Matthew – Chapter 19

Instruction About Divorce

Verse 1 – Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond Jordan.

Verse 2 – And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.

Verse 3 – The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

Verse 4 – And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female,’

Verse 5 – “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

Instead of Jesus referring to either party, He called their attention to the original design of marriage, one man and one woman. The intent being, that a man have “one wife.” They become one, one interest, one in feeling, united in all areas, so that they cannot be separated.

Verse 6 – “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Verse 7 – They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”

Verse 8 – He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

The practice of marriage fell far short of what God’s original intention was. Because of sinful selfish behavior, Moses wrote a decree fro divorce.

Verse 9 – “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

So Jesus gives one reason for divorce, sexual immorality. He says nothing about physical abuse. However, we all know that no one can stay in an abusive relationship for very long, because it becomes life threatening.

Verse 10 – His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

Verse 11 – But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: (meaning to those who choose to remain single to devote themselves to God’s kingdom.)

Verse 12 – “For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.

Those who chose celibacy in order to devote themselves to the kingdom, were those who chose not to marry. This says nothing about a law that priests could not marry. That law is “Man made” by certain religions.

Verse 13 – Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.

It was customary among Jews, when blessings were sought for others in prayer, to lay hands on the head of the person prayed for, implying a kind of consecration to God. The disciples thought this was improper because they were children.

Verse 14 – But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Verse 15 – And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

The disciples must have already forgotten what Jesus had said about little children in 18:4-6. Children have the attitude it takes to approach God. Simple faith in believing in God, was what is meant by this.

Rich Young Ruler

Verse 16 – Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

Luke says this man was a ruler, probably in a synagogue, or of the great council of the nation. This poor man needed to start over with the true foundation of faith, rather than works.

Verse 17 – So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Jesus was not implying that keeping the commandments brings eternal life, as we shall soon see that no one but Jesus kept the law perfectly.

Verse 18 – He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness.’

Verse 19 – ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Verse 20 – The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”

Verse 21 – Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come and follow Me.”

Verse 22 – But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Jesus only gave the young man six of the Ten Commandments, the ones dealing with relationships. The young man checked them off, “Yep, got those!” Then by what else Jesus told him to do, exposed the man’s weakness. The man’s wealth was his god and his true idol. Jesus, by no means tells believers to sell all their possessions. He was demonstrating that nothing can come between you and Him. It is not His intention for us to become a burden to anyone. If you, have nothing to give, then how can you help the poor?

Verse 23 – Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

I’ve heard people say, “There’s the proof. God wants you to be poor.” And there again, people taking verses out of context.

Verse 24 – “And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

One who loves his riches and makes an idol of them, or one who supremely desires to be rich, its impossible to be a true Christian. Man may have great wealth as Abraham, David, Solomon, and Job were all very wealthy and loved God with all their hearts, but if you read about them you will see the difference. It’s all about the attitude towards the riches.

Verse 25 – When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, “Who then can be saved?” (And, they missed it again.)

Verse 26 – But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Trusting in one’s self and their possessions, is an impossible feat for them to enter into the kingdom. But when God changes the heart to be towards Him, even a rich man can enter!

The Apostles’ Reward

Verse 27  – Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”

Verse 28 – So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Verse 29 – “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit everlasting life.

Verse 30 – “But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

The regeneration is the renewal of all creation. This will take place when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, reigning over the new heaven and new earth. The 12 disciples will sit in power and honor, over the 12 tribes of Israel. Those who have made enormous sacrifices, will be richly blessed in this new regeneration.




This entry was posted in Matthew.

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