Matthew 19

Concerning Divorce

1 1When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and 2came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan;
2 and large crowds followed Him, and 3He healed them there.
3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "4Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?"
4 And He answered and said, "Have you not read 5that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,
5 and said, '6FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND 7THE TWO SHALL BECOME * ONE FLESH '?
6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
7 They said to Him, "8Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?"
8 He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.
9 "And I say to you, 9whoever * divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery ."
10 The disciples said to Him, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry."
11 But He said to them, "10Not all men can accept this statement, but 11only those to whom it has been given.
12 "For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it."

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 12Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But Jesus said, "13Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for 14the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
15 After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.

The Rich Young Ruler

16 15And someone came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain 16eternal life?"
17 And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but 17if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."
18 Then he said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "18YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS;
19 19HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and 20YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?"
21 Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and 21sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have 22treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.
23 And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I say to you, 23it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24 "Again I say to you, 24it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
25 When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, "Then who can be saved?"
26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, "25With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

The Disciples' Reward

27 Then Peter said to Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?"
28 And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when 26the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, 27you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 "And 28everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.
30 "29But many who are first will be last; and the last, 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.

Cross References 29

  • 1. Matthew 7:28
  • 2. Matthew 19:1-9: {Mark 10:1-12}
  • 3. Matthew 4:23
  • 4. Matthew 5:31
  • 5. Genesis 1:27; Genesis 5:2
  • 6. Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:31
  • 7. 1 Corinthians 6:16
  • 8. Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 5:31
  • 9. Matthew 5:32
  • 10. 1 Corinthians 7:7f
  • 11. Matthew 13:11
  • 12. Matthew 19:13-15: {Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17}
  • 13. Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 1 Peter 2:2
  • 14. Matthew 5:3
  • 15. Matthew 19:16-29: {Mark 10:17-30; Luke 18:18-30;} Luke 10:25-28
  • 16. Matthew 25:46
  • 17. Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Ezekiel 20:21
  • 18. Exodus 20:13-16; Deuteronomy 5:17-20
  • 19. Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16
  • 20. Leviticus 19:18
  • 21. Luke 12:33; Luke 16:9; Acts 2:45; Acts 4:34
  • 22. Matthew 6:20
  • 23. Matthew 13:22; Mark 10:23; Luke 18:24
  • 24. Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25
  • 25. Genesis 18:14; Job 42:2; Jeremiah 32:17; Zechariah 8:6; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37; Luke 18:27
  • 26. Matthew 25:31
  • 27. Luke 22:30; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 11:16; Revelation 20:4
  • 28. Matthew 6:33; Mark 10:29; Luke 18:29
  • 29. Matthew 20:16; Mark 10:31; Luke 13:30

Footnotes 13

  • [a]. Lit "many"
  • [b]. Lit "Him"
  • [c]. Or "send away"
  • [d]. Or "send away"
  • [e]. Or "sends away"
  • [f]. Lit "fornication"
  • [g]. Some early mss read "makes her commit adultery"
  • [h]. Some early mss add "and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery"
  • [i]. Or "Permit the children"
  • [j]. Or "perfect"
  • [k]. Lit "the throne of His glory"
  • [l]. One early ms adds "or wife"
  • [m]. One early ms reads "a hundred times"

Matthew 19 Commentaries