The New Testament world was not ‘the good old days’ of clean living. Every society has had its rules about love, trust and those things that contradict the nature of love.
Today’s debates and debacles only illustrate humanity’s lifelong struggle between love found and love lost.
Jesus remained single and celibate. This was not a handicap to love. He did not have to be in a sexual relationship to understand transforming love. He recognized and understood the heart conditions around him.
The Pharisees were aware of their own polarized discussion on divorce. It was a question of interpreting the Law found in Deuteronomy 24. Rabbi Hillel taught that you could divorce your wife for the slightest reason. A more conservative view came from the School of Shammai that reserved divorce for cases of sexual immorality.
Jesus does not engage in the debate at their level. Nor should we expect Jesus to settle for our position or reasoning on a matter.
We ask similar questions to the Pharisees. ‘Is it lawful’ is a common cry. No one wants to be told they are wrong, so we look for an argument that says we are in the clear. We want to hold a position that says we are being prudent.
It’s our generation’s turn to ask what the rules are about sexuality and reasonable expectations. Perhaps you feel that we are more enlightened than previous times and capable of a purer understanding. Every generation feels this way and yet, we stumble on similar ground.
We know all about the demands of human desire. The jarring question is what is God’s desire? This is where Jesus takes their questions. God created the union of a man and woman and desires that no one dissolve that which He has blessed. This question of divorce was not here at the beginning. Haven’t you read?