Matthew 19* Jesus enters Judea. (1,2) The Pharisees' question aboutdivorces. (3-12) Young children brought to Jesus. (13-15) Therich young man's inquiry. (16-22) The recompence of Christ'sfollowers. (23-30)1,2 Great multitudes followed Christ. When Christ departs, itis best for us to follow him. They found him as able and readyto help elsewhere, as he had been in Galilee; wherever the Sunof Righteousness arose, it was with healing in his wings. 3-12 The Pharisees were desirous of drawing something fromJesus which they might represent as contrary to the law ofMoses. Cases about marriage have been numerous, and sometimesperplexed; made so, not by the law of God, but by the lusts andfollies of men; and often people fix what they will do, beforethey ask for advice. Jesus replied by asking whether they hadnot read the account of the creation, and the first example ofmarriage; thus pointing out that every departure therefrom waswrong. That condition is best for us, and to be chosen and keptto accordingly, which is best for our souls, and tends most toprepare us for, and preserve us to, the kingdom of heaven. Whenthe gospel is really embraced, it makes men kind relatives andfaithful friends; it teaches them to bear the burdens, and tobear with the infirmities of those with whom they are connected,to consider their peace and happiness more than their own. As toungodly persons, it is proper that they should be restrained bylaws, from breaking the peace of society. And we learn that themarried state should be entered upon with great seriousness andearnest prayer. 13-15 It is well when we come to Christ ourselves, and bringour children. Little children may be brought to Christ asneeding, and being capable of receiving blessings from him, andhaving an interest in his intercession. We can but beg ablessing for them: Christ only can command the blessing. It iswell for us, that Christ has more love and tenderness in himthan the best of his disciples have. And let us learn of him notto discountenance any willing, well-meaning souls, in theirseeking after Christ, though they are but weak. Those who aregiven to Christ, as part of his purchase, he will in no wisecast out. Therefore he takes it ill of all who forbid, and tryto shut out those whom he has received. And all Christiansshould bring their children to the Saviour that he may blessthem with spiritual blessings. 16-22 Christ knew that covetousness was the sin which mosteasily beset this young man; though he had got honestly what hepossessed, yet he could not cheerfully part with it, and by thishis want of sincerity was shown. Christ's promises make hisprecepts easy, and his yoke pleasant and very comfortable; yetthis promise was as much a trial of the young man's faith, asthe precept was of his charity and contempt of the world. It isrequired of us in following Christ, that we duly attend hisordinances, strictly follow his pattern, and cheerfully submitto his disposals; and this from love to him, and in dependenceon him. To sell all, and give to the poor, will not serve, butwe are to follow Christ. The gospel is the only remedy for lostsinners. Many abstain from gross vices who do not attend totheir obligations to God. Thousands of instances of disobediencein thought, word, and deed, are marked against them in the bookof God. Thus numbers forsake Christ, loving this present world:they feel convictions and desires, but they depart sorrowful,perhaps trembling. It behoves us to try ourselves in thesematters, for the Lord will try us. 23-30 Though Christ spoke so strongly, few that have riches donot trust in them. How few that are poor are not tempted toenvy! But men's earnestness in this matter is like their toilingto build a high wall to shut themselves and their children outof heaven. It should be satisfaction to those who are in a lowcondition, that they are not exposed to the temptations of ahigh and prosperous condition. If they live more hardly in thisworld than the rich, yet, if they get more easily to a betterworld, they have no reason to complain. Christ's words show thatit is hard for a rich man to be a good Christian, and to besaved. The way to heaven is a narrow way to all, and the gatethat leads into it, a strait gate; particularly so to richpeople. More duties are expected from them than from others, andmore sins easily beset them. It is hard not to be charmed with asmiling world. Rich people have a great account to make up fortheir opportunities above others. It is utterly impossible for aman that sets his heart upon his riches, to get to heaven.Christ used an expression, denoting a difficulty altogetherunconquerable by the power of man. Nothing less than thealmighty grace of God will enable a rich man to get over thisdifficulty. Who then can be saved? If riches hinder rich people,are not pride and sinful lusts found in those not rich, and asdangerous to them? Who can be saved? say the disciples. None,saith Christ, by any created power. The beginning, progress, andperfecting the work of salvation, depend wholly on the almightypower of God, to which all things are possible. Not that richpeople can be saved in their worldliness, but that they shouldbe saved from it. Peter said, We have forsaken all. Alas! it wasbut a poor all, only a few boats and nets; yet observe how Peterspeaks, as if it had been some mighty thing. We are too apt tomake the most of our services and sufferings, our expenses andlosses, for Christ. However, Christ does not upbraid them;though it was but little that they had forsaken, yet it wastheir all, and as dear to them as if it had been more. Christtook it kindly that they left it to follow him; he acceptsaccording to what a man hath. Our Lord's promise to the apostlesis, that when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of hisglory, he will make all things new, and they shall sit with himin judgement on those who will be judged according to theirdoctrine. This sets forth the honour, dignity, and authority oftheir office and ministry. Our Lord added, that every one whohad forsaken possessions or comforts, for his sake and thegospel, would be recompensed at last. May God give us faith torest our hope on this his promise; then we shall be ready forevery service or sacrifice. Our Saviour, in the last verse, doesaway a mistake of some. The heavenly inheritance is not given asearthly ones are, but according to God's pleasure. Let us nottrust in promising appearances or outward profession. Othersmay, for aught we know, become eminent in faith and holiness.
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