- Matthew 19:4-6
In order to get to the truth about marriage, we must understand God’s definition of the subject. In our current text, we have that definition. According to the Lord, marriage is the union of two people into one.
The context Jesus’ statement in our text is His response to a question from Pharisees. Matthew tells us that the motivation for the question was to test Jesus. Their question deals with the matter of marriage, specifically, the death of marriage. The Pharisees ask Jesus whether it is lawful to divorce for any reason (Matthew 19:3).
Now during Jesus’ day, there were two lines of thinking about divorce. One named Hillel taught that a man could divorce his wife any reason, even for the most trivial reason. Another named Shammai taught that the only lawful reason to divorce one’s wife was for adultery (Barnes). It seemed as though the Pharisees’ motive for asking their question was to pit Jesus against one group or the other. Jesus did not take the bait of the Pharisees. Rather He directed them to another teaching…Biblical teaching.
Jesus goes back to the beginning of creation, to the time when God created man. Genesis tells us about the creation of man. The text states that God made human beings (Gr. An-throw-pos), in His representation, resemblance, or image. And of His representation, God creates variety: male and female (Genesis 1:27).
God creates the male human differently from the female human. God creates the male from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) while the female He creates by taking a rib from the man’s body Genesis 2:21, 22). I do not mention this difference in creation to imply any inequity of the humanness between the male and the female. I do intend to say that the difference in the creation of the man and the woman illustrates what God intends for marriage.
I submit that Adam and Eve, from their very origins, were made as one flesh. Adam states it accurately when he says of Eve, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…” (Genesis 2:23). Eve is literally from Adam’s body. Adam and Eve are one flesh. As being one flesh, the two cannot be separated. This is God’s idea for marriage.
I acknowledge that Adam and Eve’s creation is unique among all married couples. This is because no other woman but Eve has been formed from the rib of her husband. But yet the principle remains the same for all couples. God desires for married couples to become as one just as Adam and Eve were literally one. I believe this is Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees’ question.
- Pastor Randy