Matthew 19

1 And it was done, when Jesus had ended these words, he passed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea over Jordan.
2 And much people followed him [And many companies followed him], and he healed them there.
3 And the Pharisees came to him, tempting him, and said, Whether it be leaveful to a man to leave his wife, for any cause? [+And Pharisees came nigh to him, tempting him, and saying, Whether it is leaveful for a man to leave, or forsake, his wife, for whatever cause?]
4 Which answered, and said to them, Have ye not read, for he that made men at the beginning, made them male and female?
5 And he said, For this thing a man shall leave father and mother, and he shall draw to his wife [and he shall cleave, or draw, to his wife]; and they shall be twain in one flesh.
6 And so they be not now twain, but one flesh. Therefore man separate not that thing that God hath joined [together]. [Therefore they be not two, but one flesh. Therefore a man part not that thing that God enjoined, or knit together.]
7 They say to him, What then commanded Moses, to give a libel of forsaking, and to leave of. [They say to him, What then commanded Moses, to give a little book of forsaking, and to forsake.]
8 And he said to them, For Moses, for the hardness of your heart, suffered you to leave your wives [And he saith to them, For Moses, at the hardness of your heart, suffered you to forsake your wives]; but from the beginning it was not so.
9 And I say to you, that whoever leaveth his wife, but for fornication, and weddeth another, doeth lechery [doeth adultery]; and he that weddeth the forsaken wife, doeth lechery [doeth adultery].
10 His disciples say to him, If the cause of a man with his wife is so, it speedeth not to be wedded [it speedeth not to wed].
11 And he said to them, Not all men take this word; but they to which it is given [but to whom it is given].
12 For there be geldings, which be so born of the mother's womb [which be thus born of their mother's womb]; and there be geldings, that be made of men; and there be geldings, that have gelded themselves, for the kingdom of heavens. He that may take, take he.
13 Then little children were brought to him, that he should put [his] hands to them, and pray. And the disciples blamed them.
14 But Jesus said to them, Suffer ye that little children come to me, and do not ye forbid them [But Jesus said to them, Suffer ye little children come to me, and do not ye forbid them to come to me]; for of such is the kingdom of heavens.
15 And when he had put to them hands, he went from thence. [And when he had put to them hands, he went thence.]
16 And lo! one came, and said to him, Good master, what good [thing] shall I do, that I have everlasting life?
17 Which saith to him, What askest thou me of good thing? There is one good God [Which said to him, What askest thou me of good thing? One is good God]. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith to him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not do manslaying, thou shalt not do adultery, thou shalt not do theft, thou shalt not say false witnessing;
19 worship thy father and thy mother [honour thou thy father and thy mother], and, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith to him, I have kept all these things from my youth, what yet faileth to me?
21 Jesus saith to him, If thou wilt be perfect, go, and sell all things that thou hast, and give to poor men, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, and follow me.
22 And when the young man had heard these words, he went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions.
23 And Jesus said to his disciples, I say to you truth, for a rich man of hard shall enter into the kingdom of heavens. [Forsooth Jesus said to his disciples, Truly I say to you, for of hard a rich man shall enter into the realm of heavens.]
24 And again I say to you, it is lighter a camel to pass through a needle's eye [+And again I say to you, it is easier a camel for to pass through the hole of a needle], than a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heavens.
25 When these things were heard, the disciples wondered greatly, and said [Truly these words heard, the disciples wondered greatly, saying], Who then may be safe?
26 Jesus beheld, and said to them, With men this thing is impossible; but with God all things be possible.
27 Then Peter answered, and said to him, Lo! we have forsaken all things, and we have followed thee; what then shall be to us [what therefore shall be to us]?
28 And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, that ye that have forsaken all things, and have followed me, in the regeneration when man's Son shall sit in the seat of his majesty, [also] ye shall sit on twelve seats [and ye shall sit on twelve seats, or sieges], deeming the twelve kindreds of Israel.
29 And every man that forsaketh house, [or] brethren or sisters [or brethren, or sistren], [or] father or mother, [or] wife or children, or fields, for my name, he shall take an hundredfold, and shall wield everlasting life.
30 But many shall be, the first the last, and the last the first.

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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.

Matthew 19 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.