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Divorce and Remarriage June 8, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Scripture Meditation.
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Joe,

As I mentioned to you yesterday, I am having a tough time with sermon preparation this week (consequently, this will probably be my only blog post today).  The primary reason for my difficulty is trying to understand what Jesus is saying about divorce and remarriage in Matthew 5:31-32 and 19:3ff.  Here’s the text in Matthew 19:

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” 

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

Opinions on divorce and remarriage — even among Christian scholars — are many and diverse.  I would value the feedback of our readers: what do you make of the ‘exception clause’ in Matthew 19:9.  Specifically, how do you think it squares with the similar statements that Jesus made without the exception clause in Luke 16:18 and Mark 10:11-12.

Let me know what the Nation thinks,

Larry

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