THE IMPERFECT SOLUTION
When Jesus finished speaking, he left Galilee and traveled along the other side of the Jordan River to the territory of Judea. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
Some Pharisees came to test him. They asked, “Can a man divorce his wife for any reason?” Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read that the Creator made them male and female in the beginning and that he said, ‘That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and will remain united with his wife, and the two will be one’? So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, don’t let anyone separate what God has joined together.” The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses order a man to give his wife a written notice to divorce her?” Jesus answered them, “Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because you’re heartless. It was never this way in the beginning. I can guarantee that whoever divorces his wife for any reason other than her unfaithfulness is committing adultery if he marries another woman.”
The disciples said to him, “If that is the only reason a man can use to divorce his wife, it’s better not to get married.” He answered them, “Not everyone can do what you suggest. Only those who have that gift can. For example, some men are celibate because they were born that way. Others are celibate because they were castrated. Still others have decided to be celibate because of the kingdom of heaven. If anyone can do what you’ve suggested, then he should do it.”
The Pharisees came with a question that wasn’t a question. It was a trap. Over and over they came at Jesus with the intent to snare him, hoping to catch him in an infraction of their law. And make no mistake, it was their law, not the law of Moses nor the Law of God. They had interpreted and embellished it to where it no longer resembled what it once was. The Law was given as a guide to holiness. The ruling Pharisees had added many codicils to the true will of God. They were using the law as a weapon. Jesus said, “They make loads that are hard to carry and lay them on the shoulders of the people. However, they are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” (Matthew 23:4)
Jesus first condemned their heartlessness and then pointed to the true purpose of marriage as God intended, the joining of two into one. He then fed their own law back to them with an even tighter explanation of when divorce was applied and the spiritual consequence of divorce.
That answered the Pharisees but the disciples offered their own restriction, “it’s better not to get married.” Jesus neither condones nor condemns them for their thinking but said, “Not everyone can do what you suggest.”
Unfortunately, two don’t always become one. Sometimes they are neither still two nor completely one. They only become twone. And twone is easily divided.
Divorce is an example of humankind’s inability or unwillingness to live within the will of the Creator. It is an imperfect solution to the trials of life and not what God intended.
All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Willuams