95 Jesus teaches about divorce.

Deuteronomy 24:1–4; Matthew 19:3–12; Mark 10:2–12; Luke 16:18

What did the Pharisees expect Jesus to say about divorce that would get him into trouble (Matthew 19:3)?

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What is the God-ordained, ideal condition of marriage (Matthew 19:4–6)?

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Why was a law about divorce necessary (Matthew 19:7–8)?

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How well had the Jews followed God’s law concerning divorce (Matthew 19:9–10)?

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From where did Jesus get his clarification about the adulterous aspect of divorce (Matthew 19:9)?

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Why did the disciples believe Jesus’ standard was too strict, that people would be better off never marrying (Matthew 19:10)?

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Does God intend for every man and woman to be married (Matthew 19:11)? Why or why not?

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What problems can arise when a single person wants to be married (Matthew 19:11)?

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What problems can arise when a married person wants to be single (Matthew 19:11)?

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Scripture gives no indication that the Pharisees’ attempt to trap Jesus was successful. Why might Jesus’ answer have given them nothing?

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The Pharisees came to trap Jesus into saying something they could use against him, so they said, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason whatever?”

Eyewitness

Mark 10:2 The Pharisees came to trap Jesus into saying something they could use against him, so they said, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
King James

Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

“Haven’t you read the scripture?” Jesus said. “From creation’s beginning, God made them male and female. That is why a man leaves his father and mother, is united with his wife, and the two become one. Since they are no longer two but one, and God has joined them, no one should separate them.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 19:4–6 “Haven’t you read the scripture?” Jesus said. “From the beginning, God made them male and female. That is why a man leaves his father and mother, is united with his wife, and the two become one. Since they are no longer two but one, and God has joined them, no one should separate them.”
Mark 10:6–9 but in the creation’s beginning, God made them male and female. That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and the two become one. Since they are no longer two but one, and God has joined them, no one should separate them.”
King James

Matthew 19:4–6 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Mark 10:6–9 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

“If that is true, why did Moses command a man to write his wife a bill of divorce and send her away from his house?”

Eyewitness

Deuteronomy 24:1–4 When a man marries a woman who displeases him because he has found some shame in her, let him write a bill of divorcement, hand it to her, and send her away from his house. After she has gone, she is free to marry another man. And if the new husband dies or rejects her, writes a bill of divorce, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house, her former husband is not allowed to marry her because she has been defiled. This would be detestable in God’s eyes.
Matthew 19:7 “If that is true, why did Moses command a man to write his wife a bill of divorce and send her away from his house?”
Mark 10:3–4 “What did Moses command you?” “Moses allows a man to write a bill of divorce and send her away.”
King James

Deuteronomy 24:1–4 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
Matthew 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
Mark 10:3–4 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.

“Because of your hard hearts, Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but that was not God’s plan from the beginning.

Eyewitness

Matthew 19:8 “Because of your hard hearts, Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but that was not God’s plan from the beginning.
Mark 10:5 “Because of your hard hearts, Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
King James

Matthew 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
Mark 10:5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

“I say, for any reason other than sexual unfaithfulness, any man who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery. Anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. And any woman who divorces her husband and marries someone else commits adultery.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 19:9 “I say, for any reason other than sexual unfaithfulness, any man who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
Mark 10:11–12 Jesus said, “Any man who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery. And any woman who divorces her husband and marries someone else commits adultery.”
Luke 16:18 “Any man who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
King James

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Mark 10:11–12 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Later, when Jesus was alone in the house, his disciples brought up the issue again. “If that is the only reason a man can divorce his wife, it is better to never marry.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 19:10 Jesus’ disciples said, “If that is the only reason a man can divorce his wife, it is better to never marry.”
Mark 10:10 Later, when Jesus was alone in the house, his disciples brought up the issue again.
King James

Matthew 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
Mark 10:10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.

Jesus said, “Not everyone can accept what God intends for marriage and for being single. Some have never had a desire to marry, and others choose to remain single for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. You should only wear the marriage garment if it fits.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 19:11–12 Jesus said, “Not everyone can accept what God intends for marriage and for being single. Some have never had a desire to marry, and others choose to remain single for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. You should only wear the marriage garment if it fits.”
King James

Matthew 19:11–12 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.