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What Is Marriage According to Jesus?

~ Matthew 19:3-6
July 5, 2015 ~ New City Church of Calgary ~ Pastor John Ferguson
Intro: The classic scene from the Princess Bride, Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.
Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam.
Everyone knows that marriage is an awangment, but what kind? Everyone knows its a relationship, but what
Key Question: What is marriage? How would you answer that question if it were posed to you by a
colleague, a neighbour, or a family member?
Our North American culture tells us that marriage can be any kind of emotional relationship. For example
Both Canada & the US recognize same-sex marriage.
USA Today (1/16/15): 18 year old plans to marry and have kids with her father
Yahoo: Polygamous Montana trio applies for wedding license
NY Post (4/23/14): Married lesbian throuple expecting firstchild
UK Daily Mail (2/27/15): Words first 3 way same sex marriage: Gay Thai men tie knot in Fairytale ceremony

Seattle (7/2/12): Woman who married warehouse now engaged to neighborhood

Telegraph (7/2/15): Woman getting married to fairground ride
HuffPo (1/6/15): Woman celebrating 10 years of marriage to her to pet cats
ScientificAmerican (2/19/08): Humans marrying robots?
CNN (2/14/14): Tokyo man marries video game character

HuffPo (5/25/12): ND Woman, 'Marries Herself,' Opens Up About Self-Marriage

Houston Chron (1/26/15): Houston woman marries herself in elaborate ceremony
This new view of marriage is simply based on feelings or emotions. #LoveWins
What was Jesus view of marriage? As were going to see, Jesus viewed marriage as a unique relationship
which involves much more than an emotional relationship. Jesus speaks of marriage as a one flesh covenantal
relationship, a relationship designed by the Creator for a specific purpose.
Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms. Section 2 - Fundamental Rights:
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

1 freedom of conscience and religion;

2 freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of

3 freedom of peaceful assembly; and

4 freedom of association.

Matthew 19:3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any
cause? 4 He answered, Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and
female, 5 and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two
shall become one flesh? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let
not man separate.

1. Common Objection: Jesus never spoke about same-sex marriage.

And thats true. But he also didnt talk about polygamous marriages or incestuous marriages or marriages
to objects or marriages to animals or marriages to oneself. The fact that Jesus didnt mention any of
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these other definitions of marriage doesnt mean that we dont know what he thought about marriage
because we do.
2. Covenantal Marriage: Jesus never spoke about marriage as being an emotional relationship, but he did
speak of it as a covenantal relationship established by God from the beginning in which he brings
together a male and a female to form a one-flesh union as a husband and a wife.
Jesus view of marriage, he tells us, is the view of marriage contained for us in the first chapters of the OT
book of Genesiswhat Jesus described as from the beginning.
God created complimentary systems, Heaven & earth, light & day, land & sea. He created plants that
could bear fruit according to its kind, as well as creatures of the sea, air, and land that could reproduce
according to their kind.
Genesis 1:26Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every
creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he
created him; male and female he created them. 28And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and
multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the
heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

1. The Mandate: when God created humanity, he made them male and female and blessed them so they
could reproduce. In fact, he gives them the mandate to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
2. Make love. Make babies. Raise children.
Genesis 2 goes back and looks in more detail at the creation of men and women.
Genesis 2: 18Then the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for

1. Lonely or alone? Some say that what was not good is the fact that man was lonely. And while marriage
can be a place of great companionship, thats not the primary idea of what is going on here.

2. Context: Gods design is that humanity should be fruitful and fill the earth, but Adam is alone and has no
one to help him do this. He cannot reproduce humans by himself.

19Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and
brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that
was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the
field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

Adam needs help, and he needs someone like him but is dierent from him in order to fulfill the mandate
that God has given him.

