Pharisees, Jesus & Divorce
Reflection on the Gospel of the Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time
Love is extremely sacred in the eyes of God. Not many people realize that the Bible is a ‘Love Story’ – It is a love story between God and man. It is a spiritual journey to love, to belong and have a relationship with the divine. This story begins in the book of Genesis and ends with the book of Revelation – It begins with Marriage (Adam and Eve) and ends with a Marriage (Marriage of the Lamb)
So is it really surprising why Jesus reprimands the Pharisees about their teachings with regards to marriage and divorce? Jesus explains that marriage isn’t cultural social tradition, it is a sacred covenant. Covenantal love involves 3 partners in the marriage God and the two individuals participating in marriage. Jesus makes a reference to the first marriage between Adam and Eve (from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them … ) as a relationship between Adam, Eve and the Creator. It is the Creator who is involved in bringing Adam and Eve together as one. Thus, in a marriage the two persons are given a new identity as a couple. They are supposed to complement each other building a family that mirrors the love of the Holy Trinity and not compete against each other in a power struggle. True love recognizes the value of the other partner in the marriage as the couple gift themselves to each other rather than abuse each other for personal gratification. Marriages that are selfish, abusive, exploitative relationships aren’t rooted in the identity of covenantal love.
Therefore, it is essential to realize that marriage isn’t defined by social custom or tradition of the past or contemporary times, it is a timeless covenant – eternal in the eyes of God.