What I’m Thinking: Hard Hearts


The two stories seem unrelated. Jesus said that the legality of divorce sprang from “hardness of heart,” and then told his disciples to let the children come to him. Perhaps both circumstances arise from different kinds of “hardness of heart.”

Here’s a transcript:

As we come into World Communion Sunday, I’m thinking about the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 10:2-16). This section contains two stories which don’t seem very closely related. 

In the first, people ask Jesus if it’s lawful for a man to divorce his wife. And of course, under the law of Moses, it was. Jesus’ response is to say that this law was a result of human hardness of heart, and that that is why it was legal, but it still wasn’t right.

In the second story, the disciples are trying to prevent children from coming to Jesus. Their parents wanted Jesus to touch them and to bless them. When Jesus realizes it, he became indignant, and he said, let the little children come to me, for to them belongs the reign of God.

I actually think that both of these stories are about hardness of heart.

Hardness of heart in the first takes so many forms in human relationships. In Jesus’ day, marriage was economic security for women. A divorced woman may or may not have had a home to return to.

And likewise, the understanding of children… Although they were loved, they were not valued for their participation. Clearly those parents bringing the children to Jesus valued them. But for the disciples, whose children they were not? Well, other things were more important. Other things were worthy of the Teacher’s time.

Hardness of heart.

And it makes me wonder where our hearts are hard in these days.

Is it towards children? If they come from certain places?

Is it towards women?

Is it towards people of a different political view? A different religion? A different upbringing? A different way of life?

Where are our hearts hard?

And where might we hear Jesus’ words to let the children come to me, for to them belongs the realm of God?

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on September 30, 2018

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