Matt. 19:9; Matt 5:32


A. After God created the world and all things therein; He crowned it with a marriage. In this union God intended for several purposed to be fulfilled. Two of those purposes were (1) companionship (Gen. 2:18-22) and (2) perpetuation of the race (Gen. 1:27-28).

B. It was designed by God as a monogamous relationship, but with the fall of man into sin in Gen. 3, the relationship that God had designed was also to suffer man’s degradation. Monogamy was replaced with polygamy; Separation replaced permanence. The fact that the courts are filled with divorce cases is a sure indication of the decadence of the home. Divorce itself is not the evil - it is only the eruption of the rottenness within the body of society.

C. In God’s plan divorce was never intended. It was granted under the old law because of the hardness of the hearts of the people - Matt. 19:7-8

D. Today we find divorce for any cause has remained the law of the land despite what God has to say. People feel if they comply with the law of the land, then everything is okay. But what does God say?

I. Context

A. Pharisee’s Question

1. They probably had in mind Deut. 24:1-4.

2. Most of them probably held the position of Hillel (divorce any cause).

B. Yet we see Jesus' answer point them to God’s law at the beginning - vs 4-6.

1. God created one man for one woman - Gen 1:27

a. No spares just in case didn’t work out

2. Mates must cleave to each other - Gen. 2:24

a. "To join fast together, to glue, cement" -W. E. Vine

b. Because of this Gen. 2:24 should apply, not Deut. 24

3. A man & his wife are one flesh - Gen. 2:24

a. Suggest 1 in mind, spirit, goals, will, emotion.

4. God has joined man & woman together in marriage.

a. "Joined" only used here & Mk. 10:9

b. "To fasten in one yoke, yoke together" -Thayer, p. 594

C. Pharisees ask about Moses & bill of divorcement.

1. Wanted to discredit Jesus.

2. What does Deut. 24:1-4 say?

a. Nothing to encourage divorce.

b. Simply prohibits the remarriage of the put away woman to first husband.

c. No sign of God’s approval of divorce or remarriage to second husband.

3. NKJV & NASB - states as thing man does rather than saying may do it.

4. Purpose of Deut. 24:1-4

a. Discourage frivolous divorces

b. If had to give paper & could not take back, might cause to think before acting.

c. To take her back would pollute the land -Jer. 3:1

5. Jesus said Moses "suffered".

a. Means tolerated an already common practice.

b. No where did he say God approved. -Mal. 2:16

c. Deut. 24:4 shows God's disapproval of divorce

d. Throughout O. T. God tolerated things He didn’t approve.

(1). Polygamy

D. Jesus teaches His law.

1. Since fornication is violation of Gen. 2:24

2. Lord allows divorce for that cause.

II. The Exception Phrase

A. Why Matt. only writer to include exception?

1. Question being discussed was putting away for every cause.

2. Other writers deal with general rule.

a. Mk. 10:11-12

b. Lk. 16:18

III. Application Of Text

A. Divorce

1. Jesus does not require or command

2. Is permissible with approval

a. Many reasons

b. But Jesus recognizes only one cause

B. Remarriage

1. Blanket rule is adultery

2. One exception - fornication

3. If the one who puts away remarries, adultery if not for fornication

4. If one put away remarries, adultery regardless of reason.

5. God does not allow any divorce in which both parties are free to remarry.

C. All are under Gen. 2:24

1. All were under this law, as it was from the beginning.

2. Law of Moses given to Jews, did not change condition of rest of world.


A. God only allows certain people to marry and remain acceptable to Him.

Those are:

1. One who has never been married

a. Matt. 19:4-5

b. Heb. 13:4

c. 1 Cor. 7:2, 28

2. One whose mate is dead - Rom. 7:3

3. One who puts away his/her mate for fornication - Matt. 5:32; 19:9

4. Those reconciling - 1 Cor. 7:11

B. If there are any others authorized, we must find a passage that allows it.

C. For anyone, inside or outside of Christ, to divorce for any reason other than fornication removes any right they might have to remarry, regardless of what the law of the land may say.

D. For one to do so, causes that person and the one they marry to commit adultery, which is in violation of God’s word and leads to destruction.

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