Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:2-16, NRSV)
Is it lawful to divorce?
I have preached on this passage and the parallel in Matthew, that Jesus says it is a sin to divorce. Hard words to say, but it is there in black and white.
But does that mean the couple should always stay together?
And I know several divorced and remarried people who are living a wonderful life with their new spouse.
In fact I have married some people who have been divorced. And some of the couples I have married have gotten divorced.
I also know people who will not marry or be in a relationship again because they are divorced and do not want to cause others to sin.
But you see here is the thing, no matter how you read the divorce thing, this passage, all of it with the part about children included, says we are to be in a relationship.
We can not navigate this world alone. Even if we never get married we need to be in relationships with others. We are connected as God’s children in His body. We are one.
That is why the two become one. The relationship binds them together, and even through divorce, they are still bound to each other.
That is why I love this icon of the Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev.
If you look at it closely there is a huge amount of detail.
But it is first of all of the Trinity. Showing that God by God’s self is a relationship. Father to Son, Son to Spirit, Spirit to Father, and all to each other. There is a continual relationship happening there.
But then if you look at the bottom of the icon, between the Father and the Spirit, there is a slight opening. Now I’m not sure is Rublev did this intentionally or not, but I believe or see that opening as an invitation to you to join this relationship.
You see God as the Trinity is not complete without you, and you are not complete by yourself.
You were created by a God, who is perpetually a relationship, to be in relationship to Him!
And by being in relationship to Him, to all of His children. And therefore surrounded by a great cloud of helpers!
So go and be in relationship!