Divorce & Oaths
Matthew 5:31-37


Radical Requirements

  • Jesus pierces our hearts by allowing the full weight of God’s commands to bear down on us.
  • There were 613 laws and God said every one of them mattered
  • God’s ultimate demand is for perfection because he is perfect (Matthew 5:48)


    • Moses taught in Deuteronomy 24:1 that a man could divorce his wife by giving her a certificate of divorce “if she finds no favor in his eyes”
    • Rabbis at the time of Jesus broadly interpreted this phrase “no favor in his eyes” to mean: if she spoiled dinner, walked outside with her hair down, talked to a man on the street, etc.
    • When the religious leaders asked Jesus specifically about this certificate of divorce in matthew 19, he responded by taking them back to Genesis 1 and the first declaration of marriage.
    • Divorce was never intended
    • Divorce was only allowed because of the hardness of our hearts.


    • The Old Testament encourages oaths in the name of God (Deut, 10:20, Jeremiah 12:16-17, Lev. 19:12)
    • Rabbis were teaching at the time of Jesus the specific ways an oath could be said to make it non-binding. The truth because hindden and people spoke in a way that hide the truth.
    • Dr. Helmut Thielicke, “ Whenever I utter the formula “I swear to God,” I am really saying, “Now I’m going to mark off an area of absolute truth and put walls around it to cut it off from the muddy floods of untruthfulness and irresponsibility that ordinarily overruns my speech.” In fact, I am saying even more than this. I am saying that people are expecting me to lie from the start. And just because they are counting on my lying I have to bring up these big guns of oaths and words of honor.”
    • Jesus taught that we shouldn’t take an oath at all. Simply let our yes mean yes and our no mean no.


    • Religiousity encourages external performing and pretending
    • These 6 examples in Matthew 5:21-48 are like nails that are meant to break the through our surface acts of righteous to expose the true nature of our hearts.
    • When we see are hearts against the backdrop of Jesus’ demand for perfection – we see how much was have fallen short of his standard.
    • We can either remain in our sin and receive the just punishment we deserve – or – we can turn to Jesus. The one who was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our inquities, and who took upon himself the punishment we deserved so that we might receive peace and healing (Isa 53).



  1. Transformed Affections: Examine you heart. Are you pretneding and performing or are you being transformed. Is you heart seeking the approval of others or seeking to have your heart rest in Jesus?
  2. Transformed Thinking: We hear many things said and taught everyday. To whose voice are we listening? Are we allowing Jesus and his word to shape our convictions or that of others?
  3. October Memorization: The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:7-15)