19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
Global Prayer Ministries – Concord CA
Observation: The Pharisee’s intention was to trap Jesus by their question regarding divorce. Their question had to do with fault finding and with the specifics of the law about what could and could not constitute grounds for divorce. Jesus’ response was to go straight to the issue of the heart in verse 8. It was never God’s intention that our hearts would be hard. The word for “hard” means stubborn, obstinate, completely unyielding and “uncircumcised of heart and ear.” Circumcision is a mark of covenant, of inclusion, of promise, of hope, of belonging and of commitment. A hard heart is the opposite of love. As people, made in the image of God, our hearts are designed to be so soft, so yielding that two separate hearts can become one heart of flesh. This is the picture of covenant. God knows that our hearts become hard, that our hearts and our ears are uncircumcised, that we are unyielding, stubborn and that this hardness leads to broken relationships, to broken and torn hearts. The good news is that Jesus has come to heal the broken hearted (Luke 4:18), He has come to heal broken relationships both with God and with people. Jesus came to turn our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to identify the problem, but Jesus came to be the solution.
Action: Lord, I recognize that there are places in my heart that have become hard. Those hard places cause me to distance myself from You and from those whom I love. I ask that Your Holy Spirit would come and show me the areas where I need to turn away from the thoughts and actions that cause my heart to grow hard and enable me to turn toward the things that cause my heart to grow soft. Teach me to love the way that You do and turn my heart of stone into a heart like Yours.