Adult Sunday School

God’s View of Divorce ~ Mark 10:1-12

God values marriage! Matthew 19:6 tells us that through marriage a man and a woman join together to become one flesh, even superseding the sixth commandment: honor your father and mother. This is the ideal, but sin has corrupted that ideal. The Lord therefore, allowed for divorce.

Jewish law made it easy for men to divorce, actually not needing a reason at all. However, women were not allowed to even file for divorce. Only under rare circumstances was the husband forced to divorce under court order. Trying to discourage divorce, the rabbis made it a complex process with all kinds of little rules, and not allowing civil divorces at all. Further discouraging divorce, marrying a divorcee was forbidden.

Tending to use the law for our own benefit, we often take things to the very limit migrating away from God’s will. God allowed for divorce and we (of course) have abused that allowance, making it commonplace. We need to remember that God gave us Deuteronomy 24:1-4  not because it was His intention for divorce, but as a concession for man’s hardened hearts. In today’s scripture, Mark 10:1-12, Jesus was trying to recover God’s will for marriage. The Pharisees didn’t really care about God’s will at all. They cared only about themselves and their rights with a “how does it affect me?” attitude, and Jesus’ teachings affected them in a negative way. They were always quick to bring up controversies to try and trip up Jesus, hoping to turn the people against Him, and this section of scripture is no different. Upon the Pharisees’ confrontation about divorce, Jesus simply quoted scripture,“Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” It was not necessary to explain further; it was simply not God’s will to divorce.

Sin has entered the world and therefore man chooses to not always follow God’s will. Divorce is obviously not God’s will, but He is love and forgiveness, and His grace is sufficient, even when divorce is involved.



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