Divorce Court

July 25th, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by David Zier

Note to Readers:  We want to apologize that there were no Be Still entries for Monday and Tuesday of this week.  This gap in service — our first ever — was due to an unexpected, brief illness on staff.  We know that many of you rely on Be Still for your  quiet time, and we take that responsibility very seriously.  So we’re now putting in place a back up plan to reduce the risk of any future interruptions.  

Today’s scripture:  Luke 16:18 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Zier):

You probably read today’s verse and thought, “Why am I reading a verse about divorce?” We’ve all heard — or felt — the consequences of divorce.  It fractures families and relationships, and can impact our well being and health.  I think Jesus’ warning on divorce can best be taken in context with the passage from yesterday.

I think the issue for me here is, “Do I view God’s law negatively or positively?” Before Jesus, the law and the prophets were regarded as the final word of God.  Jesus’ good news brought freedom to the most unlikely of people, including tax collectors and public sinners.  Since the scribes and Pharisees had set up barriers to exclude such people, how did Jesus reconcile this? At the time, “law” referred to both the Ten Commandments and the whole teaching or way of life which God had given.  The scribes added many more things to the law, and that is why Jesus often condemned the scribal law as it placed burdens on people which God had not intended.

Jesus made it very clear that it was the essence of God’s law that was important. Jesus taught reverence for God’s law, reverence for God, reverence for worship, respect for parents, respect for life, respect for another person and for one’s neighbor. Reverence and respect for God’s commandments teach us the way of love — love of God and love of neighbor.  God gives us the grace to love, to forgive, to think, and to act — the way that Jesus shows us.

When I think about verse 18 regarding divorce, excluding valid issues such as abuse and neglect, if we are committed to Jesus teachings, doesn’t it make sense to think about respect for others, and the love of lovers, and what commitment means as a follower of Jesus when it comes to our relationships?  We should not enter into them lightly, and we should tend to them with the love and care that God would expect from us.  Deep, meaningful relationships take time to nurture.

Thought for the day:  How do I view God’s law?  What reverence and respect do I show to God and others around me that reflect my attitude about God?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading.  If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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