Understanding Jesus’ Marriage Law (Matthew 19:1-12)

Matthew 19 is a turning point for this gospel account of Jesus. The first verse of chapter 19 tells us that Jesus is leaving Galilee and going to Judea. Luke’s account proclaims that Jesus has set his face toward Jerusalem. This will be the last time Jesus will go to the region of Judea and to the city of Jerusalem. Large crowds continue to follow Jesus and Jesus continues to heal the crowds. But then some Pharisees approach Jesus with a question with the purpose of testing Jesus. Here is their question: “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” (19:3). Now if we were to ask this question to our society today, what would it say? The answer would be a resounding yes. You can divorce for any cause. This answer was also the common answer in the first century in Roman society as well as Jewish society…

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