The Pharisees also came unto him, testing him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
Read Chapter 19
Athenagoras of Athen
ON the text from the Gospel according to Matthew, whether it is lawful for a man to put away his wife for every reason? A beautiful lesson is presented to the Christians and the industrious in the conjunction of these two days; I mean the Sabbath and the Lord's Day, which revolving time brings round each week. These days, as mothers or nurses of the church, both assemble the people and seat the priests before them as teachers. And they lead both learners and teachers to care for their souls. So the discourse of yesterday is still ringing in my ears, and the things that concerned us then linger in my memory. I behold the cross set up, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, and the Lord's garments stained with blood, like the garments of one who treads the wine-press; and I see the Saviour bearing in his right hand the reward; and Solomon I behold exactly arranging for us the balances and weights to the best of his ability. And I pity the debtor of the Gospel, who did not share with his fe...
Note their craftiness from the very form of their questioning. They did not say to him, “You told him not to dismiss his wife,” for he had already spoken about this law. They did not mention those words but started off from that point. Thinking to make the ambush greater and wanting to trap him into saying something against the law, they did not say, “Why did you command such and such?” But, as if nothing had been said, they asked, “Is it lawful?” expecting that he would have forgotten what he had said. And they were ready if … he said, “It is lawful to put away,” to bring against him the things he himself had spoken and to say, “Why did you say the opposite?” And if he repeated what he had earlier said, they were ready to challenge him with the words of Moses. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily
But not so to the Pharisees, but even for this self-same thing they become more fierce, and come unto Him tempting Him. For because they could not lay hold of the works that were doing, they propose to Him questions.
O folly! They thought to silence Him by their questions, although they had already received certain proof of this power in Him. When at least they argued much about the Sabbath, when they said, He blasphemes, when they said, He has a devil, when they found fault with His disciples as they were walking in the grain fields, when they argued about unwashen hands, on every occasion having sewed fast their mouths, and shut up their shameless tongue, He thus sent them away. Nevertheless, not even so do they keep off from Him. For such is wickedness, such is envy, shameless and bold; though it be put to silence ten thousand times, ten thousand times does it assault again.
But mark thou, I pray you, their craft also from the form of their question. For neither did they say u...