In Matthew 19 the Pharisees ask Jesus under what circumstances a man might divorce his wife and he tells them for reasons of marital unfaithfulness only. The disciples unloving attitudes towards women is exposed when they respond to Jesus saying, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” I wonder what their wives thought. The disciples get it wrong again when they try to keep little children from Jesus. They appear hardhearted towards women and children. My husband pointed out to me that in that culture, as in many Third World countries, barren and ill women and young children may place a strain and jeopardize on a household economy. If I am honest with myself, often I am no different than the disciples at that point in time. I am guilty at viewing people in terms of their value to me, what they do for me, if they help me feel good about myself or if they deplete my energy and create more work for me to do. Too often, I am angered and irritated by those who might slow me down, complicate and interrupt my life.
It’s amazing to see the transformation in the disciples as they continued to live with Jesus; their attitudes and lives changed so dramatically. They became the people known for embracing society’s cast offs. They tended to the needs of the sick, widowed and orphaned at great personal cost. My own personal bias is that they hopefully became more loving towards their wives. My prayer is that Jesus transforms the areas of my life where I am callous and impatient, judgmental and unkind to those whom it might be costly to love, be they strangers or friends and family.
Thank you, gentle Savior that you never passed me by. Just as with the disciples, you have come and stayed and continue to change this hungry heart.