“God’s plan for Marriage”
BIBLE READING: Matthew 19
The verses of our reading today deal with divorce. Those of us who are older can remember a time when divorce was not talked about as it is today. This text discloses that divorce was a serious problem in the time of Christ, just as it is today. Divorce had become so casual that men were putting away their wives for such trivial matters as burning their food or embarrassing them in public.
Jesus was not an advocate of divorce, and He certainly didn't command it. Jesus was in the area of Perea, ruled by Herod Antipas. This was where John the Baptist had been imprisoned and eventually put to death for his opposition to the marriage of Herod to his sister-in-law. Herod had divorced his wife in order to marry Herodias, his brother's wife. Historical background indicates that this was a highly discussed topic in that region. This is the reason the Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce. Perhaps they wanted Jesus to come to the same fate as John the Baptist.
The Bible says the Pharisees were "testing" Jesus. The word "testing" can be interpreted "tempting." Truth was not their intent. They sought to catch Jesus in a theological blunder. Jesus didn't take either side in the debate. He referred them back to Moses, where in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, he focused on God's original plan for marriage. One man, for one woman, for life.