In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus addressed divorce, adultery, and lust. But in Matthew chapter 19, the Lord Jesus revealed the reason why divorce was allowed. Not by God, but by Moses.
The Lord Jesus revealed that it was because of the “hardness” of their hearts, people get divorced. “Hardness of heart” is also known as “irreconcilable differences.”
An irreconcilable difference is a difference that two people have settled in their hearts that they will absolutely never reconcile. It’s a deliberate refusal to reconcile.
But it wasn’t just the hardness other hearts. It was sinful lust. They would use divorce as a way to fulfill their lusts. Get married. Had enough of them. Put the wife away. Marry another woman to have sex. Had enough of them. Put them away. Marry another woman to have sex.
It was an endless cycle.
The Lord Jesus said that in Matthew 19:9 “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
Because the Lord Jesus previously said in Matthew 19:4-6 “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
They were using divorce as an endless cycle of lust under the guise of marriage.
Much like today in the world. I’ve read a few movie stars history and mostly, you see them marry and divorce. Constant marriage and divorces like Elizabeth Taylor and others.
Matthew 5:27-32 (NKJV) “You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.“
Pastors, like me, thought that it was perfectly legal for divorced couples to remarry and that’s a violation of the original intent of marriage.
Matthew 19:8 (NKJV) “He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so”.
Changing wives was not so in the beginning. And so Moses made a loophole which continues to today.
The Lord Jesus said “but from the beginning it was not so.”
Marriage is ironclad.
If we were to return to the ironclad of marriage, then we would never divorce. We would be very careful in our selection of persons. Then in the marriage, we would be careful to be like the Lord Jesus in our marriage.
It’s funny how we stop being Christians in marriage when we hurt each other. It’s because of selfishness in the heart that we hurt each other. Sometimes, it’s used as a deliberate excuse to check out another man or woman.
Another person caught our eye and then we get into hunting mode. We go in hot pursuit of strange flesh.
But isn’t it strange that when we get in bed with them that we have sex the same way?
The only thing that’s different is that it’s another sexual partner.
Or, perhaps nothing is wrong in the marriage, but just the hunt for another sexual conquest is engaged and you act normal in marriage. But you’re a “Wanderer or Predator” outside the marriage.
Like when a man has lust in his heart for another woman. A married man or a woman will use any excuse to commit adultery.
There’s a remedy for remarriage.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NKJV) “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.”
If he or she didn’t illegally remarry, reconcile your differences and return to the one you’ve first married. Now if the spouse passed away (unsuspiciously), you’re free from the law of that marriage or divorce.
1 Corinthians 7:39 (NKJV) “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”
Finally, the woman at Jacob’s well showed up to draw water. The Lord Jesus was there and asked her for a drink. The Lord used a simple conversation to show her that her search for love ends with the Savior. The Lord showed her that she was a career adulterer. Having been through 5 husbands.
She said to the Lord Jesus that she wasn’t married. Which indicated that she had enough of getting married. The man she was with wasn’t her husband. She perceived that the Lord Jesus was a Prophet. And, yes, the Prophet that Moses said would come.
The Lord didn’t look to condemn her but to get her to stop drinking “water” that would never satisfy her. The “water” of lust. The Lord offered her living water, that she would never thirst for again.
Of course many will not agree with what the Bible says about divorce, but death ends the debate with God. The Word wins the argument. Then you have Hebrews 13:4.
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
Death ends the debate.
Hebrews 9:27 says “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, after this, the judgment.”
Since death is true on one hand, judgment is true on the other.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Sinners will be paid wages, but when we repent (turn completely from sin) and place our full faith on the Lord Jesus, we receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.