Jesus On the History of Marriage
At another point these guys had come up and asked Jesus if it is okay for a man to divorce his wife. They knew that the Law said that divorce was allowed but they also knew that Jesus’ interpretation of Scripture was exceedingly sharp: even lusting after a woman is adultery21.
Jesus turned it on them asking them what Moses allowed. They answered that divorce was allowed in the Law. And here Jesus then shows why it was allowed: because their hearts were hard.
But this, says Jesus, was not the way God made people.
In the beginning (of old) God made (fashioned) human (not animal) people as the gender (it was part of their identity as persons) of man and woman (in all their maturity), and the two (not more than two) would be united as one (a package that actually unites) flesh.
If he divorces her and marries someone else, he commits adultery against her; if she does that to him, she commits adultery.
The point here is that the current world, the one prior to the coming kingdom of God, is one that was created specifically to display marriage a specific way. It was in that way that God wanted people to persist.
But people were hard and he gave a law through Moses that managed divorce. That’s not a matter of God allowing a little bit of evil in the law because he just knew how hard hearted people were. It’s rather that God knew what men would do, so he set up a system whereby these women (1) wouldn’t just be left when someone got tired of them and (2) be properly provided for.
Some stuff we can see here: God’s plan is that Marriage is between a woman and a man, two as one flesh; God’s plan is that Marriage is not for the coming world. It’s like Jesus brackets off history in the beginning and the end but he doesn’t fill in the blank in the middle.
Nothing about romantic love. Nothing about fulfilling the sexual wants (labeled “needs”) of people. Nothing about them being sexual beings in the Resurrected life. Nothing about animal-human marriage or kissing siblings or even same-sex relationships. Just that in this world, the way it should be was the way God set it up—two sexual beings, a man and a woman, who join as one flesh under the God ordained institution of marriage; in the next world that institution is no longer the case.
Now kids, that leaves a lot unsaid, raising questions even, but it should now be questioning in the right direction. It shouldn’t be causing you to wonder “Should Christians support pedophiliac marriage?” or “Should Christians support bestial marriage?” or “should Christians support polygamous marriage?” It should be causing you to ask, “If marriage isn’t for Then but it is for Now, what is it for?” or “what’s the purpose of marriage anyway?” and maybe even “is marriage really all that serious?”