Matthew 19:1-12 A Right Heart Regarding Marriage

by | Nov 20, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. These Men Had Hard Hearts

A. Hard Hearts Regarding Jesus V. 3a

1. Testing Him- tempting (KJV)

a. To try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining what he thinks
b. In a bad sense, testing one maliciously, to prove his feelings or judgments

2. Their questioning was insincere

a. They did not really believe in Who He was, or what His message was
b. They wanted to trap Jesus in His words, and find blame in Him

B. Hard Hearts Regarding Marriage V. 3, 7, 8

1. Historically- There were two schools of thought regarding divorce

a. Rabbi Shammai- no man was to put away his wife unless for adultery
b. Rabbi- Hillel- divorce was allowed if a man was not satisfied w/his wife

i. Rabbi Akiba- “If any man saw a woman handsomer than his own wife, he might put his wife away; because it is said in the law, If she find not favor in his eyes.” (Misinterpreting Deuteronomy 24:1)
ii. Josephus, Jewish historian- “About this time I put away my wife, who had borne me three children, not being pleased with her manners.”

2. Argumentative- V. 7- They asked a question, and already had a prepared answer
3. They were not seeking truth, but seeking to advance their position on divorce.
4. They were more concerned w/prevailing opinions than w/ God’s Word.
5. Jesus identified their spiritual problem: “…hardness of your hearts…”

C. Hard Hearts Regarding God’s Word V. 4

1. They should have been reading all of God’s word; they should have known.
2. As religious leaders, why were they not sincerely searching God’s word?
3. They thought that God through Moses commanded divorce. Jesus corrected them, saying that God sometimes permitted divorce.
4. V. 7- They quoted scripture. Quoting scripture doesn’t mean that you love God, want to please Him, or want truth. It just means that you know some scripture.
5. NOTE- Remember that Satan quoted scripture to Jesus. (Matthew 4)
6. Read God’s Word so that you will be changed, don’t quote it get your way.

D. What Hard Hearts Produce

1. A wrong assumption about Jesus, about the Father, about the Word of God
2. Blindness and spiritual misperceptions
3. A bold, spiritual hypocrisy which led them to argue with Jesus about marriage
4. Marriage is a strong picture of Christ’s love for us. (Ephesians 5:25)
5. WARNING- Christians can quote scripture about marriage, and ask questions about it, but have an ungodly heart towards Jesus, the Bible, and marriage.
6. Proverbs 11:29a He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind…
7. We need to have right hearts about marriage, or else we will suffer or divorce

II. God’s Design For Marriage

A. Marriage Is Between One Man & One Woman V. 4, 6

1. This design goes back to “the beginning” V. 4

a. It has always been this way- God created it this way
b. God’s original design isn’t intended to change

2. Any other combination (gay/lesbian/polygamy) isn’t a marriage in God’s eyes

B. Marriage Creates A “One Flesh” Union V. 5, 6

1. “One flesh”– this is closer than any other kind of human bond

a. Closer than mother & child, or father & child
b. Closer than a man’s bond to his family, or a wife to her parents
c. “Leave and cleave” is God’s design. Parents are not to be a back-up plan

2. God intended that man “not separate” what He had joined together
3. Remember that marriage commitment is a relationship ordained by God

III. When God Permits Divorce V. 7, 8

A. Keep Proper Perspective

1. God permits divorce, but He never commands it
2. In the beginning, God never designed a divorce plan for Adam & Eve
3. Violations of the marriage vow don’t demand that a divorce take place
4. Hardness of heart is why divorce is permitted. The offender/offended/or both
5. Divorce is permitted, but it’s not the “High Road”. Aim for forgiveness.
6. Forgiveness heals & saves marriages. Don’t be hard-hearted. Forgive.

B. Sexual Unfaithfulness V. 9a
C. Abandonment 1 Corinthians 7:12-15

IV. Wrongful Divorce Produces Adultery

A. It Is Assumed Both Parties Will Remarry
B. Lax Views On Divorce Created Opportunities That Shouldn’t Have Existed

V. Recognizing The High Call Of Marital Faithfulness Vs. 10-12

A. The Disciples Rightly Feel Challenged

1. They are impacted w/God’s narrow view of when divorce is permitted
2. They must have thought that divorce was easier & more acceptable to God
3. They see the seriousness of marriage, & feel most men unqualified to marry
4. Their solution is singleness & celibacy

B. Jesus’ Response To Their Conclusion

1. They were correct, but only partially

a. Celibacy is an extreme answer to avoiding divorce
b. Celibacy & singleness is a call given by God only to a few

2. Regarding eunuchs: both actual eunuchs and those who commit to celibacy

a. Some are born that way
b. Some kings would make men eunuchs to guard their harems
c. Some have chosen singleness in order to better serve God (1 Corinthians 7:7-9)

3. Avoiding divorce through singleness isn’t the answer unless one has been called to it
4. If a man or woman has been called to marriage by God, then God will grace them with everything needed to be a faithful & loving spouse. (2 Peter 1:2-11)