I’m thinking about our Easter celebration day and smiling. It was such a good day for the Crestview Community. From worship to the brunch to the Easter Egg Hunt, there was joy. May the name of the Lord be praised!
This week we return to our series from Matthew, at the heart of the Sermon from the Valley, where Jesus continues to take on some tough and difficult issues. Our text for Sunday is Matthew 5:31-32. In addition to this text, we will also focus on Matthew 19:1-12. In both of these texts, Jesus expounds on divorce.
This issue, like many that Jesus addresses has affected us all. Rarely is anyone left untouched by the issue of divorce in our day and age. I may share some of my own story regarding divorce if the Spirit leads in that direction this week. Regardless, this is a difficult and painful issue for many of us.
Jesus, through the Sermon from the Valley, is seeking to write the law of God on our hearts. When it comes to ‘certificates of divorce’ in the Jewish cultural practices of his day, he addresses the hard heartedness of the people and affirms God’s intention that marriage be lifelong and permanent.
There were two prominent rabbi’s who taught on this topic during Jesus day (Hillel and Shammai). Both of them taught that sexual infidelity required divorce. Its interesting that Jesus permits divorce in this situation rather than requires it. Jesus continues to call his people to ‘go beyond’ the letter of the law instead of trying to meet the minimum requirement.
Jesus is making room for GRACE. He is calling his people to a life of forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. Jesus is establishing a new covenant, one that is based on redemption. How does this transform the way we live?
We will tackle tough questions like: Does adultery absolutely mean divorce? Does Jesus teach that divorce is never allowed outside of adultery? This Sunday, as we address the topic of divorce, let’s stand together in solidarity under the banner of Christ and his mercy and grace. In Jesus, we can all find the grace we need to stand and in which to live.
Check out this entry in Mark’s weekly blog on the Crestview website, here!