After Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went southward to the region of Judea and into the area east of the Jordan River.
Vast crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.
Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: "Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for any reason?"
4"Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' a5
And he said, 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' b6Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together."7
"Then why did Moses say a man could merely write an official letter of divorce and send her away?" c they asked.
Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended. 9And I tell you this, a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery -- unless his wife has been unfaithful. d "10
Jesus' disciples then said to him, "Then it is better not to marry!"
11"Not everyone can accept this statement," Jesus said. "Only those whom God helps.12Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made that way by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone who can, accept this statement."13
Some children were brought to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. The disciples told them not to bother him.
But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." 15
And he put his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
Someone came to Jesus with this question: "Teacher, e what good things must I do to have eternal life?"
17"Why ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "Only God is good. But to answer your question, you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments."18
"Which ones?" the man asked.And Jesus replied: "'Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. 19Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.' f "20
"I've obeyed all these commandments," the young man replied. "What else must I do?"
Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22
But when the young man heard this, he went sadly away because he had many possessions.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 24I say it again -- it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"25
The disciples were astounded. "Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible."27
Then Peter said to him, "We've given up everything to follow you. What will we get out of it?"
And Jesus replied, "I assure you that when I, the Son of Man, sit upon my glorious throne in the Kingdom, g you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life. 30But many who seem to be important now will be the least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then. h
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)