verses for this week: 2 Pet
beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may
be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
last week’s lesson, Christ taught how that we need to have faith like
a child to enter into heaven. He also taught about being the great
shepherd who will seek out the one sheep if it goes astray, and then
taught on the need to have continual forgiveness for those who
trespass against us if they seek to get things right. And if there
is a problem in getting things right, how to use church discipline in
the proper way to correct problems.
I. Jesus Returns to
Mat 19:1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these
sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea
Mat 19:2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them
Jesus finished the teachings about forgiveness that we
covered last week at the end of Chapter 18, and then he leaves
Galilee and travels
unto the coasts of Judaea. The great multitudes followed after the
Lord. There were many reasons why they followed. Some were true
disciples and had been saved and sought to follow him out of a pure
heart. These fishers of men no doubt were no doubt very pleasing to
Christ. Unfortunately, there were some that came to eat the loaves
and be filled. Free food has always been a big draw in any time
period. Some sought after Christ to seek healing for themselves or
loved ones, and then there were the Pharisees who came always to
dispute and argue with Christ.
II. Christ Speaks on
Mat 19:3 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
Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read,
that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and
mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What
therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
We find the Pharisees coming to tempt Christ, and they ask
him if it was permissible for a man to put away his wife for every
cause? Sounds a lot like the no-fault divorces I have read about in
the newspaper that are legal in some states. The Pharisees were not
ignorant of the bible, but sought occasion to find fault with Jesus.
Jesus refers to Genesis 1:27 in answering their question.
Gen 1:27 So God
created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male
and female created he them.
Gen 1:28 And God
blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and
replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of
the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing
that moveth upon the earth.
Christ refers to Adam and Eve as the ideal marriage
situation… one man and one woman totally dedicated to one another.
This oneness is God’s ideal plan for marriage. Hard as man tries, he
can not improve upon this plan. We have a giant battle going on
today with people trying to redefine the family and the meaning of
marriage. I believe we have an attempt being made right now to amend
the constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a
woman, which is certainly God’s plan.
Mat 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a
writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
Mat 19:8 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.
Mat 19:9 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
The Pharisees are set in finding fault with everything that
Jesus said. If Jesus was right, then Moses must have been in error
in giving them the ability to have a divorce. Jesus clears it up
quickly. It was never God’s plan for man to have a divorce, but
because of the hardness of their hearts, Moses gave them a writing of
divorcement. God’s original plan was for us to marry and stay with
our original mate until death. And I want you to notice that if
there is adultery, we are given the option to get a divorce, but that
is not a command. I truly believe God would prefer for us to work
things out if at all possible and stay together with our mate.
Adultery or fornication are the only biblical grounds for divorce as
he clearly states here. And if we do divorce, we are guilty of
forcing the next marriage to be one created in adultery. We should
follow God’s plan.
Mat 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so
with his wife, it is not good to marry.
Mat 19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this
saying, save they to whom it is given.
Mat 19:12 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.
The disciples conclude that if things are so strict and
serious, that it would be better to not marry. Christ points out that
marriage is in God’s plan for man and woman, but people can be blessed
also if they stay single. If a man or woman can wholly dedicate
themselves to the work of the Lord and not sin in doing so, then to
remain single is blessed of the Lord. Paul had several comments
concerning this issue in I Corinthians Chapter 7.
III. Jesus Receives
and Blesses Little Children
Mat 19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that
he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked
Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them
not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 19:15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
Jesus had much to say about little children and the word of
God. Jesus was not a man so busy that he could not stop and talk with
the children and pay attention to them. My most dear aunt was a lady
who always listened to me, even when I was too little to have much to
say. I remember her getting down in the floor and asking me how I
was doing and what I had been doing. And then she listened to what I
said. I always knew she did, because the next time I saw her she
asked me about it. Do you take the time to listen to little
children? Your attention to the little ones makes a big difference
in their lives, and God only knows how much in a lifetime is learned
from Godly people who will spend time molding the lives of a young
child. Jesus knew.. and he took the time. Children always showed a
love for Jesus, and some of my favorite pictures in religious settings
is when Jesus is talking with the children. As we read in last
week’s lesson, the children believed what they were taught. No doubt
and fear. If we want ultimate happiness, we must come that way to
God and trust him with all our heart. In verse 15, it says Jesus
laid his hands on them and then departed from that area of Judaea.
Matthew Henry said this about the little children.
The little children should be brought to Jesus. We cannot do
better for our children than to commit them to the Lord Jesus, to be
wrought upon, and prayed for, by him. We can but beg a blessing for
them, it is Christ only that can command the blessing.
This next section is one of my favorite teachings in the
bible, and often misunderstood.
IV. The Rich Young
Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master,
what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mat 19:17 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.
