Friday, September 2, 2011

Matthew 5:31-32

 31 “It was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

I've finally worked out the exception cause in Matthew 5:32! It's obvious. Jesus isn't saying that it's okay to get divorced if your spouse cheated on you (though it might be alright), what he is saying is that if you do divorce your adulterous spouse, you're not causing them to commit adultery by doing that. They've already done committed adultery without your help.

Am I right? Am I missing something?


  1. I get the point of the whole 2 verses. It was just those few words that seemed to detract from the point of what he was saying.

  2. I'm with you Simone. Another one of the all-too-often-badly-misread category.

  3. Sorry, I've been away from my computer having a 50th birthday party. Well worth it!

    I tripped over the words "exception clause". Sounds like reading a statute and blinded me to everything after - actually what you say is reasonable but still perhaps beside the point.

    The key verse of the sermon is 5:20 - "unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the Kingdonm of heaven". He then provides multiple illustrations of what he means, each time contrasting a pharisaic legal interpretation of righteousness with a deep inner orientation or an act of uncalled for generosity. It's not a new law, it's way beyond the Law. In that context a legalistic approach to divorce (which just involves doing the paperwork right) is contrasted with a sense that the vows are binding no matter what. But if the other person breaks their part of the vow, you are not necessarioly bound to keep your part - it's a two-way deal.