Matthew 19:1–12 (ESV)
Teaching About Divorce
19 Now when
Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and
female, 5 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’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh.
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 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. 9 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.”
I could easily
break this out into 2 or three parts, but rather I choose to do it in one devotion. Divorce is a topic that many don’t want to hear. That is because it affects about 50 % of the marriages today, whether Christian or not. Nobody like’s
being called out on sin. But I think it is crucial that we remember that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Few problems afflict the Church and society more than those of marital infidelity and divorce.
Sin has deeply affected our human relationships to the point that its effects seem normal, but they are not. When questioned about marriage and divorce, Jesus emphasizes that a lifelong, monogamous union is God’s intent for a man and a woman. He instituted
marriage to be a gift and a blessing. He also affirms the value of a single lifestyle. With His forgiveness, grace, and guidance, our relationships can be a blessing.
I pray: Be with all Christian families, Lord, granting them strength, mutual affection, and the grace to raise their children in faith. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO:
Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1623.