What Jesus Did! 'Transition and Truth' — Matthew 19:3

Sunday, September 3, 2017

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?"
— Matthew 19:3 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 19:3 NLT — 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?"

Key Thought

To trick Jesus, the religious leaders try to get Jesus to debate the legalistic elements of their law. What is most powerful about this exchange is not just what Jesus said, but how he said it. First, he refused to get caught up in their argument. Second, he moved deeper than the debate over a specific passage to the theological, core value of God in giving the command in the first place. Third, Jesus emphasized the key issue of becoming one and staying together as one four times. Yes, in a way he does answer their question, but not before he has corrected their assumptions and confronted their legalism. Jesus teaches us to obey God's will, not just split hairs in debates over Scripture.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, I want my heart to yearn for your will and my life to reflect your character. Please help me guard my heart from a legalistic mind that looks for ways to justify myself and find loopholes for my weaknesses. Give me wisdom to focus on what is important and be faithful even in those areas that are not. I want to be yours totally—in word, thought, speech, and behavior. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matt. 23:23-24
  • Matt. 22:34-39
  • Matt. 5:38-39

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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.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.