v 8 Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.
On Monday we thought about some of the significance of this far-reaching statement by Jesus. He was claiming to know and understand the mind of God in the commandments. He was implying such a close relationship with His Heavenly Father that He was able to speak about what God intended when giving the commandments. He went back beyond the great human Law-giver, Moses, to expound God’s eternal purposes. It is this stressing of the closeness of His relationship with God that offended His legally-minded listeners. They could not, would not, accept that a greater than Moses, a greater than Abraham, was standing in front of them.
The major point of Jesus’ teaching however concerns the permanence of marriage in God’s economy. That is not to say we don’t understand and sympathise when things go wrong in a marriage, or want to exclude the possibility of both divorce and remarriage. However, God’s intention for stable and satisfying relationships is that Marriage should be seen as a permanent bond. For sure, couples may have to work hard at sustaining such a relationship, but the long-term benefits of doing so are elements of God’s lasting plan for the good of humanity.
These are hard things to talk or write about in a society where personal sexual freedom is reckoned to be part of our ‘rights’. So pray for families, for stability that brings joy and satisfaction, and for a willingness to pursue pathways of peace that make for deep-rooted happiness in society.