Matthew 5:31-32; 19:1-12 – Divorce and the Gospel

Jesus is trying to help everyone see that a greater righteousness was necessary to be part of the new kingdom that He was bringing (Matthew 5:20). He has already shown the Pharisees that although they never took life themselves, they were murderers in their hearts (Matthew 5:21-26). He continued to expose their hypocrisy by teaching that they had committed adultery in their hearts with their lustful glares (Matthew 5:27-30). Now,Jesus shows them how even in a seeming righteous way they make concessions for divorce, they are once again falling beneath the righteous requirements of God’s original intentions. Divorce is never God’s plan. Once again, with the Pharisees, we are made to look to a higher righteousness that we cannot attain through the works of our own merit. It is to God we must come, not haughty, but poor in spirit (Matthew 5:1). Only through the gospel righteousness of Jesus Christ, can we be made right with God again (2 Corinthians 5:21).