Matthew 19

Teaching about divorce

1 When Jesus finished saying these things, he left Galilee and came to the area of Judea on the east side of the Jordan.
2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them.
3 Some Pharisees came to him. In order to test him, they said, "Does the Law allow a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?"
4 Jesus answered, " Haven't you read that at the beginning the creator made them male and female?
5 And God said, ‘Because of this a man should leave his father and mother and be joined together with his wife, and the two will be one flesh.'
6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, humans must not pull apart what God has put together."
7 The Pharisees said to him, "Then why did Moses command us to give a divorce certificate and divorce her?"
8 Jesus replied, " Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because your hearts are unyielding. But it wasn't that way from the beginning.
9 I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
10 His disciples said to him, "If that's the way things are between a man and his wife, then it's better not to marry."
11 He replied, " Not everybody can accept this teaching, but only those who have received the ability to accept it.
12 For there are eunuchs who have been eunuchs from birth. And there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by other people. And there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs because of the kingdom of heaven. Those who can accept it should accept it."

Jesus blesses children

13 Some people brought children to Jesus so that he would place his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded them.
14 " Allow the children to come to me," Jesus said. " Don't forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children."
15 Then he blessed the children and went away from there.

A rich man’s question

16 A man approached him and said, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?"
17 Jesus said, " Why do you ask me about what is good? There's only one who is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments."
18 The man said, "Which ones?" Then Jesus said, " Don't commit murder. Don't commit adultery. Don't steal. Don't give false testimony.
19 Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you love yourself."
20 The young man replied, "I've kept all these. What am I still missing?"
21 Jesus said, " If you want to be complete, go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come follow me."
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away saddened, because he had many possessions.

Teaching about giving up things

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, " I assure you that it will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24 In fact, it's easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God's kingdom."
25 When his disciples heard this, they were stunned. "Then who can be saved?" they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them carefully and said, " It's impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God."
27 Then Peter replied, "Look, we've left everything and followed you. What will we have?"
28 Jesus said to them, “I assure you who have followed me that, when everything is made new, when the Human One sits on his magnificent throne, you also will sit on twelve thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And all who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or farms because of my name will receive one hundred times more and will inherit eternal life.
30 But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.

Images for Matthew 19

Matthew 19 Commentary

Chapter 19

Jesus enters Judea. (1,2) The Pharisees' question about divorces. (3-12) Young children brought to Jesus. (13-15) The rich young man's inquiry. (16-22) The recompence of Christ's followers. (23-30)

Verses 1-2 Great multitudes followed Christ. When Christ departs, it is best for us to follow him. They found him as able and ready to help elsewhere, as he had been in Galilee; wherever the Sun of Righteousness arose, it was with healing in his wings.

Verses 3-12 The Pharisees were desirous of drawing something from Jesus which they might represent as contrary to the law of Moses. Cases about marriage have been numerous, and sometimes perplexed; made so, not by the law of God, but by the lusts and follies of men; and often people fix what they will do, before they ask for advice. Jesus replied by asking whether they had not read the account of the creation, and the first example of marriage; thus pointing out that every departure therefrom was wrong. That condition is best for us, and to be chosen and kept to accordingly, which is best for our souls, and tends most to prepare us for, and preserve us to, the kingdom of heaven. When the gospel is really embraced, it makes men kind relatives and faithful friends; it teaches them to bear the burdens, and to bear with the infirmities of those with whom they are connected, to consider their peace and happiness more than their own. As to ungodly persons, it is proper that they should be restrained by laws, from breaking the peace of society. And we learn that the married state should be entered upon with great seriousness and earnest prayer.

Verses 13-15 It is well when we come to Christ ourselves, and bring our children. Little children may be brought to Christ as needing, and being capable of receiving blessings from him, and having an interest in his intercession. We can but beg a blessing for them: Christ only can command the blessing. It is well for us, that Christ has more love and tenderness in him than the best of his disciples have. And let us learn of him not to discountenance any willing, well-meaning souls, in their seeking after Christ, though they are but weak. Those who are given to Christ, as part of his purchase, he will in no wise cast out. Therefore he takes it ill of all who forbid, and try to shut out those whom he has received. And all Christians should bring their children to the Saviour that he may bless them with spiritual blessings.

Verses 16-22 Christ knew that covetousness was the sin which most easily beset this young man; though he had got honestly what he possessed, yet he could not cheerfully part with it, and by this his want of sincerity was shown. Christ's promises make his precepts easy, and his yoke pleasant and very comfortable; yet this promise was as much a trial of the young man's faith, as the precept was of his charity and contempt of the world. It is required of us in following Christ, that we duly attend his ordinances, strictly follow his pattern, and cheerfully submit to his disposals; and this from love to him, and in dependence on him. To sell all, and give to the poor, will not serve, but we are to follow Christ. The gospel is the only remedy for lost sinners. Many abstain from gross vices who do not attend to their obligations to God. Thousands of instances of disobedience in thought, word, and deed, are marked against them in the book of God. Thus numbers forsake Christ, loving this present world: they feel convictions and desires, but they depart sorrowful, perhaps trembling. It behoves us to try ourselves in these matters, for the Lord will try us.

Verses 23-30 Though Christ spoke so strongly, few that have riches do not trust in them. How few that are poor are not tempted to envy! But men's earnestness in this matter is like their toiling to build a high wall to shut themselves and their children out of heaven. It should be satisfaction to those who are in a low condition, that they are not exposed to the temptations of a high and prosperous condition. If they live more hardly in this world than the rich, yet, if they get more easily to a better world, they have no reason to complain. Christ's words show that it is hard for a rich man to be a good Christian, and to be saved. The way to heaven is a narrow way to all, and the gate that leads into it, a strait gate; particularly so to rich people. More duties are expected from them than from others, and more sins easily beset them. It is hard not to be charmed with a smiling world. Rich people have a great account to make up for their opportunities above others. It is utterly impossible for a man that sets his heart upon his riches, to get to heaven. Christ used an expression, denoting a difficulty altogether unconquerable by the power of man. Nothing less than the almighty grace of God will enable a rich man to get over this difficulty. Who then can be saved? If riches hinder rich people, are not pride and sinful lusts found in those not rich, and as dangerous to them? Who can be saved? say the disciples. None, saith Christ, by any created power. The beginning, progress, and perfecting the work of salvation, depend wholly on the almighty power of God, to which all things are possible. Not that rich people can be saved in their worldliness, but that they should be saved from it. Peter said, We have forsaken all. Alas! it was but a poor all, only a few boats and nets; yet observe how Peter speaks, as if it had been some mighty thing. We are too apt to make the most of our services and sufferings, our expenses and losses, for Christ. However, Christ does not upbraid them; though it was but little that they had forsaken, yet it was their all, and as dear to them as if it had been more. Christ took it kindly that they left it to follow him; he accepts according to what a man hath. Our Lord's promise to the apostles is, that when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, he will make all things new, and they shall sit with him in judgement on those who will be judged according to their doctrine. This sets forth the honour, dignity, and authority of their office and ministry. Our Lord added, that every one who had forsaken possessions or comforts, for his sake and the gospel, would be recompensed at last. May God give us faith to rest our hope on this his promise; then we shall be ready for every service or sacrifice. Our Saviour, in the last verse, does away a mistake of some. The heavenly inheritance is not given as earthly ones are, but according to God's pleasure. Let us not trust in promising appearances or outward profession. Others may, for aught we know, become eminent in faith and holiness.

Footnotes 6

Matthew 19 Commentaries