronomy 24:1. Jesus said, in Matthew
19:8, that Moses’ law was given “because of the hardness of
your hearts…but from the beginning it was not so.” In
verse 9 He says, “…Whosoever shall put away his wife,
except it be for fornication, and shall marry another,
committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put
away doth commit adultery.”

It is my firm belief that only two things can break
the marriage union–death and fornication. There is a
slight difference of opinion between fundamentalists
concerning divorce. Many pastors have taken the stand
mentioned above, while others take an even firmer stand
that they feel is taught in Romans 7:1-3. They feel that
nothing separates husband and wife except death. Therefore,
as long as a husband and wife are living, it is adultery if
either remarries, under any circumstances. Among this
faction of fundamentalists there are those who believe
that, even in the case of adultery, it is the
responsibility of the Christian husband or wife to forgive
and be reconciled to each other.

Our laws today make divorce easy. One-third to one-
half of all marriages have deteriorated into divorce,
mainly because marriage has become only a physical union,
and has not been entered into wisely. The only lasting
marriage is one that is founded in Christ; and a lasting
home is grounded in Him.
Man now can be:
Colossians 1:20
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by
him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say,
whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

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