Matthew 19

* Jesus enters Judea. (1,2) The Pharisees' question about

divorces. (3-12) Young children brought to Jesus. (13-15) The

rich young man's inquiry. (16-22) The recompence of Christ's

followers. (23-30)

1,2 Great multitudes followed Christ. When Christ departs, it

is best for us to follow him. They found him as able and ready

to help elsewhere, as he had been in Galilee; wherever the Sun

of Righteousness arose, it was with healing in his wings.
3-12 The Pharisees were desirous of drawing something from

Jesus which they might represent as contrary to the law of

Moses. Cases about marriage have been numerous, and sometimes

perplexed; made so, not by the law of God, but by the lusts and

follies of men; and often people fix what they will do, before

they ask for advice. Jesus replied by asking whether they had

not read the account of the creation, and the first example of

marriage; thus pointing out that every departure therefrom was

wrong. That condition is best for us, and to be chosen and kept

to accordingly, which is best for our souls, and tends most to

prepare us for, and preserve us to, the kingdom of heaven. When

the gospel is really embraced, it makes men kind relatives and

faithful friends; it teaches them to bear the burdens, and to

bear with the infirmities of those with whom they are connected,

to consider their peace and happiness more than their own. As to

ungodly persons, it is proper that they should be restrained by

laws, from breaking the peace of society. And we learn that the

married state should be entered upon with great seriousness and

earnest prayer.
13-15 It is well when we come to Christ ourselves, and bring

our children. Little children may be brought to Christ as

needing, and being capable of receiving blessings from him, and

having an interest in his intercession. We can but beg a

blessing for them: Christ only can command the blessing. It is

well for us, that Christ has more love and tenderness in him

than the best of his disciples have. And let us learn of him not

to discountenance any willing, well-meaning souls, in their

seeking after Christ, though they are but weak. Those who are

given to Christ, as part of his purchase, he will in no wise

cast out. Therefore he takes it ill of all who forbid, and try

to shut out those whom he has received. And all Christians

should bring their children to the Saviour that he may bless

them with spiritual blessings.
16-22 Christ knew that covetousness was the sin which most

easily beset this young man; though he had got honestly what he

possessed, yet he could not cheerfully part with it, and by this

his want of sincerity was shown. Christ's promises make his

precepts easy, and his yoke pleasant and very comfortable; yet

this promise was as much a trial of the young man's faith, as

the precept was of his charity and contempt of the world. It is

required of us in following Christ, that we duly attend his

ordinances, strictly follow his pattern, and cheerfully submit

to his disposals; and this from love to him, and in dependence

on him. To sell all, and give to the poor, will not serve, but

we are to follow Christ. The gospel is the only remedy for lost

sinners. Many abstain from gross vices who do not attend to

their obligations to God. Thousands of instances of disobedience

in thought, word, and deed, are marked against them in the book

of 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 these

matters, for the Lord will try us.
23-30 Though Christ spoke so strongly, few that have riches do

not trust in them. How few that are poor are not tempted to

envy! But men's earnestness in this matter is like their toiling

to build a high wall to shut themselves and their children out

of heaven. It should be satisfaction to those who are in a low

condition, that they are not exposed to the temptations of a

high and prosperous condition. If they live more hardly in this

world than the rich, yet, if they get more easily to a better

world, they have no reason to complain. Christ's words show that

it is hard for a rich man to be a good Christian, and to be

saved. The way to heaven is a narrow way to all, and the gate

that leads into it, a strait gate; particularly so to rich

people. More duties are expected from them than from others, and

more sins easily beset them. It is hard not to be charmed with a

smiling world. Rich people have a great account to make up for

their opportunities above others. It is utterly impossible for a

man that sets his heart upon his riches, to get to heaven.

Christ used an expression, denoting a difficulty altogether

unconquerable by the power of man. Nothing less than the

almighty grace of God will enable a rich man to get over this

difficulty. Who then can be saved? If riches hinder rich people,

are not pride and sinful lusts found in those not rich, and as

dangerous to them? Who can be saved? say the disciples. None,

saith Christ, by any created power. The beginning, progress, and

perfecting the work of salvation, depend wholly on the almighty

power of God, to which all things are possible. Not that rich

people can be saved in their worldliness, but that they should

be saved from it. Peter said, We have forsaken all. Alas! it was

but a poor all, only a few boats and nets; yet observe how Peter

speaks, as if it had been some mighty thing. We are too apt to

make the most of our services and sufferings, our expenses and

losses, for Christ. However, Christ does not upbraid them;

though it was but little that they had forsaken, yet it was

their all, and as dear to them as if it had been more. Christ

took it kindly that they left it to follow him; he accepts

according to what a man hath. Our Lord's promise to the apostles

is, that when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his

glory, he will make all things new, and they shall sit with him

in judgement on those who will be judged according to their

doctrine. This sets forth the honour, dignity, and authority of

their office and ministry. Our Lord added, that every one who

had forsaken possessions or comforts, for his sake and the

gospel, would be recompensed at last. May God give us faith to

rest our hope on this his promise; then we shall be ready for

every service or sacrifice. Our Saviour, in the last verse, does

away a mistake of some. The heavenly inheritance is not given as

earthly ones are, but according to God's pleasure. Let us not

trust in promising appearances or outward profession. Others

may, for aught we know, become eminent in faith and holiness.
Copyright information for MHCC