Year B - Pentecost +19 or Energy to Witness 19
October 4, 2015
It is always intriguing to try to figure out what goes with what. Choose one connection and others get lost. Choose another and a different set goes missing.
Are the little children connected with divorcing males and females? Are these two separate events that just happen to be back to back rather than commenting one on the other?
For the moment let’s assume a connection. The Pharisees were bringing little children to Jesus as a test. The little children were disguised as divorcers. Jesus reflects on the hardness of heart we all seem to have regarding our desire of others, especially children, to reflect our values. Even G*D has expectations of behavior that will reflect well on G*D.
Whether thinking about children at play shifting the rules even more radically than Calvinball or adults who have found themselves in a different relationship than they signed up for in business or marriage and finding a technical out to a relational issue, Jesus sidesteps the Pharisees and does a sarcastic exaggeration with his own disciples.
What is missing with both the Pharisees and the Disciples is their basic lack of mercy demonstrated with this strange follow-up story of inviting messing-up children of every age and condition to come for a blessing.
No matter what the relational screw-up, a blessing is not only available but proactively welcoming. Imagine Jesus, after dealing with Pharisees and Disciples turning to a divorced couple, both of whom initiated the divorce, and reaching forth his arms to touch and bless them both.
Well, is this one pericope that must be held together or two and one or the other can be proof-texted?