Welcome to Foundation Messiah. My name is Donnie and today I will be looking into what the Messiah teaches on divorce and remarriage. Please understand that in all 4 instances where the Messiah teaches on divorce he puts it into the context of marring another person. Therefore the proper thing for us to do is to keep the full subject in tact when exploring what the Messiah as to say on this subject.
To wrap a little context on to this subject I want to point out that we have no record of the Messiah ever being married. Also, we do see God give a certificate of divorce to the 10 northern tribes of Israel in books such as Jeremiah and Isaiah. However, there is no passage that supports the idea that God then went and “remarried” after this event. This divorce is meant to be symbolic and not meant to be literal. These are important points and contexts to keep in mind else we run the risk of misunderstanding what the Messiah is going to say on the subject.
This is not an exhaustive study into everything the bible has to say on the matter. It is however exhaustive in what the Messiah specifically says on the matter. I will work on part 2 that will cover everything else. I simply wanted to lay the foundation based upon what Yeshua, Jesus being his English name, teaches on this subject. If the other teaching is ready you will find a link in the description as well as at the end of this video.
There are 4 passages in that cover Christ's teachings on divorce among the 4 Good News accounts. Two in Matthew, one in Mark and one in Luke. John's Good News account has no passage that specifically teaches on divorce.
I will begin with the passage that has the most information as it will take the longest to explain. Then we will look at the other three passages.
We will open with Matthew 19:3-12. I will cover the whole passage then I am going to help break down this passage line by line.
'And Pharisees came up to him (Yeshua) and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 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’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 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. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 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.” '
Now, I am going to break down this passage line by line to do my best to show exactly what Yeshua (Jesus) is teaching.
We open in public.
Pharisees came up to Yeshua (Jesus) to tested him by asking:
“Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”
“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 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’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
NOTE: The Pharisees thought they had the right, according to Deuteronomy 24:1-4 to divorce their wives for any reason. Yeshua's response shows them they are incorrect. Yeshua shows them that man cannot separate what God has brought together. So, if the question is “Can we divorce for any reason?” then the answer is “No.”
“Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”
“Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you: whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, except in cases of sexual immorality.”
NOTE: Notice how both the Pharisees and Yeshua attribute this passage in Deuteronomy 24 to Moses and not to God? Too many today assume everything from Genesis to Deuteronomy (or all 66 books) is God talking especially when “laws” are given. Yet, this is simply not the case. Moses was allowed to give instructions to the people. Moses does not say “Thus says the LORD” when doing this. Much like Paul says “I, not the Lord” when speaking from himself. When God talks, Moses writes that it is the LORD talking usually with something similar to this.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying...”
In Deuteronomy 24 we find no such statement. Matter of fact... I went back 5 chapters and never saw the LORD talking. This does not mean Moses does not repeat an instruction of God in but without a direct word from God on the matter we are making assumptions. I currently do not want to assume anything. I want the truth of what is said. Yeshua says this instruction from Moses exists because of the hardness of our hearts. He then says again that this is not the way marriage was intended from the beginning. Yeshua then provides his ruling. I will be honest and say I have read this passage over and over and have even listened to Greek scholars on this passage.
What Yeshua is saying is narrow. Make no mistake. This is not an easy teaching and we will cover that soon as the disciples talk about this. Yeshua is straightforward. The way we are supposed to live (as men but this applied to women as well) is to marry one person and no one else. The only valid reason for a divorce is in cases of sexual immorality. However, the only reason this is allowed is because of the hardness of our hearts. So... divorce is allowed because of the hardness of our hearts but it is still only in the case of sexual immorality. Christ's ruling on this matter is that we should not divorce but to cleave to our wife. Please also understand that you should not hold to a modern idea of divorce. Divorce in scripture is more in-line with legal separation than annulment of the marriage covenant. You are “putting away your wife” and not “nullifying” the vows given. Remember, no man can separate what God has joined together.
It is at this point I want to also make something clear. I will not cover in full detail but fornication between people is not what creates a marriage. Marriage is created by our vows and not by sex. So, when someone teaches that if you have had sex with someone then you are married... well they simply do not understand what marriage is.
Now, let us move into the private meeting between Yeshua and the disciples.
Disciples: “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
Based upon this teaching the disciples come to an extreme conclusion that it might be better to never marry at all. I ask you... if the teaching is “you can divorce for any reason” would this make sense? If the teaching was “You must stay married until they cheat on you” would that make sense? No... This is not too hard of a teaching. The reality is that the disciples understand that what Yeshua is saying is that even if your spouse leaves you... you are still married to them because man cannot separate what God has brought together. If the disciples had misunderstood this teaching then Yeshua would have corrected them. Instead... he expounds on this even more for them.
“Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 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.”
Yeshua confirms this is a hard lesson with this response. Not everyone can receive this word. Only those whom it is given. Because we are able to read this and because we are supposed to have hearts of flesh and not hard hearts I would suggest this is for those who follow Christ's instructions. Do not get caught up in the typical understanding of the word eunuch here. While there is plenty of history that teaches eunuchs were typically without male parts this simply was not the case for everyone called eunuch. To put it simply a eunuch was someone who did not have sex. Not someone incapable of having sex. Again, just to reiterate the point Yeshua says to let the one able to receive this to receive it. This is not a statement meant to be used to defend those who are living in this sin. This particular section is about never marring in the first place. Remember that Yeshua's response here is to the disciple's statements and not to the pharisees. While the subject matter is still the same the questions Yeshua is answering are very different.
