But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.” (Matthew 19:11-12)
Divorce – Not Everyone Can Accept The Teaching Of Jesus
Divorce was a subject Jesus did not hesitate to discuss when pressed by the Pharisees about the teaching of Moses’ law. The aim of the Jewish leaders was not to find some truth about marriage and divorce but to entrap Jesus in a legal quagmire of doctrinal inconsistencies. Some Pharisees came to Jesus and tried to trap him with a question of whether a man could divorce his wife for any reason. Appealing to the law, Jesus took the Pharisees back to the Garden of Eden, showing that God had created Adam and Eve and that the marriage bond was created in that union. What God had joined together was not to be separated.
The first answer Jesus gave the Pharisees was the law of marriage. God intended for the man and woman to be married to one another and remain faithful to their union. In the creation, the Father established the law of marriage as a binding covenant. There were going to be challenges in marriage. One of the purposes of Satan coming to the garden was to bring division between the woman and the man. He has succeeded throughout the ages as marriage is ignored as a divinely established covenant. The philosophy of human wisdom is that marriage is not sacred and sexual immorality and divorce are accepted norms. Men and women fight and argue and are unfaithful to one another and Satan smiles. The devil has won a victory when the marriage is dissolved and the partner’s divorce, but God hates divorce.
After Jesus answered the Pharisees, a second question was given: the trap the religious leaders had hoped for. They knew what Jesus would answer whether a man could divorce his wife under the Law of Moses. Hearing Jesus answer correctly, they pressed the Son of God to explain why Moses would say in the law that a man could give his wife a divorce and send her away. This was a misrepresentation of the true nature of the law, but Jesus did not flinch. He put the blame squarely upon the hearts of men who had hardened themselves against the pattern of God’s will. Moses permitted divorce because of the people’s hard hearts, but from the beginning – IT WAS NOT THE WILL OF GOD! The Son of God then declares that divorce can only be granted for one reason and one reason alone: infidelity. He further commands that any marriage ending in divorce for any other reason than sexual immorality is sinful. Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. The only exception is for the cause of sexual immorality.
The teaching of Jesus stunned the disciples. Their response to what Jesus said about marriage and divorce left them speechless. They responded that if what Jesus said was true, it would be better for a man and woman to remain unmarried. The eternal consequences of marriage and divorce had never been considered as serious as Jesus taught when questioned by the Pharisees. Jesus knew what He taught would not be popular to a world craving self-satisfaction. Divorce was common in the days of Jesus and it is common in the world today. What men fail to see is the teaching of Jesus has not changed. Not everyone would accept the will of God two thousand years ago and sadly, the teaching of Jesus on marriage and divorce is not readily accepted today.
Jesus knew not everyone would believe His teaching on divorce. There is only one reason for divorce. Incompatibility is not a reason, falling out of love is not a reason, not liking one another is not a reason; in the eyes of God the only reason for divorce is sexual immorality. Not everyone will accept this teaching, but it does not change the will of God. There are many lives turned upside down because of divorce. It will take the courage of a devoted man or woman to follow the will of God; and in some cases, the person may have to remain unmarried the rest of their life. What is that compared to the eternal destiny of those who refuse to accept the teaching of Jesus? Divorce is a tragedy of sin. From the beginning God made man and woman to be united as one. What God has joined together, let no man dare to separate.