Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Jesus on Divorce: Glued Together, No One can Separate It (Mark 10:1-9)

Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them. Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ ‘What did Moses command you?’ he replied. They said, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.’ ‘It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,’ Jesus replied. ‘But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate’
(Mark 10:1-9,

The subject of divorce was a hot issue in Jesus’ day as it is today. According to the Old Testament, a man could divorce his wife if she “displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her” (Deuteronomy 24:1). But by the time Jesus came there were two conflicting views about divorce among the Jews, all because of two ways to interpret the word “indecent” in Deuteronomy 24:1. Mostly the Pharisees said that indecency referred only to sexual unfaithfulness, meaning, a man could divorce his wife only if she became sexually involved with another man. A second view interpreted it as anything that displeased the husband. For example, a man could divorce his wife if she displeased her husband by burning his toast!

The Pharisees, wanted to find some reason to accuse Jesus and get rid of Him, asked Him what was His interpretation of divorce. They were probably hoping that Jesus held the more ‘open’ view of divorce; that way they could discredit Him among the religious community for His liberal interpretation of Scripture. But Jesus doesn’t sided with any one of the two views, Jesus said that in God’s view of marriage, divorce is not mention. When Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24, he implied that in God’s original blueprint for marriage in the Garden of Eden, husband and wife were to be glued (“become one flesh”) into one, inseparable unit. That’s it! Divorce wasn’t even in the vocabulary. “What God has joined together, let no one separate.”

So, why did God allow Moses to include a divorce certificate in the Old Testament law? Jesus answered: “It was because your hearts were hard.” When sin entered the human race as described in Genesis 3, men became basically selfish, unloving and reluctant to forgive in all of relationships – including marriage. The life of “one flesh” God intended husband and wife to enjoy often end up with two self-centred individuals. Instead of caring for each other selflessly, individuals care for themselves first. So for the man who was too hard-hearted to forgive his wife, for example, for being unfaithful, God allowed divorce. Because once sin entered the picture, nothing will be the same. But we must remember that God’s number one plan for marriage is that they commit themselves to each other with selfless love and forgiveness.

Now, I’m not married yet. Soon. But as I read this text in Mark 10 long time ago, I have to consider and equip myself for marriage. This is what I learned: The only kind of glue (to be “one flesh” means to literally glue two objects into one) that holds a marriage together is the glue of commitment. Commitment means that you give yourself to your partner in marriage as a permanent gift; and the two of you give yourselves to God as one. This kind of glue bonds people together so that they can endure all the pressing, pulling and stretching that life can inflict on them. Commitment to one another is above the romantic feelings; it is a committed-choice to stick with one another no matter what happen. If I may respectfully paraphrase Jesus’ words this way: “What God has glued together, man won’t want to separate by divorce.” Amen.

If you try to separate two objects that are glued together,
It’s hard to do, and it ‘hurt’ because each will never be the same again.
That’s the effect of divorce
(P.s: I know it’s hurt, my parents divorced few years ago)

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