Walking with Jesus -Matthew 19 : And the Last First

and the last first

Disciples Walking with Jesus 

After warning the disciples on unforgiveness, Jesus continued to carry on doing His work on earth, healing and teaching. The disciples followed and continued to learn. There is a mix of issues Jesus handled here: counseling marriage (on the subject of divorce), singleness, blessing little children, discourse on goodness of God with rich young ruler, with disciples on who can enter heaven – the cost and benefit for discipleship etc.

Key phrases spoken by Jesus for His disciples to take heed as the correct motivation for their actions, like remaining single or not, denying self and take up their cross to follow Him or not: “For the kingdom of heaven’s sake“, “For My name sake“.

On every issue they brought to Him, Jesus handled with one guideline: What does God’s word say? What is God’s original intention? what is God’s purpose/will?  what are God’s guidelines for the kingdom of heaven?

Jesus again warned the disciples not to look at or judge the outward appearance; instead they must know and obey the spiritual reality of God and God’s words. The focus is always on God and not men. Only God (including His words) is good, perfect. With God all things are possible. Everyone needs God to enter the kingdom of heaven. 

Matthew 19

Marriage and Divorce

19 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made[a] them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[b] and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?[c] So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”

He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality,[d] and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

Jesus Teaches on Celibacy

11 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 12 For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler

16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[e] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good?[f] No one is good but One, that is, God.[g] But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’[h] and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”[i]

20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[j] What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

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

With God All Things Are Possible

23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”

26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”

28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me 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 or wife[k] or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 19:4 NU-Text reads created.
  2. Matthew 19:4 Genesis 1:275:2
  3. Matthew 19:5 Genesis 2:24
  4. Matthew 19:9 Or fornication
  5. Matthew 19:16 NU-Text omits Good.
  6. Matthew 19:17 NU-Text reads Why do you ask Me about what is good?
  7. Matthew 19:17 NU-Text reads There is One who is good.
  8. Matthew 19:19 Exodus 20:12–16Deuteronomy 5:16–20
  9. Matthew 19:19 Leviticus 19:18
  10. Matthew 19:20 NU-Text omits from my youth.
  11. Matthew 19:29 NU-Text omits or wife.
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