Jesus & Divorce
Divorce is a very difficult topic to discuss, yet it is a topic that nearly everyone in our society has been impacted by in some way. This is true whether we ourselves have been in marriages that didn’t make it or whether we’ve experienced divorce amongst family members or close friends. Each divorce has its own story and context, which makes it more difficult to have broad discussions about divorce as a whole.
- With that in mind, how have you seen the normalization of divorce effect the sanctity of marriage in our society?
As Jeff mentioned, we’ll take a look at what the wisest, most compassionate, most loving person who ever walked this earth had to say about this topic.
In this brief section, Jesus lays out a challenging teaching on divorce. He shares a scripture (Deuteronomy 24:1), which was the commonly accepted teaching on divorce at the time and then he radicalizes it.
- Why do you think Jesus cared so much about divorce and protecting the covenant of marriage?
Later in the book of Matthew, Jesus expands on this teaching. Let’s take a look at what he says there.
In this exchange with the Pharisees, Jesus starts by going back to the beginning, quoting from Genesis 1 and 2.
- What role should these scriptures play in shaping our view and understanding of what marriage is according to God?
Jesus then goes on to indicate that divorce is not the norm (and certainly not a commandment!), but is a tragic exception to what is otherwise a permanent covenant. His disciples are stunned by this tough teaching and Jesus does nothing to smooth things over with them.
- How can faithful, committed, loving marriages in the church glorify God, especially in our current context?
- With the seriousness of Jesus’ teaching about marriage in mind, how should that change the way that we count the cost in our decision to get married?
- Paired with Paul’s teaching about marriage and singleness, how can we celebrate and normalize those in the family who remain single for the sake of the kingdom?