Before we move into other times Yeshua talks on divorce I want to cover the subject of hard hearts.
'Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God : I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord God .” '
If this passage in Ezekiel is talking of the Messiah, holy spirit coming in power like Acts 2 and the millennial kingdom... then Christ says divorce is part of the hard heart system. It had no place in the beginning and it has no place in the kingdom to come. We are called to live as if we are representatives of the kingdom to come and not like the world full of abominations and detestable things. You cannot claim to have the holy spirit if you are living with a hard heart. You are calling God and the Son of God a liar if you do.
We will now look into other passages where Yeshua talks on the subject of divorce. I will do this by book. So I will begin in the book of Matthew then move in order through the other 3 Gospels. I am not looking for every passage divorce is mentioned. I am specifically looking for what the Messiah has to say on the subject.
Many teach that Matthew was written primarily to the Jews. I find it very interesting that many who want to teach that marriage can be nullified through divorce for any reason (to include sexual immorality) hold to this idea but then do not go to the “gentile” Gospels to plea their case. Instead they use the “Jewish” one. Now, I do not hold to this idea but I find the hypocrisy of the statement to be very informative as to how people want to see the bible.
“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
This is very similar to what Yeshua says in Matthew 19 so I please go back and read that. The one in 19 has much more information as this one is not answering a direct question. However, what I want to point out is the fact that this passage in Matthew 5 is sandwiched between 2 other thoughts that will help us understand that commandments go together. Let us look at what Yeshua says right before this and right after this...
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
If you made the vow then you are bound to it. Is your yes a yes? Did you vow, before God almighty, that you would do all these things till death did you part? Yes? Are you keeping your word? Have you bound yourself to another through more vows? Sure, God has brought you together but Yeshua says that union is adultery. Even though you are bound by your vows you are called to cut yourself off from even your own flesh that causes you to sin. Yes, this is a hard teaching. I acknowledge that. Yeshua also acknowledges how narrow this is.
It is at this point I want to say... I am not telling you what proper repentance will look like. That is between God, you, your spouse and whatever leadership you are under. I am showing you what Yeshua the Messiah says on this subject. If you know me personally and believe that I am secretly judging you then please stop. I am more than willing to talk about this subject with you (or anyone for that matter) but without a move from the holy spirit I will not bring up this subject in your presence and you will not notice a difference in how I treat you.
The conclusion of the matter according to the Gospel of Matthew:
Moving on to the Gospel according to Mark.
“And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
As you can see there is only a few differences between this account and the one Matthew provided. One major difference is that the “exception” of sexual immorality is missing entirely from this passage. Now remember that many teach that Matthew is for the “Jews” and Mark is for the Gentiles. If this is true where is the allowance for divorce for the Gentiles? You will not find it in Mark.
In conclusion of the matter according to the Gospel of Mark:
Yeshua's teaching on this subject can be summed up with this.
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Moving on to Luke.
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
This is the only teaching by the Messiah in Luke in regards to divorce. Notice it is pretty much the sum of the matter according to Mark? So again, if Luke is the Gospel meant for the Gentiles show me where the allowance of divorce is. It is not in Mark or in Luke or even John.
In conclusion of the matter according to the Gospel of Luke:
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
The Gospel of John has no teaching on divorce. Therefor, the matter according to Christ is established as such.
Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. This is the only point made in every Gospel that includes a teaching by the Messiah on divorce.
The only valid reason for a divorce in on the grounds of sexual immorality.
The only reason divorce is even allowed is because of the hardness of our hearts and has no place for those with a heart of flesh.
Cut off parts of your own flesh that cause you to sin. No part of your flesh is worth sending your whole body into the lake of fire.
Let your yes be yes and you no be no. Anything else comes from evil.
This is a difficult teaching.
This is the teachings of Christ on the matter of divorce. In another teaching I will go over what Paul teaches on this matter. However, I want to leave you with this final thought.
'I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.'
This prophecy by God through Moses speaks on the subject that it is to Yeshua we must listen. While I want to know what Moses, Paul, Peter, Isiah, David and such have to say on a subject it is to Yeshua I must listen. This prophecy is not about anyone other than Yeshua. He is the Messiah and it is his words I will listen to.
I already know this is not what most are taught today. I ask you to read the passages I have mentioned and tell me what mistakes I have made. I am more than willing to discuss this subject. Please understand that I am going to stick with what the Messiah plainly says over what you believe another person (preacher or biblical author) says. Again, it is to the Messiah I must listen. You, are not worth going to hell over. However, I am very open to discussing this topic.
I am not pointing a finger at anyone. I can tell you this is the standard being presented by Christ. I cannot tell you exactly what repentance looks like. I can however tell you that if you have this sin in your past or in your current walk with God then you need to seek council on this matter. If I were to talk with someone on this matter I would be doing it from a place of love and compassion but also from a place of not compromising what the Messiah says on this subject. I fully understand that this stance would cause some to want nothing to do with me. While I do not wish for that result... it is not up to me. I will hold fast to the teachings of the Messiah and rely on the grace and mercy of God the Father in my shortcomings and misunderstandings. If you feel I am wrong you should speak with me on this subject as a loving brother or sister in Christ. Just be warned that I have presented my evidence on this matter according to Christ.
I want you to know that I do care for you. I want you to know that we can fast, pray and study this out together. Do not take my word for any of this. Please, look into this matter yourself and see what the scriptures say.
This is not my teaching. This is Christ's teaching to whom I am a servant. I pray this will be received by all the brothers, sisters, elect and saints living living in the promises of God.
Be blessed and be a blessing