21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed
up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and
brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be
called Woman,because she was taken out of Man. 24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and
hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not

1. Out of one God made two, so that the two could become one. And out of that one-flesh union, the
husband and wife are able to become father & mother to any children their union produces.
God has uniquely designed the sexuality of the man and the woman to fit together perfectly, so that the
two could become one biological, emotional, & social union that can produce the next generation of
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humans. And because God is good, he made it pleasurable and fun to help ensure that husbands and
wives would have lots of sex which ordinarily produces the next generation.
2. This is a designed pattern: for this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to
his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
Leaving, Cleaving, & Weaving
3. Dont forget the view of Jesus re: marriage: What God has joined together, let no man separate.
The marriage of one man and one woman is a covenantal union established by God himself.
Malachi 2:14, the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youthshe is your companion
and your wife by covenant. Did not he make them one?
Governments, media, entertainment, and society, may define marriages as a merely an emotional relationship
and sanction it with a contract, but the view of Jesus is that marriage is a covenantal relationship sanctioned by
Goda one flesh union between one woman and one man.
What is marriage according to Jesus?
Marriage is a covenantal relationship established by God in which he joins together
a man and a woman into a one flesh union where the husband and wife
can also be father & mother to any children their one flesh union produces.
Out of one God made two, so that the two could become one.
1. Adopt Jesus view of Gods design.
(1) If what Jesus said about marriage is truethat out of one God made two, so that the two could become
onethen this has radical implications for everyone who calls themselves a Christian. If you are a
Christian, you are bound to believe what Jesus teaches you to believe. So who is your Lord, Jesus or
If Jesus is your Lord, then part of what it means to be his disciple is to stand for the same things that
he stood for. And if he defines marriage as a one-flesh covenantal union between a man and a
woman, then you are not free to define it in any other way no matter how much pressure is put on you
by your colleagues, your government, your friends, or your family.
(2) IF you are not yet a Christian, the implications of this are not simply to change your mind and come into
agreement with Jesus, but to change the direction of your life and become a follower of Jesus. By
nature we are all out of line with our design, and Jesus comes to bring about new creation.
2. Be prepared to speak the truth in love.
(1) As a follower of Christ, you are called to be loving.
Always. Every time. Every conversation. No bullying. No demeaning jokes. No exceptions.
But you must be careful here: Our society tells you that the only way for you to be loving is to agree
with them about their definition of marriage.
There are people who will label your belief in Jesus view of marriage hateful. Thats unfortunate and
of course not true, but You must be prepared for them to do that. They will also call you intolerant
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and bigoted. Of course, you are none of those things either. But you will be accused of these sorts
of things by people who with a straight face claim to believe in diversity.

- Love does not mean you agree with everything a person wants to do.
- Tolerance presupposes that you will disagree; hence the need for tolerance. If we both agreed,
there would be no need for tolerance.

- Bigotry means intolerance of those who hold different opinions or beliefs than you do.
Greg Koukls tactic if someone asks him what his view of marriage is: You know, this is actually a
very personal question you are asking, and Id be glad to answer. But before I do, I want to know if
you consider yourself a tolerant or an intolerant person. Is it safe to give my opinion, or are you going
to judge me for my point of view? Do you respect diverse points of view, or do you condemn others
for convictions that differ from you?
(2) As a follower of Christ, you are called to be truthful.
1) You should be well versed in Jesus view of marriage.
2) You should perhaps be well versed in a secular view of traditional marriage as well.
Resource:What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. This book convincingly argues that
from the design of nature, societies have set apart the conjugal union of a man and a woman
which produces the next generation.
Doug Mainwaring, of the Witherspoon Institute, Im gay, and I oppose
same-sex marriage: Two men or two women together is, in truth, nothing like a man and a
woman creating a life and a family together. Marriage is not an elastic term. It is immutable. It
offers the very best for children and society. We should not adulterate nor mutilate its definition,
thereby denying its riches to current and future generations.

Conclusion: We live in a time and place where there is much confusion about the definition of marriage.
The time is upon us when every church and every Christian will have to make clear what they believe about
marriage. NCC, may you lovingly and uncompromisingly stand with Jesus.
God has placed you in this time and this place for that very purpose.

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