About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 19
verses 1 and 2 we see that
Jesus left Galilee and moved to the south into Judea, and across the
verse 3 the Pharisees come to Jesus with a question that was meant to
trick Him. They were
constantly trying to catch Jesus in a mistake.
This time the question was, “ is it lawful for a man to divorce
his wife for any and every reason”?
need to understand that the rabbinical law allowed for divorce, as well as
the Law of Moses. Yet the
rabbinical law went much farther than the Law of Moses in the reasons why
a man could divorce his wife. Men
could divorce their wives for all sorts of reasons that weren’t
important. At the mere whim of
a man, he could divorce his wife.
verses 4 through 6 Jesus begins to answer this question.
He refers back to creation, by calling God “the Creator”.
He says that the Creator made man and woman, and for this reason, a
man would leave his father and mother and be united with his wife.
says “for this reason a man will leave his father…”
What reason is Jesus speaking of?
The reason is mentioned in the sentence before, and that is,
“because God made man and woman. The
reason why a man leaves his parents is to be united with his wife, and
this union is sexual. I say
this because Jesus says that God made man and woman, and He made them
different sexually. The only
reason why God made woman was to be one who would stand beside man.
Also woman was made for man, and not a man made for a man.
sexual union, a husband and his wife become one.
Jesus thus says, “what God has joined together, let no man
separate”. This in fact
answers the original question. The
rabbinical law allowed for separation and divorce, but Jesus said that man
should not allow such separation.
Jesus confirms the truth that says what God has joined together let no one
separate, He is saying that God has instituted marriage between a man and
a woman. This is the only kind
of relationship God instituted. By allowing same-sex marriages you are
thus separating what God has joined.
verse 7 the Pharisees then ask Jesus if God does not want divorce, why did
He allow for divorce in the Law of Moses?
It’s a logical question to ask.
answers in verse 8 by saying that God allowed divorce in the Law of Moses
because men’s hearts were evil. This
tells you a little about the Law. One
reason for the Law of Moses was a consolation because of man’s
sinfulness. So God did allow divorce, but that was clearly not His
original intention for men and women.
He originally wanted them to be man and wife for life.
9 is important to this discussion so I will quote it.
Jesus says, “anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital
unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery”.
The word “except” introduces what we call the “exception
clause”. What Jesus is
saying here is that if a man divorces his wife and remarries, he commits
adultery. Yet, there is one
exception, and that is if his wife is unfaithful to him.
Thus if a man divorces his wife because she has been sexually
unfaithful, he is permitted to divorce her, and if he remarries, then he
is not committing adultery.
the Jesus was addressing the Pharisees, but in verse 10 the disciples come
back with their own question. They
basically say that if this is the case, “it is better not to marry”.
Why would they say this?
mentality of the disciples concerning marriage was most likely the same
that the Pharisees had, and that was, it is okay to divorce your wife for
every and any reason. Jesus
only gives one exception, and that’s if your wife has been unfaithful to
you. Well the disciples
figured that if there’s only one reason to divorce your wife, it’s
better not to get married. There’s
just too many things that go wrong in a marriage relationship, and if you
can’t get out easily, then don’t get married in the first place.
Their reasoning is logical from their perspective.
verse 11 Jesus answers by admitting the fact that not everyone can accept
this. What does He mean by
“accept this’? What needs
to be accepted here? What is
hard to accept is the fact that he says that there is only one way out of
marriage, and that it might well be better for some not to marry.
He says that the ones who can accept the single life is the one to
whom it has been given to do so. In some cases then, singleness is a gift.
This suggests to me that because of creation, man and woman were
created to be married, but in some circumstances there is an exception.
says that there are 3 reason for this exception in verse 12.
One reason is that some men were born eunuchs, meaning, for one
reason or another they aren’t able to have sex and reproduce.
Other men are made this way by men, by surgery, for one reason or
another. Then the third reason
is that some men are able to control themselves sexually and decide to not
marry in order to give their whole lives to the
ends this discussion by saying, “the one who can accept this, should
accept it”, meaning, if you can stay single successfully for the sake of
word of caution must be given on the topic of divorce and remarriage for
it is a divisive issue in the church and many people have differing
opinions. You should not take one reference to the subject and build your
thinking on a few verses. Jesus
speaks to this issue in other places, and those words must be considered
as well. Beyond what Jesus
says here, the New Testament has more to say about divorce and remarriage,
and all these Scriptures must be taken into consideration when determining
one’s position on this subject.
verse 13 we see that people brought their little children to Jesus so He
could pray for them. The
disciples rebuked these parents for bringing their children to Jesus.
This shows you how these men viewed children in relation to Jesus.
They viewed them as being a bother.
You might think that they would have clued in that children
weren’t a bother to Jesus by the things that He had recently said to
them about children, one of which was that the disciples themselves
were to become like children if they wanted to enter the
15 tells us that after Jesus placed His hands on these children he left
believe that Jesus had, and still has
a soft spot in His heart for children, as He does with any
verse 16 we see a young man come up to Jesus and ask “what good thing
must I do to get eternal life”? We
note the mentality of this man, which is the mentality of the Jewish
people, and really, of any religious person.
This man’s thinking was that he had to do something good in order
to enter the bliss of the next life.
This is the way it is with all religions.
Religion is man doing something in order to be made right with God,
but this is not true Christianity.
verse 17 Jesus answers this man with His own question.
He asks, “why do you ask me what is good”?
I think Jesus knew why the young man asked this question, but Jesus
is entering a dialogue with this man and He is prompting this man to
think. It is interesting to
note that much of what Jesus says to individuals in the way of teaching is
meant to cause the individual to really think things through, something
that many modern Christians don’t do.
