And he arose from there, and comes into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort to him again; and…
Again with low motives, "tempting him," the Pharisees propound a question as to whether it was "lawful for a man to put away his wife." Opinions were divided, and the Teacher was in danger of offending one or other party by his reply. This was the trap "to involve him with the adulterous tetrarch, in whose territory he was." But he wisely referred them to Moses, and their thought, which was for evil, he tamed to good; for he took occasion by it to show the grounds of Moses' "commandment" to have been to their condemnation, their "hardness of heart;" and he further took occasion to lay down for all Christian times, for the blessedness of the Christian home and for the preservation of Christian morals, the true, the wise, the beneficial law of marriage, founded upon the conditions of the original creation; and he defined with authority and precision what constituted "adultery." These words remained to condemn the disobedient, and will remain to "judge him in the last day." The indissoluble bond of the marriage relation Jesus here affirms, and in the old words, spoken at "the beginning," "the twain shall become one flesh." To the propriety, the goodness, the blessedness of this law many Christian centuries bear their unequivocal testimony. The purest institution and the best, so hallowed, so beneficent, promoting in the highest degree individual happiness, the peace and sanctity of family life, the purity of public morals; preserving national health, stability, and greatness; guarding against wild lust, and a long train of envy, jealousy, revenge, and other passionate crimes; preserving the honor and dignity of women, the love and careful training of children; imposing responsibilities, but cherishing virtue and peace and joy. The family life is the symbol of the heavenly community; the marriage bond the type of the Redeemer's relation to his people, who are "the bride, the wife of the Lamb." It is God's ordination, and is very sacred; nor may it be set aside, but "for the kingdom of heaven's sake;" nor may its bond be broken, but for the one cause of fornication, from which it is the most efficient guard. Its rites were honored by Jesus, and its "holy estate adorned and beautified with his presence and first miracle." The wisest legislation tends to the conservation of the family, whose multiplied relations, whose sweet fellowship, whose united interest, and whose common possessions give rise to the lofty idea of the home. Conjugal, parental, filial, fraternal affection are cherished. Obedience on the one hand, care and providence on the other; discipline and wise authority; the sense of dependence arising from want; responsibility arising from the power to meet that want; common interests and common aims, go to make each home a miniature kingdom. Teaching to those in authority the beneficence of rule, and to those under authority the lessons of submission, the home lays the foundation for stable national life; while mutual interests and obligations teach all to respect the rights and just claims of the entire community; whilst each learns his responsibility to the whole, and his deep interest in the general welfare. The nation that honors the home and the sanctities of family life is honored of God. The Christian teaching, reverting to the condition of things as it was "from the beginning of the creation," shows how truly it is in harmony with natural law, which is the expression of the Divine will. - G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.