19
Jesus taught them God's view of divorce, and about abstaining from marriage to give more time to serve God.
Matthew 19:1-12
After Jesus had said that, he took us and left Galilee district and went to the part of Judea district that is located on the east side of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him there, and he healed the sick among them.
Some Pharisees approached Jesus and said to him, “Does our Jewish law permit a man to divorce his wife for any reason whatever?” They asked that in order to be able to criticize Jesus, whether he answered “Yes” or “No.” Jesus said to them, “ Because you have read [RHQ] the Scriptures, you should know that at the time God first created people, ‘he made one man, and he made one woman to be that man's wife.’ That explains why God said, ‘ When a man and woman marry, they should no longer live with their fathers and mothers. Instead, the two of them shall live together, and they shall become so closely united that they are like one person [MET].’ Consequently, although they functioned as two separate people before, they now become as if they were one person [MET]. Since that is true, a man must not separate from his wife whom God has joined to him, because it is God's plan for them to remain together.”
The Pharisees then said to him, “If that is true, why did Moses command that a man who wanted to divorce his wife should give her a paper stating his reason for divorcing her, and then send her away?” He said to them, “It was because your ancestors stubbornly wanted their own way that Moses allowed them to divorce their wives, and you are no different from them . But when God first [MTY] created a man and a woman, he did not intend for them to separate . I am telling you emphatically that because God considers that a marriage lasts until either the husband or the wife dies, he considers that any man who divorces his wife and marries another woman is committing adultery, unless his first wife has committed adultery.” 10 We disciples said to him, “If that is true, it is better for men never to marry!” 11 Then he said to us, “Not every man is able to accept this teaching. Only the men whom God enables to accept it are able to do so. 12 There are men who do not marry because they are not able to have sexual relations because they have been sexually defective ever since they were born. There are other men who do not marry because they are unable to have sexual relations because they have been castrated {other men have made them that way}. There are other men who decide not to marry [MET] in order that they can serve God better and spend more time telling people about how God [MTY/EUP] wants to rule people's lives. You who are able to understand what I have said about marriage should accept it and obey it.”
Jesus rebuked the disciples for trying to prevent children from coming to him.
Matthew 19:13-15
13 Then some children were brought { some people brought their children} to Jesus in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray for them. But we disciples scolded the people for bringing their children to Jesus because we thought that Jesus did not want to take the time to be with children. 14 But when Jesus saw us scolding them, he said to us, “Let the children come to me! Do not stop them! It is people who are humble and trusting like they are, who can experience God's rule in their lives.” 15 Jesus then laid his hands on the children and asked God to bless them. Then he left there.
A rich young man went away sad because Jesus told him to sell all his possessions.
Matthew 19:16-22
16  As Jesus was walking along, a young man approached him and said to him, “Teacher, what good deeds must I do in order to live with God eternally?” 17 Jesus said to him, “◄Consider what you are implying about who I am when you ask me about what is good./Do you realize what you are implying about who I am when you ask me about that which is good?► [RHQ] Only one being is good and really knows what is good. That being is God. But in order to answer your question about desiring to live with God eternally, I will say to you, ‘Keep the commandments that God gave Moses’.” 18 The man asked Jesus, “Which commandments must I keep?” Jesus answered him, “Do not murder anyone, do not commit adultery, do not steal things, do not testify falsely, 19 honor your father and your mother, and love people you come in contact with as much as you love yourself.” 20  Thinking that he might not be able to live with God eternally even though he had kept those commandments, the young man said to Jesus, “I have always obeyed all those commandments. What else must I do in order to live with God eternally?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you desire to be all that God intends you to be, go home, sell everything that you have and give the money to poor people. The result will be that you will have spiritual riches in heaven. Then come and be my disciple!” 22 When the young man heard those words, he went away feeling sad, because he was very rich and did not want to give away everything he owned.
Jesus taught how difficult it is for rich people to let God rule their lives, but there are rewards for those who leave family and possessions for his sake.
Matthew 19:23-30
23 Then Jesus said to us disciples, “Keep this in mind: It is very difficult for rich people to decide to let God [MTY/EUP] rule their lives. 24 Note this also: It is impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. It is almost as difficult [HYP] for rich people to decide to let God rule their lives.” 25 When we disciples heard this, we were astounded. We thought that rich people were the ones whom God blesses the most. So we said to him, “◄If that is so, it does not seem likely that anyone will be saved!/Who then will God will save?►” [RHQ] 26  When Jesus heard us say that, he looked intently at us, and then he said to us, “ Yes, it is impossible for people to save themselves. But God can save them, because God is able to do anything!” 27 Then Peter said to him, “You know that we (exc) have left everything behind and we have become your disciples. So what benefit will we get for doing that?” 28 Jesus said to us, “Keep this in mind: You will get many benefits. When God makes the new earth and when I, the one who came from heaven, sit on my magnificent throne, those of you who have accompanied me will each sit on a throne, and you will judge the people of the twelve tribes of Israel. 29  God will reward those who, because of being my disciples, have left behind a house or plot of ground, their brothers, their sisters, their father, their mother, their children, or any other family [MTY] members. God will give them a hundred times as many benefits as they have given up. And they will live with God eternally. 30 But many people who consider themselves to be important now will be unimportant at that future time, and many people who consider themselves to be unimportant now will be important at that future time.”