Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Luke 16 - Topic and Context

In verses 16 and 17 Jesus talks about the Law and the Prophets, concluding that, "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear that for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the law." From here, at face value, he seems to make a radical shift in topics to marital infidelity. He says, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery." Is he talking about husbands and ex-wives and wives and new husbands and messed up relationships or is he still talking about people separating the law and joining new things to it?

On the one hand, the divorce and remarriage teaching is echoed by Jesus at other places in scripture. (Matthew 5 & 19, Mark 10) On the other hand, this is a radical departure from his topic. It doesn't seem like something he would just throw in there because it popped into his head.

So, if this wasn't an accident, what can it teach us about the relationship between us and the law in comparison to a husband and wife?

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