In Chapter 10 of Mark’s gospel we see Jesus setting forth the radical ethical demands of the kingdom community. The arrival of the eschaton brings with it a new ethical teaching. Jesus prohibits divorce and appeals not to the Torah (Deut 24) for backup but to the creation narratives, showing that beginning of Genesis provides the norms for creation. Duet 24 does not set the norm for relationships but provides a way of damage limitation. The kingdom community should model God’s intention for the world
The marriage ethics of the kingdom of God must be based not on a concession to human failure, but on the pattern set out in God’s original creation of man and woman. What God has joined together must not be separated by human initiative.
France, R. T. (2002). The Gospel of Mark : A commentary on the Greek text (388). Grand Rapids, Mich.; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.
Jesus thus uses a hermeneutic of creational norms, thus putting Genesis as the canon within the canon. The desciples(v10), as with moderns, may bawk at Jesus suggestion and may say that this kingdom ethic does not fit into the real world. We may suggest that real world we experience is not how it was meant to be.
The practical application of this teaching in a society in which both adultery and divorce are common and legally permissible cannot be straightforward. But Mark’s Jesus offers no direct guidance on the problem, simply a clear, unequivocal, and utterly uncompromising principle that marriage is permanent and divorce (together with the resultant remarriage) is wrong. Whatever the other considerations which pastoral concern may bring to bear, some of them no doubt based on values drawn from Jesus’ teaching on other subjects, no approach can claim his support which does not take as its guiding principle the understanding of marriage set forth in vv. 9 and 11–12.
France, R. T. (2002). The Gospel of Mark : A commentary on the Greek text (394). Grand Rapids, Mich.; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.