Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative to present Jesus in the context he walked in with the unknown disciple that narrates introducing my thoughts and sparking more ideas with his questions. Enjoy.
We were in the region of Judea and across the Jordan River. Crowds of people surrounded Jesus. As was his custom, he taught them.
Some Pharisees walked up with a question to test him. “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
“What did Moses command you?” he replied.
They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
That’s in Deuteronomy.
“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.
I thought, ancient teachers of the law sometimes recognized that some of Moses’ laws were written as concessions to human weakness. Civil laws don’t necessarily represent God’s ideals; typically, they merely place limits on human sin.
“But at the beginning of creation God’ made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Later, when we were in the house again, we asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
Is this impossible, or prohibited, I wondered. There are concessions. In our time, as in the past, marriages tended to be arranged. Is this a way to protect the woman from being divorced?
NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible