The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 95 of 210
Index | Zoom
19: 9 - 29.
pp. 41 - 45
It is clear then that, in Matthew's account, the Lord Jesus allowed divorce for adultery,
although this sank below the standard of marriage that God had in view at creation.
There is a group of scholars who deny the genuineness of this exception, which is
recorded by Matthew alone. Thus, Dr. A. Plummer says "it is improbable that Jesus
taught this; and we suspect that `except for fornication' and `for every cause' are
insertions made either by the Evangelist or the authority which he is using". Dr.Plummer
asserts that the truth is only to be found in Mark and Luke's account. Apart from the
blow this gives to verbal inspiration, how do Dr. Plummer and his friends know for
certain that Matthew is merely stating his opinion of what Christ taught? Professor A. T.
Robertson says that they are unwilling to accept Matthew's report because it disagrees
with their views on the subject of divorce.
We believe that Matthew's Gospel is part of the inspired Word of God equally with
the other Evangelists.
If the above criticism is true, one might just as well omit the remarkable passage that
follows on celibacy, because Mark and Luke do not contain it! This is certainly an
exception to the general rule about marriage and the Lord goes so far as to say "not
everyone can accept this word (teaching), but only those to whom it has been given. For
some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men;
and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who
can accept this should accept this" (19: 11, 12, N.I.V.). John the Baptist, the apostle Paul
and others remained single because they judged that they could render better service to
the Lord without the ties and obligations of marriage. Each one must seek the Lord's will
in this matter and make one's own decision apart from the opinion of others.
The question of divorce is a pressing problem when one considers that it has been
estimated that every third marriage in Great Britain today ends in divorce. This is an
appalling situation, utterly disastrous for children and the family life, and this is what
happens when men slip away from the standards that God has given. Few seem to care or
realize that if they are being married in a place of worship, they are making solemn vows
to God involving a life-long union. Eccles. 5: 4, 5 reads:
"When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in
fools; fulfil your vows. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfil it"
"If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your
God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin" (Deut. 23: 21,
It is obvious then from the law of God given through Moses, that vows are taken very
seriously by the Lord. It is therefore incumbent upon every believer who contemplates