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Lesson # Matt. 19:3
Study Material - Matt. 19:3
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3 The Pharisees [Pharisaios] also [kai] came [proserchomai] unto him [autos] , tempting [peirazo] him [autos] , and [kai] saying [lego] unto him [autos] , Is it lawful [ei] [exesti] for a man [anthropos] to put away [apoluo] his [autos] wife [gune] for [kata] every [pas] cause [aitia] ? KJV-Interlinear
3 And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?'
Evil often times approaches good and tests it with unreasonable criticism. Often times this criticism is veiled behind deceitful questions hoping to entrap the victim and consequently discredit and undermine whatever popularity the victim might be enjoying. This is always done in the public eye, otherwise evil will never benefit from its victory over good. After all if the public is not witness to the victory of evil, then evil cannot enjoy the 'glory' it so desperately desires from the attention it lusts from the public.
Evil by definition wants that which it is not entitled to. It wants whatever someone else has, and if it cannot have it, then it will attempt to destroy the benefit that the other person has.
Here we see the Pharisees challenging Jesus with a very simple and 'innocent' question. Their motive is not so simple nor innocent. But then their motive is not made clear to the public, which is looking on. They want the public to look, to focus, on their target, not on their selfish motives. In doing this the Pharisees hope to embarrass Jesus (their target), to discredit Him, and consequently reduce the favorable attention He is getting from the public.
We see this as a common approach in the news, in politics, and in life in general. The liberal and elite press as some call them, take many news items, which bring favorable attention to that which the press does not favor, and they twist the news just a little so as to make it appear somewhat negative. Their attempt is to bring less attention to the news items and more to the point which they wish to make. For example, the Iraqi people have been brutalized for more than two decades while under a tyrant and his thugs. The list of crimes is so long that there is not enough paper to list them all.
The issue in this should be the freedom fight for the Iraqi people and the bringing to justice and the ending of the oppression caused on them by those thugs.
What does some press report? Just that. The truth. Fair and balanced. (Bet you can't guess what news I watch?)
What do some other press report? That there are some errors made by the Allied forces during this task. They question the plan. They question the decisions. They question the preparation. In order to make the Allied effort not so popular (in the publics mind) for its leadership and so forth. One Allied tank knocks out 15 Iraqi tanks and in turn takes on a little damage. The press report? 'Allied tank is damaged!' This press group is envious of the popularity which the current leadership is enjoying, is envious of the right decisions that the current leadership is making, is envious of the successes that the current leadership is acquiring. In their mind (this press category), they would rather see failure and continued suffering so that they can come back into the limelight. This is selfishness and evil in a subtle sort of way.
What do still other press report? Made up stories of atrocities by the Allied forces. The Middle Eastern press is severe in this approach. They hate the West and so will report phony or exaggerated Western atrocities in order to fan hate against the West. They care nothing for the people of the Iraq, and would rather see Saddam and his thugs remain in power and oppress his people, rather than give even an inch to the West. This is concentrated evil and not even subtle. Their public is captive so they have not many choices of truth to choose between.
Now we have Jesus who is the target of so 'innocent' a question. 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?' 'Oh tell us please, Jesus, tell us please so that we will know once and for all!'
What is the practice of the day?
'Representing the liberal Pharisaic view was rabbi Hillel, who had died only about twenty years before Jesus began His ministry, He taught that a man could divorce his wife for the most trivial of reasons, for such things as taking her hair down in public or talking to other men and even for burning the bread or putting too much salt in the food. For her to speak ill of her mother-in-law or to be infertile were more than sufficient grounds for divorce.'
For the Pharisees, the custom of the day was that men were frequently divorcing their wives for any cause at all to marry another woman. The practice not only was permissible but sometimes mandatory. In contrast and at the opposite extreme end of the spectrum, a group known as the Shammai maintained that divorce was never permissible.
Of course neither belief was or is, in accordance with Gods Word. There are two key attitudes that help make a successful marriage - self-denial and self-giving. In following these attitudes both the husband and wife place the other party first, with 'self' coming second. And in the case where children are present, then 'self' comes in last after the needs of the family.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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