Did Jesus Really Mean What He Said About Divorce?

Then he looked around and said, “I’m going to settle this issue once and for all.”

“I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

And that was the final word.

Period.

Why He Said What He Did

Jesus adopted the “strict” interpretation, but here’s what you have to understand: Jesus did it to protect women.

This was a command given specifically to men about how to treat their wives who…

  • had no rights
  • were considered their husband’s property
  • had no legal recourse if they disagreed with their husband’s decision
  • and whose families would not accept them back after they had been divorced

Simply put, Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 19 to protect women from abuse.

Not out of hate.

And definitely not out of a desire to provide a comprehensive statement about divorce and remarriage for all Christians everywhere for time eternal, amen.

The Question

So let me address the question that obviously comes up,

“If I’ve been divorced, but my former spouse didn’t commit adultery, can I get remarried?”

A number of years ago I heard a pastor talking about how he gave a stirring talk on the life of Moses and how, even though Moses killed a man, God gave him a second chance and used him in a mighty way.

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Brian Jones
I’m the founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In 13 years the church has grown from a small group in my home to over 2,000 incredible people. Before that I served in churches of 25 to 600 in attendance. I love church planters and pastors of smaller churches, and totally understand the difficult challenges they face as they try to help people find their way back to God.