Mark 10:1-11 NRSVue

1He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him, and, as was his custom, he again taught them.

2Some, testing him, asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” 5But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,, 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her,

Some thoughts on this scripture

Lord, I cannot read this without sorrow, remembering my many friends whose marriages have broken. The scholars have argued over these verses, because so much happiness hangs on them. One thing I know: that you were speaking up for women, who at the time were on an uneven playing-field. A woman might be divorced with or without her will, but a man only with his will. You were calling us back to an ideal, a loving and faithful union of mutual respect.

The contentious questions in Jesus' time remain difficult questions today. My prayer may be a time to pray with gratitude for those who witness to love and to have deep compassion for all whose relationships and commitments have brought suffering.

Jesus calls us back to the original vision that God has for creation. I hear God calling me to life and holding me in love.