Teaching About Divorce
The Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, is it ever ok? Jesus says that when you marry you become one flesh, and man should not separate what God has joined together. Then they say Moses allowed divorce, and Jesus replied it is only ok in the event of adultery.
I like the idea of discouraging divorce. But having such a hard and fast rule is a bit of a problem to me. Things change, people change, and sometimes divorce is the best thing for everyone. Plus, there is no mention of abuse. What if the man is beating his wife, should this not also be grounds for divorce?
Having adultery be the only rule allowing divorce reminds me of a story from This American Life (I'm almost positive that is where I heard it). They were talking to a private investigator who said a lot of his work was following people trying to see if they are cheating. He said sometimes a couple wanted to get divorced in the church (I don't recall which denomination) and it required infidelity, so the couple decided which of them would have an affair and hired the PI themselves so they would have evidence to bring to the church. Just a funny story, but this is the kind of thing that can happen when the rules are defined in too narrow a manner.
Let the Children Come to Me
People wanted to bring children to Jesus so he could "lay hands on them". The disciples try to stop it, but Jesus said to let the children in
What does "lay hand on" mean here? My first thought was it is a healing thing, but usually when he heals they just say it outright. Does this just mean he is praying for them?
The Rich Young Man
A rich young man asks Jesus how he could get to heaven, Jesus says to keep the commandments, specifically don't murder, commit adultery, steal, or lie and you should honor your father and mother. He asks what else he should do and Jesus said to sell all of his stuff and give the money to the poor. Jesus says "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God"
Two comments, why does Jesus specify a few commandments that must be kept, is he just giving examples or is he implicitly saying other commandments are unimportant. Second, if rich people can't get to heaven, what is up with megachurches and televangelists and stuff?