Hard hearts

Jesus left Capernaum and went south to the region of Judea, before crossing the River Jordan. Once again crowds of people gathered round him and, as his custom was, he taught them.

Some Pharisees came to him and tried to entrap him with the question: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

“What did Moses command you?” he asked.

“He permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.”

“It was because of your hard hearts that Moses gave you this concession,” said Jesus, “but scripture says ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation and ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So, what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Later, when he was alone with his disciples in the house, they asked him again about this subject.

“Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her,” he said. “And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she also commits adultery.”

One day some parents tried to bring their young children to Jesus so he could lay his hands upon them and bless them, but his disciples rebuked the parents.

When Jesus saw this , he was angry with the disciples.

“Let the little children come to me,” he said. “Don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands upon them and blessed them.

Mark

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