Gospel of Mark 10:1-12 Reflection:
There is a beautiful phrase in the first sentence of today’s gospel: ‘Jesus taught them, as his custom was.’
From this we see that Jesus went around teaching people, telling them how to think of God, the scriptures and the part that he himself played in the salvation of Israel. The Pharisees, who saw themselves as the teachers of the Law, resented this and were often trying to catch him out. In today's reading there is no difference; people are trying try to catch Jesus with a question about divorce.
Divorce at the time had become so regular and was so stacked against the woman that everyone knew something had to be done about it. But Moses had said that all a man had to do was write a letter of dismissal to his wife and that was the divorce over. Many women were left destitute. Perhaps the Pharisees were asking Jesus to answer a question that they knew they had no answer too.
In his answer Jesus teaches the indissolubility of marriage. This was a new way of thinking because if marriage is sacred and can’t be broken it gives the woman equal rights to the man. No teacher had ever taught this before, this was truly revolutionary.
Even in today’s world the idea of a woman being genuinely equal is something that most people can’t get their head around.