Throughout this series, we’ve been working our way through Jesus’ illustrations of what that kind of perfect righteousness flowing from the goodness of a heart like God’s looks like. The kind of heart only Jesus can give us.
In this sermon, we come to the 3rd illustration of a heart made right in the Kingdom of Heaven, and again Jesus isn’t pulling any punches. The example of divorce demonstrates an underlying hardness of our hearts.
In a world full of miserable marriages, brutal betrayals, devastating divorces, and alarming abandonments, Jesus has a better Way. And it all starts with a new heart.
Three key points in our outline:
- The Details of the Divorces Debate: The Old Testament grounds for divorce were adultery (Deuteronomy 24) and abusive abandonment (Exodus 21). Both of these texts form the backdrop of the New Testament’s teaching about divorce. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus interacts exclusively with Deuteronomy 24, which offers only one ground for divorce based on sexual immorality/adultery.
- The Hardness of Human Hearts: Jesus is saying that divorce runs contrary to God’s intentions. It is only because of Israel’s hard heartedness that God made allowance for divorce (not a commandment). God never intended it to be this way. Our hard hearts search for loopholes to find a way out. Something has gone terribly wrong when our hard hearts search for loopholes to find a way out of our marriages. This is symptomatic of our hearts curving inward in selfishness. Jesus is here to give us new hearts and a new way.
- The Loyalty of Lasting Love: Marriage is designed for happiness and holiness. Too often we only focus on the happiness aspect of marriage. We forget that marriage is also a furnace designed to forge Christlikeness within you.
Ultimately, Jesus offers us a heart of covenant faithfulness and love.
Takeaway: Don’t journey alone. We need godly counsel to walk with us through these things and apply the Scriptures with the wisdom of God.