Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Jesus Speaks of Divorce

Today's reading is from Matthew 19:1-12. It's a strange morning for me, after so many weeks of being awake by myself. J was awake but has gone back to sleep. Jim is in the kitchen listening to music and beginning his day. Because he has third shift tonight I do believe he will be napping later in the day.
  Jesus left Galilee and is now in Judea.  Wherever he goes crowds follow -curiosity seekers, those truly interested in his message, and Pharisees are invariably there as well. They really are not happy that Jesus is getting all this attention and teaching what they don't wish to believe. Trying to trap him, they asked him if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus asked them, have you not read that God made man and he made them male and female, and a man shall leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one? They are no longer two, but one flesh. What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (verses 4 -6)
  Man and woman come joined together in matrimony. That is a very strong bond, or should be. 
 Not really satisfied with that answer, the Pharisees asked, why did Moses command to give a writing of divorcement?  And we think our divorce laws are easy. All they had to do was write it down and it was done. The man could go on his merry little way, single again.  But listen to what Jesus says to them:
  8. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
 9. And I say unto you, 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.
 Did you catch that? God didn't tell his people they could give a writing of divorcement and be done with it. Moses allowed that because that is what they wanted. God's law and man's law are sometimes two different things. Just because the law of the land says something is okay does NOT make it okay in God's eyes.  In this case Jesus said that divorce for any other reason than fornication is not acceptable. If you choose to divorce for any other reason and remarry, you're committing adultery. And if the person who committed the sin in the first place remarries, they are in the wrong. 
  The disciples said, well if this is how things are maybe its not good to marry. But Jesus told them not all people can heed to that. Some are eunuchs by birth, some by man, and some choose to make eunuchs of themselves for the kingdom of heaven's sake. They want to focus purely on God. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. (v12).  Meaning, if you can live a marriageless life and not sin, go ahead. If you can't, it is better to be married. 
  Marriage is the only place where God has sanctified sex. It is not something casual like a handshake. It is something wonderful, meant to be shared by two people who love each other and commit their lives together as one. When we keep our eyes only for our mate we save a lot of grief and heart ache. If we are not out having sex with multiple partners before marriage, we know that we won't get an STD and we won't get pregnant. We also don't get our hearts broken because he got what he wanted and moved on to the next conquest. These are just a few reasons I see why we should remain pure until marriage, other than God said so.    

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