Even in the first century divorce was legal. All that was required was a husband’s letter of the wife’s dismissal. Today’s legalities are much more substantial. It may be legal, but in the eyes of God, divorce is yet further evidence of our need for a savior. Surprisingly, this passage of scripture is not about divorce. The Pharisees’ only reason for bringing it up was another attempt to trap Jesus. Once again, their attempts failed. It is here where the text takes an unexpected turn.
As the disciples were seeking explanation concerning divorce, people began bringing children to Jesus so that he might touch them. Throughout Mark’s gospel, being touched by Jesus meant being healed. In the confrontation with the Pharisees centered on divorce, we see humanity’s brokenness and need for restoration. The children represent the weak and vulnerable; they serve as representatives for all who seek God’s healing, reconciliation and forgiveness.
The people of God are the children welcomed into the presence of Christ. We come to Jesus to be healed, to be made whole and to be set free from the consequences of our disobedience. Jesus says, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them.” Bring those who face the hardship of sin, sickness, and divorce. In their brokenness, I will forgive them, bless them, and give them life.
As we come into your presence, O Lord, bless and heal us with the power of your love. Amen.