A wife asks her husband, “Honey, if I died, would you remarry?” He replies, “After a considerable period of grieving, I guess I would. We all need companionship.” “Well”, she asked, “If I died and you remarried, would she live in this house?” “We’ve spent a lot of money getting this house just the way we want it. I’m not going to get rid of my house. I guess she would.” “If I died and you remarried, and she lived in this house,” the wife asks, “would she sleep in our bed?” “Well, the bed is brand new, and it cost us $2,000. It’s going to last along time, so I guess she would.” “If I died and you remarried, and she lived in this house and slept in our bed, would she use my golf clubs?” “Oh, no,” the husband replies. “She’s left-handed.”
This is how so much divorce is……”she’s left handed”…there is someone already waiting in the wings. And this is specifically, in context what I believe that Jesus is talking about here.
Mark 10:10-12 (TNIV)
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
I want to point out something I found very interesting here: When Jesus proclaims that a man who remarries “commits adultery against her”….He was saying something that was revolutionary in that time. Jesus was elevating women to a role of equality that went against all the norms of then Jewish society. You see, women were almost viewed as “property” in a marriage relationship. God’s plan has always been a plan of partnership and of two becoming “one flesh”.
It appears that Jesus was forbidding divorced persons from remarrying. This would mean that they either live a life of celibacy or sin. As we look closely at the context, we see that that:
1. God created marriage and intended it to be a lifelong commitment.
2. It was apparent as the Pharisees ask Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” that they were trying to trap him into refuting what Moses “permitted” in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. 3. What Moses permitted opened the door to MEN divorcing their wives on a whim or to retain his wife’s dowry.
I saw it best explained here:
“But there was also another issue. In ancient Jewish marriages, when a woman got married, her father gave her a dowry that reflected her father’s wealth. The dowry–that could consist of money, slaves, or other property–remained the woman’s throughout her marriage. If she was divorced, her husband had to return the dowry to her, unless she was guilty of sexual misconduct. To divorce his wife, a man merely had to write a document stating that the wife was free from him and could remarry. No court action was necessary; it was a very simple process. As a result, some Jewish men were divorcing their wives and using this interpretation of the divorce law to avoid returning a wife’s dowry.”
Still, the question remains, can a divorced person remarry? If a person is TRULY repentant of their sinful past and commits their life to God …..can they remarry?.
We don’t have a simple, direct reply to that question. But this is what we do know: Jesus died that we might live a new life in Him, full of forgiveness and restoration. This new life is available to ALL who come to Him in repentance and faith. The truth is, we must examine our own hearts and indeed, we must KNOW that God knows OUR hearts. We can’t hide it. The Gospel, the Good News, is full of restoration and healing.
Jesus has a very high view of marriage and a very low view of divorce. We would do good to focus on that.