The Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Some Pharisees came, and to test Jesus they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” — Mark 10:2

I love passages like this! I love it that we have accounts of Jesus being tested. And, normally, I love the way Jesus, in his uniquely enigmatic way, is able to cut to the root of the issue in his response. And in typical Jesus fashion he responds to their question with a question, What did Moses command you? And then following their answer to that question, he gives a reading of Genesis in light of the matter they brought before him.

I said I love passages like this… and that is true, but that does not always mean I understand them nor that I completely understand what Jesus is doing. This is certainly one of those passages. Therefore, this Sunday, I am going to do something a little bit different. I am going to try to explain what biblical scholars tell us was the presenting issue in Jesus’ own day that would have made this question so important, as well as how his answer has been variously interpreted throughout the last 2,000 years by his ardent followers. I am not sure that this method will bring us to any definitive conclusion one way or another, but at the end of the day, I hope our time of reflection on the text, as well as Jesus’ and his followers’ answers to this question will bring us to a place of desiring to be judged by Jesus rather than to judge Jesus—to be tested by him rather than to test him.

See you on Sunday!




no categories