“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and become united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”
Matthew 19:5 (NIV).
“I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness...” Matthew 19:9 (NIV).
A cadre of Pharisees stood off to the side and observed. The upstart religious phenomenon's popularity grew with a combination of homespun tales and slick tricks. The former carpenter turned rabbi lacked the necessary credentials for them to take him seriously, still He possessed remarkable wisdom and insight concerning God's laws.
In an effort to entrap Jesus, the teachers of the Law approached Him with a question concerning divorce. On the surface it appeared as an honest inquiry. “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” Matthew 19:3 (NIV). They awaited His response, ready to pounce. Surely He'd give them something to use to silence Him. What they got was just the opposite.
With an answer more orthodox than expected Jesus caught His opponents off guard. Quoting Genesis, He reminded the Pharisees of God's original intent – no divorce at all. When they married, a couple became one flesh and no one was to severe that union. Jesus continued to correct the experts. It was Moses, not God, who permitted divorce and only in response to their hard-hearted condition. End of discussion; the snare set for the prey entrapped the hunters.
I sense a deeper meaning beside the issue of marriage and divorce; our relationship with God. The union between a man and woman is sacred and permanent – they are one. Like a groom, Jesus left His Father's home to pursue His bride. He reconciled the world (the good, the bad and the ugly) to Himself through the crucifixion and resurrection. God and man are back in relationship and are never meant to be separated again.
Jesus stated infidelity is the only grounds for a marital dissolution. Concerning God, everyone has the choice to accept the reconciliation already in place. To reject Him for any reason is akin to unfaithfulness. Jesus said we could only be for Him or against Him. No middle ground and no neutrality; we're either with Him or we're not. Any decision to reject God's free gift of love and relationship will bring about the final divorce and the right to live eternally without Him – in hell.
God's always faithful, He never walks away from anyone. He respects us and the choices we make. If you don't realize that right now you're in God's good graces, today is your day! Is there any good reason preventing you from accepting what's already yours? I hope not. God is only a prayer away. Don't miss out on the deal of a life time.