What Jesus Did! 'The Gift' — Matthew 19:10-12

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The followers said to Jesus, "If that is the only reason a man can divorce his wife, then it is better not to marry." Jesus answered, "Not every person can accept this truth {about marriage}. But God has made some people able to accept it. There are different reasons why some men cannot marry. Some men were born without the ability to make children. Other men were made that way later in life by other people. And other men have given up marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. But the person that can {marry} should accept this teaching {about marriage}."
— Matthew 19:10-12
Illustration of Matthew 19:10-12 — "If that is the only reason a man can divorce his wife, then it is better not to marry."

Key Thought

God's goal for all people—married or unmarried—is that they live in sexual purity. Some are gifted to be able to do this and remain single with whole-hearted devotion to the Lord. Both Paul and Jesus emphasize that this is desirable, but is not the norm because most of us cannot do that. Only those gifted by God can truly be fulfilled and remain single. The rest of us are not gifted with this spiritual gift. So we are called to honor God with holiness in our walk with him and our spouse.

Today's Prayer

Holy and righteous God, sexual impurity runs rampant in my world. Help me keep my sexual sanity and purity in a day of sexual confusion, sin, rebellion, addiction, perversity, and destruction. Strengthen my resolve to live a holy life of sexual purity no matter what stage of life I find myself in. Thank you for sharing this grace with me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

After Jesus said all these things, he left Galilee. Jesus went into the area of Judea on the other side of the Jordan River. Many people followed Jesus. Jesus healed the sick people there. Some Pharisees came to Jesus. They tried to make Jesus say something wrong. They asked Jesus, "Is it right for a man to divorce his wife for any reason he chooses?" Jesus answered, "Surely you have read this {in the Scriptures }: When God made the world, 'he made people male and female.' And God said, 'So a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. And the two people will become one.' So the two people are not two, but one. God joined those two people together. So no person should separate them." The Pharisees asked, "So why did Moses give a command allowing a man to divorce his wife by writing a certificate of divorce ?" Jesus answered, "Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because you refused to accept God's teaching. But divorce was not allowed in the beginning. I tell you that any person that divorces his wife and marries another woman is guilty of the sin of adultery. The only reason for a person to divorce and marry again is if his first wife had sexual relations with another man." The followers said to Jesus, "If that is the only reason a man can divorce his wife, then it is better not to marry." Jesus answered, "Not every person can accept this truth {about marriage}. But God has made some people able to accept it. There are different reasons why some men cannot marry. Some men were born without the ability to make children. Other men were made that way later in life by other people. And other men have given up marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. But the person that can {marry} should accept this teaching {about marriage}. "

Matthew 19:1-12

Related Scripture Readings

I want you to be free from worry. A man who is not married is busy with the Lord's work. He is trying to please the Lord. But a man who is married is busy with things of the world. He is trying to please his wife. He must think about two things—{pleasing his wife and pleasing the Lord}. A woman who is not married or a girl who has never married is busy with the Lord's work. She wants to give herself fully—body and soul—to the Lord. But a married woman is busy with things of the world. She is trying to please her husband. I am saying these things to help you. I am not trying to limit you. But I want you to live in the right way. And I want you to give yourselves fully to the Lord without giving your time to other things.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35

I wish all people were like me. But each person has his own gift from God. One person has one gift, another person has another gift. Now for the people who are not married and for the widows I say this: It is good for them to stay single like me.

1 Corinthians 7:7-8

God wants each one of you to learn to control your own body. Use your body in a way that is holy and that gives honor to God. Don't let your physical desires control you. The people of the world who don't know God do that. None of you should do wrong to your brother {in Christ} or cheat him in this way. The Lord will punish people that do those things. We have already told you and warned you about that. God called us to be holy. He does not want us to live in sin. So the person who refuses to obey this teaching is refusing to obey God, not man. And God is the One who gives you his Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 4:4-8

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.