19 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, He left Galilee and went into the part of Judea that is beyond the Jordan; 2 and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 He replied, “Have you never read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined inseparably to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?(A) 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7 The Pharisees said to Him, “Why then did Moses command us to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?”(B) 8 He said to them, “Because your hearts were hard and stubborn Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery[a].”
10 The disciples said to Jesus, “If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom [the capacity to receive] it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been born that way from their mother’s womb [making them incapable of consummating a marriage]; and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men [for royal service]; and there are eunuchs who have [b]made themselves so for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13 Then children were brought to Jesus so that He might place His hands on them [for a blessing] and pray; but the disciples reprimanded them. 14 But He said, “Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 After placing His hands on them [for a blessing], He went on from there.
The Rich Young Ruler
16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what [essentially] good thing shall I do to obtain eternal life [that is, eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?”(C) 17 Jesus answered, “Why are you asking Me about what is [essentially] good? There is only One who is [essentially] good; but if you wish to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.”(D) 18 He said to Jesus, “Which commandments?” And Jesus answered, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false testimony;(E) 19 Honor your father and mother; and love your neighbor as yourself” [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].(F) 20 The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these things [from my youth]; what do I still lack?”(G) 21 Jesus answered him, “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” 22 But when the young man heard this, he left grieving and distressed, for he owned much property and had many possessions [which he treasured more than his relationship with God].
23 Jesus said to His disciples, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, it is difficult for a rich man [who clings to possessions and status as security] to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man [who places his faith in wealth and status] to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were completely [c]astonished and bewildered, saying, “Then who can be saved [from the wrath of God]?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”(H)
The Disciples’ Reward
27 Then Peter answered Him, saying, “Look, we have given up everything and followed You [becoming Your disciples and accepting You as Teacher and Lord]; what then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, in the renewal [that is, the Messianic restoration and regeneration of all things] when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you [who have followed Me, becoming My disciples] will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother [d]or children or farms for My name’s sake will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first [in this world] will be last [in the world to come]; and the last, first.
- Matthew 19:9 Some early mss add the phrase “...and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
- Matthew 19:12 This may refer to a personal vow of celibacy.
- Matthew 19:25 These declarations of Jesus directly contradicted the teaching of the Pharisees that God bestows wealth on those He loves and chooses. If the rich were not automatically granted entrance to God’s kingdom, how could the common man ever be welcomed?
- Matthew 19:29 One early mss adds or wife.