Full Text for Dogmatics 4- Volume 23 - How do we respond to what Jesus says in Matthew 9, that if a man marries a woman who has been put away in divorce, he commits adultery with her? (Video)

No. 23. >> Thank you, again, for tackling such challenging issues. May I follow up with another question? You made a reference to Jesus' comments on divorce. In Matthew 9 Jesus says that if a man marries a woman who has been put away in divorce, he commits adultery with her. She seems like the victim to me. Help me with this. >>DR. JOEL D. BIERMANN: You can ask the question, Nick. But you're taking me out of my league. Remember, I'm a systematics prof, not an exegete. So when you start asking me about Matthew 9, I could cry: Foul! And just bail out. And I'm tempted to do that. But I'll take a run at it. I think what Jesus is setting up there in Matthew 9 is this kind of situation where he's just upping the ante. He wants you to realize that marriage is serious, serious, serious business. And divorce is just not to be accepted. So the woman who gets divorced, essentially the husband has left her. And now she is the broken half of a relationship. And so the idea then is if you marry her, you're actually by marrying her moving in on a relationship that you shouldn't be moving into because she's still in God's eyes connected to this other man. So that's why she is an adulterer. Not even by choice. But kind of by default. Now, how does that apply to us today? I think in our situation where you have a guy runs off and leaves a woman and divorces her and he remarries, is it possible for that woman to get remarried? Yeah, I think so. But for her to take responsibility for the breaking of that marriage, I think she should do that. And I think there needs to be an admission that, you know, mistakes were made. And I take responsibility for those things. And yet, there is that forgiveness. And there is a possibility for a new beginning. Even in Christ. And even in a new marriage. These things get complicated. And again, there are not quick and easy answers for them. But I think that Jesus is simply in that text really trying to elevate the importance of marriage and helping us to take it a little more seriously so it's not kind of a quick and easy game we play. You know, one more thought on this. I've even had people say: Pastor, I know it's a sin to get divorced. But we just can't make this marriage work. And I know there's forgiveness. So we're just going to go ahead and do this. No; no. That's playing the game. That's planning to sin. Committing the sin. Knowing you're going to ask for repentance later. And that's just playing games with God. This is a hard word. This is a very hard word. Because you're going to be telling some couples that they need to stick it out in an unhappy situation. And you're not going to be a popular guy for delivering that message. But I believe it's the right one. It's important to remember that God has never made the promise that he wants us to be happy in this life. And I think people make the mistake when they believe: Well, God wants me to be happy, doesn't he? I'm not happy in this marriage. I have to get out. Because I only have, you know, 30 years left or whatever. I'm already halfway through my life. I can't spend my whole life doing this. Well, I would challenge that. Who says you can't spend your whole life doing this? God has allowed you in this marriage. You're in this marriage. If God wants this marriage to end, he can do it. A well placed heart attack is no big deal to God. And if he wants you out of the marriage, he'll get you out of it. And as long as you're in it, yeah, you need to tough it out. Are there hard rows to hoe for some of us? Really hard. And I grieve with some of the choices people have made and the kind of situations they have put themselves in. But this life is short. And the next one is much more significant. It goes for eternity. And we need to be faithful in this life, even when it's not pleasant. And even when God gives us quite frankly a rather lousy deal. It happens sometimes. You think about people with birth defects or with, you know, terrible physical deformities or mental challenges. You know, being in a tough marriage is one of the burdens we carry in this broken world. And we need to be faithful as we do it.