Daily Reading & Prayer

Matthew 19

June 21, 2024

Read: Matthew 19

Matthew 19:4-6 “‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, 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’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”


The statistics about marriage and divorce today can be quite shocking. Did you know that according to the latest study by the CDC, there are 86 divorces every hour compared to 230 marriages? It's estimated that 41% of first marriages end in divorce, 60% of second marriages don’t make it, and a staggering 73% of third marriages fail. The average first marriage lasts only about eight years before ending in divorce. Clearly, something has gone awry from the original intention of marriage.

In Matthew 19, Jesus tackles the issue of divorce by quoting Moses’ description of the human family from Genesis. The Israelites had adopted a policy of “divorce for any reason” and were trying to justify it. Jesus, however, wasn't having it. He started his response with, “Haven’t you read,” which was a strong rebuke to the scribes, Pharisees, and teachers of the law. By quoting Moses, Jesus reminded them—and us—of God’s original design for marriage, stating, “Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” This highlights how God is deeply involved in the union of every husband and wife.

Jesus’ response provides a clear biblical definition of marriage. First, he tells us that marriage was created by God. Jesus said, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female?’” (Matthew 19:4, Genesis 1:27). This means marriage is not a human invention, but a divine one. Second, marriage is a sacred, covenant relationship (Matthew 19:5). This special bond is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32). Moreover, Jesus made it clear that marriage is between a man and a woman, pointing back to Genesis (Genesis 1:27, 2:24). This might not be popular today, but it’s a foundational part of the biblical definition of marriage. Lastly, Jesus emphasized that marriage is based on a public vow of lifetime faithfulness. He said, “What God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:6). The prophet Malachi also stressed the importance of this lifelong commitment, urging us not to break faith with our spouses (Malachi 2:14-16).

In a world with alarmingly high divorce rates, going back to this biblical foundation can help us grasp and cherish the core of marriage. Jesus’ teachings remind us that marriage is a sacred, lifelong covenant meant to reflect the relationship between Christ and his church. Let's strive to honor this beautiful design in our own lives through the decisions we make.


If you’re married, set aside dedicated time each week to spend with your spouse. If you’re not married, look for ways to honor marriage through your preparation or through your support of those who are married.


Lord, help me to honor marriage as you have designed it. Give me the wisdom to honor you and reflect your love. Give me the heart of a servant. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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