Lectionary Year B
October 5, 2003
Step II: Disposition
(JFC) It appears we have four scenarios here; 1) Pharisees trying to trick Jesus, 2)
Jesus referring once to Moses then expanding the Mosaic Law into New Testament customs, 3) the disciples questioning Him and His answering them, then, 4) the children being brought to Him, the disciples objecting and His accepting and blessing them. These scenes are reported right matter-of-factly for the dynamics with which we often hear them read. The Old Testament quotes seem to be used rather effectively in that they occur without response, perhaps being accepted at face value and generally ending each part of the dialogue in which they surface. The dialogue and action, re: the children seem even sentimentally entered.
B. Personal Interaction
(JFC) First, we might wonder if the Pharisees are satisfied with the answer Jesus
gives them, in that He answers with a question they answer after which He fairly accuses them of being hard-hearted. Can they have accepted such discussion without any further comments? Then, do we have a unit here or two if not three or even four different stories here? Next, does Jesus change His tune/position from the statements with the Pharisees to those with the disciples? What, then, is Jesus' standpoint on the question of divorce, let alone, on remarriage by divorced parties? Furthermore, we might question, yet again, whether the disciples will ever learn, re: the children's role in kingdom entry.
(JFC) The Pharisees' silence seems to attest to their satisfaction with Jesus'
mentioning Moses' Law, etc., in verses 4-9. The three or four different scenes divide at verses 10 and 13, for sure and, possibly after the 5th verse and the 6th, too. Jesus speaks of marriage more than of divorce and adultery in verses 7-9. He then addresses the illegality and/or unacceptability of divorce and adultery in verses 11 and 12. The disciples' ignorance/misunderstanding is recorded in the14th verse.
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