Divorce & Remarriage

Jesus gave this controversial commentary on Moses’ WRITING OF DIVORCEMENT:

“But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

My question is: was Jesus SUPERSEDING the commandment – or EXPLAINING it? By appealing to the first marriage in the garden of Eden, was Jesus superseding or explaining that particular point of Law? Was Jesus’ statement intended to be taken as an all-inclusive statement about divorce and remarriage – or was it merely an answer to a specific question which the Pharisees had asked Him about?

If He was superseding it, then that could be another story altogether! It would be tantamount to an all-inclusive denunciation of almost every provision for divorce found anywhere in the entire Law of Moses.

But if Jesus was merely EXPLAINING that point of Law, then He was AFFIRMING that point of Law. And if He was affirming that particular point of Law, then neither was He denouncing the other sections of Moses’ Law (which allowed for the effective annulment of marriage in about six different situations).

And for us who are in the Church – who are under Christ’s new commandment of love – it could be a totally different ballgame, at times. Is it the case that St Paul discovered that not every possible circumstance (pertaining to divorce and remarriage) was covered by Jesus’ statement in the Gospels? Paul seems to take the law of love and uses it to pass judgment about situations not specifically covered by Jesus’ statement in the Gospels nor in Moses’ Law (see I Corinthians chapter seven)

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