This rich young ruler was apparently a good man, and was
smart enough to recognize Jesus as a ‘Good Master.’ The man was
intelligent in the fact that he was seeking a way to obtain eternal
life. How many ever question what will happen after death until it
is too late. But the big error in the man’s desire was that he looked
for a way to ‘save himself’ which is what the world wants to believe.
Salvation never has been by works. If we could obtain salvation by
works, then Christ’s death was in vain. We would not need His shed
blood if we could work our way into heaven. But we can’t be saved
this way. Salvation by works is a false doctrine taught because it
pleases the flesh. It makes us feel like we have a part in
salvation. Eternal life is a GIFT of God. It is available to all who
will call upon Christ and seek forgiveness of sins through what Jesus
did there on Calvary. Some question why Jesus made the comment in
verse 17 if he was truly equal to God. He says “Why callest thou me
good?” A wise old teacher once told me that Christ’s comments were to
make this young man focus WHOLLY on the heavenly Father. God and God
alone is good. We are all lacking in our ability to reach God by our
Rom 3:10 As it is
written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is
none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are
all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there
is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Isa 64:6 But we are
all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy
rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind,
have taken us away.
Mat 19:18 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,
Mat 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I
kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus tell the young man that is he wants to enter heaven,
then he needed to keep all the commandments. Christ was not teaching
that the 10 commandments could save, but was using them to show this
young man that he was guilty before God. Paul said the law could not
save, but it was our schoolmaster to show our true position before
Gal 3:24 Wherefore
the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be
justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after
that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Jesus quoted some of the commandments, and the young man
declares that he has kept all of them from his youth up.
Mat 19:21 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.
Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away
sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
What is the first commandment? To put God above all other
things. Nothing else should be more important to us than serving the
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods
Jesus told him to go and sell all his goods, and give the
money to the poor, and he would have treasure in heaven, and then to
come and follow Jesus. What Jesus was pointing out to the young man
was that his money was more important to him than his service to God.
Does this mean to be saved, we have to give up everything we have and
give it to the poor? No … that is not the point. But IF God was to
require that, we should be willing to do so. I once met a missionary
that said he had millions of dollars when God called him into the
ministry, and he was given a clear message from the Lord to give up
the money and to follow Christ. And he did. That is what it is all
about… total dependence on God and total worship of the Lord. If
anything stands between you and your service to God, that has become
‘another god’ and needs to be put behind you. It could be a set of
golf clubs, an oblong spherical cone shaped ball (football for you
sports fans), a fishing pole, or even a TV set. Could be your own
children or grandchildren. Anything that stands between you and God
is wrong. Does God want us to forsake our families? No… but they
are not to interfere with what God would have us to do.
Unfortunately, this young man loved his riches more than the Lord… he
went away sorrowful.
Mat 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto
you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 19:24 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.
Mat 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly
amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this
is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Jesus declare that most rich men love their money so much
that they don’t have time for the Lord. And unfortunately, the
majority will die lost. The money does not make you bound for hell
nor will poverty bring you to heaven. But the heart must change… we
must come to Jesus for salvation. And so many times, money gives us
false hope. Levi and I visited a family over on Berkeley Street
Tuesday night. That is a rich part of town over by the university,
and I’m sure there are some good men and women who are Christians that
live over there. But that family was too busy to even listen to us.
One day, every knee will bow and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord
and Savior. And if we don’t do it in this life, we have no hope in
Phil 2:5 Let this
mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Phil 2:6 Who, being
in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Phil 2:7 But made
himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and
was made in the likeness of men:
Phil 2:8 And being
found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient
unto death, even the death of the cross.
Phil 2:9 Wherefore
God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above
Phil 2:10 That at
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and
things in earth, and things under the earth;
Phil 2:11 And that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father.
The disciples marvel and question how any rich person could
be saved. I haven’t seen many camels passing through the eye of
needle, have you? But Jesus tells them that it isn’t impossible with
God. If we see our need, even if we are the richest man on the face
of the earth, we can be saved. But we have to come to God on His
terms… not on ours. Some wealthy men and women are saved, and they
live their lives to honor and glorify the Lord.
V. The Apostle’s
Place in the Kingdom
Mat 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have
forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
Mat 19:28 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.
Mat 19:29 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
Mat 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last
shall be first.
Peter questions if all that they have given up would be worth
it when the Lord established his kingdom. Nothing we ever give up in
this live for God will be lost… he saves we shall receive a
hundredfold in the next life. Don’t know many places you can get
that kind of return on your investment. Jesus tells them that the 12
apostles will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel during
Christ’s earthly kingdom. They are given this position because they
left all and followed him.
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: email@example.com
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will be
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s
Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.