Matthew 19For every cause; that is, for any fault which the husband may consider a sufficient cause.
A writing; a certificate.
The meaning is, that Moses, as a political legislator, attempted to regulate late an evil which he could not hope wholly to suppress.
That is, if he is thus indissolubly bound to her.
Receive this saying; live in a state of celibacy.
Why callest thou me good? It is difficult to understand the grounds of this reproof, unless we suppose that there was something in the circumstances of the case not fully described in the narrative. The words would seem to be a very respectful and proper mode of addressing even a human prophet and teacher, of such singular benevolence of heart and life.
We here encounter another difficulty in understanding this conversation between Jesus and the young man. Instead of explaining to him the spiritual nature of the moral law, that he might see that he had not really kept it, the Savior seems to acquiesce in his answer, and tacitly to admit his pretensions; and then proceeds to require of him a course of action, in regard to his property, which the Scriptures do not enjoin, and which, if adopted as a general rule of action, would not have a favorable effect on the welfare of society. The usual comments on this passage do not really meet these difficulties; and it is better to leave such difficulties unsolved, than to attempt to satisfy our minds with explanations which are forced and unnatural. If we were fully acquainted with all the circumstances, we should undoubtedly see that the Savior's directions were exactly adapted to the case. And though we cannot understand the exact moral bearing of the directions, in respect to the young man, the lesson which they convey to us, is perfectly clear; namely, that the service of God, and the salvation of the soul, must be the supreme end and aim of life, and that all other objects of interest or desire must yield to their claims.
A strong mode of expressing extreme difficulty.
With God, &c. The power of God alone can change the heart.
In the regeneration,—ye shall sit, &c.; in the kingdom of Christ, ye shall be advanced to stations of high responsibility and honor.
That are first,—in their own estimation, or in that of the world,—shall be last, in receiving the rewards and honors promised.
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