That is, they don’t put a lot of stock in thinking things
through. They preferred to
listen to a sermon instead of sitting down and reasoning things out.
goes on to say that there is only One who is good and that is God, so you
aught to obey His commandments. I
think Jesus said this for a specific reason as well.
He knew that this man thought goodness was all about doing things,
and obeying the commandments was on the top of this man’s list of good
things to do. The man just
wanted Jesus to tell him one other good thing to do that would guarantee
eternal life for him.
in verse 18 the young man asks Jesus which commands did He have in mind
that he should obey. The man
was ready for what Jesus was to tell him because he had done quite well in
obeying the commandments of God.
in response Jesus picks out six commands.
They are, don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal,
don’t give a false testimony, and honour you parents, and love your
neighbour as yourself.
verse 20 the man says that he has kept all these commands.
He then asks Jesus “what do I lack”, as in, tell me something I
haven’t done. I don’t know
if this man was being prideful or if he really was asking Jesus this out
of a pure heart. Whatever the
case, Jesus takes this man seriously and at his word.
verse 21 Jesus comes back with the hard command and it’s not one of the
Ten Commandments. He tells
this man that if he is really serious about wanting to be perfect in the
eyes of God, then he must sell all that he has, then come back to follow
did Jesus give this young man this particular command?
Jesus was addressing the important issues of life for this man.
His riches were the dearest things to this man’s heart.
In Jesus’ mind, if this man was serious about entering life after
death, he would give him a
test that would prove this.
interesting to note here that Jesus didn’t offer this man another
command from the Old Testament. If
fact Jesus wasn’t telling this man to obey any Old Testament command.
He was asking this man to obey Him, and rightly so, because this is
what the New Testament is all about. We
are to obey Jesus, because He is the fulfillment of the Law, and in a very
real sense of the word, has replaced the Law.
verse 24 Jesus says, “I tell you the truth”.
Usually when Jesus prefaces a statement with this it is to
emphasize what He is about to say. What
He says next is that it is hard for a rich man to enter the
you take these words, riches are a major distraction to the
verse 25 Jesus says that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye
of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the
verse 25 the disciples were “astonished” with
Jesus’ statement and therefore asked, “who then can be
saved”? It’s a natural
question asked by carnal man. The disciples knew well how riches have a
hold on people, them included. They
couldn’t figure out then how anyone could be saved if what Jesus said
the disciples use the word “save” in relation to entering the
verse 26 Jesus responds by saying that with man it’s impossible to be
saved, but with God all things are possible.
There is no way that man can bring salvation to himself on his own.
God provides salvation through Jesus and His salvation can
penetrate through all things, even riches.
The important thing to note here is that man is unable to be saved
on his own. God is the only
one that can save us from His wrath and anger.
Yet we can’t seem to understand this.
We constantly religionize Christianity and make it a humanistic
religion, and when we do, it no longer is true Christianity.
verse 27 Peter responds to what Jesus said by saying that the disciples
have left everything, so what is left for them to do?
Peter was right. They
had left a lot to follow Jesus. They
had pretty well done what Jesus told this young man to do.
It is only logical that Peter would ask Jesus this question.
If the disciples had left any riches they might have had, then
really, they must inherit the
the truth of finding salvation is not only in the leaving of something
behind, but the replacement of that which is left behind with Jesus.
Jesus told the young man to sell all he had then follow Him.
He did not merely tell the young man to sell all he had.
The following Jesus must follow selling all that we have or selling
all we have is of no effect for us concerning salvation.
28 is interesting. It says a lot about the destiny of these twelve
disciples. Jesus says
that when the renewal of all things takes place, and when He sits on His
throne, the Twelve will sit
with Him, judging the twelve tribes of
word “judge” does not mean to make a judgment as a judge would do.
It means to rule or to reign over.
Thus the Twelve will rule over the twelve tribes of
also at the phrase “renewal
of all things”. There’s a
certain teaching in the church that says
all things will be restored before Jesus returns to earth.
In fact, the restoration of all things is what prompts Jesus to
return, but this isn’t true. Jesus
specifically says that all things will be restored when He sits on His
throne. The question then
arises, “when will He sit on His throne”?
Those who hold to the idea that all things will be restored before
Jesus returns might suggest that Jesus went to sit on His throne at His
ascension. I do believe
that He did sit on His throne then, but there’s another fact to consider
in what Jesus said here concerning Him sitting on His throne.
said that when He sits on His throne these twelve disciples will sit with
Him. Well, they did not sit
with Jesus on thrones when Jesus left this earth to be with His Father.
They remained on earth to witness for Jesus.
But at the end of this age, after Jesus returns, they will sit on
thrones on this earth as seen in the Book of Revelation.
saying all of this, Jesus is telling Peter, and the rest, that they will
be rewarded for what they have given up.
We may not have the same reward, but we also will be rewarded for
the sacrifices we make to follow Jesus.
In verse 29 Jesus pretty well says that.
He says that anyone who has left his family will receive a hundred
fold, and in context, that which we will receive is in the next life, not
necessarily in this life, although this does not exclude a reward in this
chapter ends with Jesus saying that many who are first will be last.
By this He means that many who are now first in this world, those
who have lots and are in high places will in fact be at the bottom in the
next life. This life is all
about serving. It’s all
about storing treasure in the next life.
This life is not about accumulating wealth, but about sharing Jesus
and being His representatives. We’ll
get our wealth in the next life, but for those who want their wealth now,
they can have it, but by so doing, they forfeit their rewards in the next