This is a sermon I wrote and preached in my home church in March 2019. Since it deals with the topic of marriage and relationships I thought I’d shared it on the blog, podcast, YouTube and wherever else. Plus, those in our supporters group
who read the first draft really liked it, so that was encouraging.
direction from my pastor was to preach from the life of Christ, something that
tells us about God’s love. It was to fit
into a sermon series he was part-way through.
in order to teach you about God’s love, I’m going to talk about divorce.
Why? Apparently because few others want to, and apparently that’s my role
- to talk about things everyone would rather leave well enough alone.
can divorce show us God’s love? Those two things don’t really go
together, do they? Well, I’ll tell you.
Let’s start by reading the account in the Bible. We can find this in two places in the gospels: Mark 10:1-12 and Matthew 19:1-11. I’m going to deal with the Matthew account as it gives a bit more detail.
Now when Jesus had finished these sayings [he was just answering the question about how often you should forgive someone], he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”Matthew 19:1-12
Introduction & Context
Jesus was making his way back to Jerusalem, surrounded by people who he was healing, and along comes the Pharisees. As was often their plan, they came to trap him with a question. After the healing at the pool of Bethesda, which we heard about a couple of weeks ago, the rabbis, including the Pharisees, had been plotting Jesus’ death. Of course, they weren’t at the point that they were willing to kill him directly yet, so they looked for ways to set large groups of people against him, or possibly get him in trouble with the Romans.
Potential Plan #1 - The Romans
As I was researching this, I found what is probably the most confusing wikipedia page in existence. Here’s what wikipedia has on Herodias, the wife of Herod:
So, Herodias, not to be confused with Herodas, was a princess of the Herodian dynasty. She was the daughter of Aristobulus IV and his wife Berenice. She was the sister of Herod V,