Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 9, Wednesday Devotion

June 9, Wednesday Devotion
Matthew 19:1-12
1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. 2 Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick. 3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ 5 And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” 7 “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked. 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. 9 And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.”  
    10 Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!” 11 “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. 12 Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
Quick Notes/Questions
Originally this was going to be the whole chapter but after reading over these verses a few times, I thought it would be beneficial to look closely at what is being said here. 

In this time period, there were two schools of Jewish rabbis: Hillel and Shammai.  In the school of Hillel, it was quite easy for a man to divorce his wife.  I remember reading that there were divorces were granted because the wife overcooked a meal.  If there were any transgression (willful or not) a man could be granted divorce at the cost of the lady.  This is why Jesus' disciples said what they said.  They couldn't imagine a world where a man could not divorce a woman outside of adultery.  Jesus' response is consistant with the school of Shammai.  

We live in a world where divorce happens too frequently, probably not too different than the day of Jesus.  In the same way that Jesus (and the school of Shammai) raised the standard of their time, we have a responsibility to show that marriage is a blessing and a duty to raise the current standard.  What are some ways we can play a part in that?
Quick Prayer
God, I really don't like thinking about divorce.  It surrounds me wherever I go.  I ask for you to empower me to love everyone around me.  Amen.

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