Matthew 19

God Himself instituted the relationship between husband and wife, and those joined together by the ordinance of God are not to be put asunder by an ordinance of man, except for fornication. Nothing less than the almighty grace of God can enable a man taken up with the riches of this world to get into heaven. Riches, if they are under our feet, are stepping stones, but if upon our backs, are a curse.

1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;

2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

3 ¶ The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

10 ¶ His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

13 ¶ Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

16 ¶ And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

23 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

27 ¶ Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Matthew 19:1-12 – ​Jesus’ View of Marriage

   Divorce was common among the Jews of that decadent age, being justified by Deuteronomy 24:1. Concerning this it should be remembered that this legislation, though in advance of the standards of its age, was a distinct concession to the state of morality which had then been reached. You can legislate only slightly ahead of the general maxims and practices of the people, else you discourage them and bring your laws into disuse.
   The Lord takes us back to the original constitution of the family, where the one man was for the one woman. The only act that justifies divorce is the act which violates the marriage vow. Some are debarred from marriage by circumstances, but for such there is provided special grace, if they will seek it. Some refuse marriage in order to be more free for their life-work. Christ does not set these above others. He does not put special honor on celibacy: but in Matthew 19:13-14 places special emphasis on the beauty of family life. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 19:8—Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you….

​   This is a very profound principle, which is of immense value in dealing with Scripture. There were certain precepts and commands given to Israel, which are not of lasting obligation, because they were stages in their moral discipline and education. It would have been impossible to lift them suddenly from the degradation into which they had sunk in Egypt, to the glorious levels of Isaiah or the Sermon on the Mount: so God’s dealings with them were graduated and progressive.
   Such were the regulations about a plurality of wives, the keeping of bond-slaves, the treatment of captives, the destruction of their foes. With respect to these, our Lord says, Moses interposed a parenthesis of legislation, which was a stage higher than anything known among the surrounding nations, though it was not God’s normal or original code.
   What was true of Israel is true of us. We do not realize, in the first stage of our redemption, all that is included in the word “Sin.” We are like men enveloped in morning mist, which permits them to descry only the bolder outlines of the cliffs around them, but as yet veils the minuter eminences or depressions. As the mist clears, surrounding objects become ever more distinctly defined: so that the know more of God, we know ourselves better, and realize what sin is, and come to see it where we had never guessed its presence. Thus we condemn today what we permitted five years ago. It is interesting to find in these words of Christ the germ of an argument which his apostle used afterwards in the Epistle to the Galatians with such marvellous force. He said the Mosaic dispensation was a parenthesis; but it cannot disannul God’s primal institution (Galatians 3:15-17). —Our Daily Homily

Matthew 19:13-22 – ​How to Enter the Kingdom

   Youth, with all its fervor and impetuosity, is very beautiful in itself and very dear to Christ. Here youth was combined with station, wealth, and noble character. It is not necessary that all should sell their goods, and distribute the proceeds. It is a harder task to retain wealth and administer it for God. But it was necessary that the Master should prove to this young man that he was not fulfilling the Commandments quite so perfectly as he had supposed.
   How few would wed Poverty today if they had to choose! Yet great riches must lie hidden beneath her rustic dress. Christ chose her as His companion during His human life, and St. Francis of Assisi said that he took her for his bride. In Matthew the beatitude is phrased (Matthew 5:3): “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, but in Luke it stands (Luke 6:20): “Blessed be ye poor.” See James 2:5. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 19:23-30 – ​Riches in the Kingdom

   Money is not an unmixed good. It brings in its train many temptations. It is easier to bear poverty than wealth—easier to be a saint when life is hard than when prosperity lavishes her gifts.
   When the Pope was showing St. Francis of Assisi the treasures of the Vatican, he remarked: “We can hardly say with the Apostle, ‘Silver and gold have we none.’” Francis replied aptly and incisively: “Yes, holy father, and I suppose we can hardly say either, ‘Rise up and walk.’” Often it is in the poverty of earthly circumstances that the soul becomes possessed of an authority which wealth cannot buy.
   What compensations there will be hereafter in the times of the restitution of all things! See Acts 3:21. Then the unsatisfied yearnings for husband, wife, or child; the love which craved for love; the lonely, the homeless, the pilgrim, will neither hunger nor thirst, because the Lamb will lead him to the fountains of waters of life. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 19:26 – Our God does not need noble characters, as the ground-work of His masterpieces. He can raise up stones as children. He can turn thorns into fir-trees, briars into myrtle-trees. He can take fishermen from their nets, and publicans from their toll-booths, making them into evangelists, apostles, and martyrs. We are not much by nature – wild, bad blood may be flowing in our veins; but God will be the more magnified, if from such stones He can raise up children unto Abraham. The miracle of His grace and power will bring more conspicuous glory to His holy name, in proportion to the unpromising character of the materials on which He works. (F.B. Meyer)