When Jesus finished teaching these truths about God, he left Galilee and went to the territory of Judea on the east side of the Jordan River (153). Large crowds continued to follow him, and he continued healing their sicknesses.
Once, some Pharisees came to Jesus & tried to trap him into saying things for which he could be condemned. They asked him, “Does our law allow a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”
Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read that in the beginning God made people male and female? And God also says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father & mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one.’
“So, in God’s eyes, they are no longer two individuals but one union. And no man may separate what God has joined together.”
The Pharisees pressed him, “Then why did Moses record in the law that a man may give his wife a divorce notice & send her away?”
Jesus answered, “Moses gave you permission to divorce your wives because you’re so hard to teach & so slow to learn. But that wasn’t the case at the time of creation.
“What God originally intended about marriage means that any man who divorces his wife, for any cause, commits adultery (sexual cheating) when he marries another woman. In the same way, any woman who divorces her husband, for any cause, commits adultery (sexual cheating) when she marries another man.”
Jesus’ students asked him privately, “If that’s God’s idea of marriage, isn’t it better not to marry?” Jesus answered, “This teaching doesn’t apply to everyone, but only to those whom God has called into marriage.
“Some people shouldn’t marry because they cannot live in marriage as God intended – either because they were born that way, or because people made them that way, or because God calls them to be singly dedicated to the spread of God’s kingdom.
“But anyone who is able to live in marriage as God intended should definitely do so.”
(153) Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10:1-12