Matthew 19

#Mt 19:1| XCVIII. JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM. CONCERNING DIVORCE. #Mt 19:1-12 Mr 10:1-12| When Jesus had finished these words. The words contained in #Mt 18:15-35|, which are the last teachings in Galilee recorded by any of the Evangelists. See Section LXXV, Topic 9007. He departed from Galilee. Having come into the borders of it again from Ephraim. It seems likely that Matthew takes in at one view both departures from Galilee, namely: that mentioned at #Joh 7:9|, and that at #Lu 17:11|, for Matthew records none of the intervening events and Jesus spent no time in Galilee between the two journeys, merely returning to the border of the land and making a second journey thence to Jerusalem. He now left Galilee to return thither no more until after the resurrection (#Mt 28:16,17 Joh 21:1|). (TFG 537-538) #Mt 19:2| Great multitudes followed him. See TFG "#Mr 10:1|". #Mt 19:3| There came unto him Pharisees, trying him. See TFG "#Mr 10:2|". Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? That is, for every cause satisfactory to the husband. (TFG 538) #Mt 19:6| What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. See TFG "#Mr 10:3|". #Mt 19:7| Why then did Moses then command, etc. See TFG "#Mr 10:4|". #Mt 19:8| Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives. See TFG "#Mr 10:5|". #Mt 19:9| Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, etc. See TFG "#Mt 5:32|". #Mt 19:10| If the case of the man is so with his wife, it is not expedient to marry. The disciples illustrate not only the hardness of heart of which Jesus spoke, but also the wisdom of allowing divorce under the law of Moses. (TFG 540) #Mt 19:11| This saying is the saying which Jesus himself had just uttered concerning divorce (#Mt 19:9|). (TFG 540) #Mt 19:12| For there are eunuchs, etc. His teaching is that the prohibition of divorce does not apply to eunuchs. If a woman finds herself married to a eunuch, she is not bound to him. So with a man married to a hermaphrodite. {*} {*} NOTE.--I dissent from the above interpretation for many reasons: If the cases be confined to the two instances given, the rule presents nothing but what every man and woman would gladly receive, which is contrary to what Jesus says about the saying. But, if the cases be extended to cover those who make themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake, and it be contended that evangelists and others who sacrifice their home ties for the good of the cause thereby give to their wives a right of divorce, the saying becomes on the other hand too hard for any to receive. My understanding of the passage is this: The disciples, startled by the Lord's declaration as to the indissolubility of marriage, declared that marriage was inexpedient. Jesus accepts their sayings as a logical deducation from his teaching; but a difficult saying, because applicable to but three cases. Jesus is therefore speaking with regard to celibacy and not divorce. He says that eunuchs are unfit for marriage, whether made so by nature or by the violence of man. The two first--the physical eunuch--are introduced to illustrate the last or spiritual eunuch--the man whose intense interest in the affairs of the kingdom of heaven makes him prefer the celibate state. The saying with regard to him is indeed hard to receive, for it borders on the abnormal and unnatural, and hence it is no command save to those who, being in that abnormal and almost unnatural condition, are in a shape to receive it. Marriage is the natural condition of man, and celibacy is abnormal, but to some extent Biblically countenanced. The trend of Scripture shows that Jesus here speaks about celibacy and not about divorce, for it has much to say about the celibate principle involved here--those who prefer to be eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake, and nothing to say about women obtaining divorces because of their husbands' sacrifices for the kingdom of heaven. The Scripture everywhere treats of celibacy as a difficult problem, and the teaching is this: When any in the kingdom of heaven feel called to such extreme labors therein as render marriage impracticable (#Ac 13:2| #1Co 9:4,5|), they are permitted to abstain from marriage; and when seasons of persecution seriously interfere with the regular order and course of life among Christians, they may find it expedient to live as eunuchs (#1Co 7:25-34|). But in no case must celibacy be practiced unless it can be done so without the sin of incontinency (#1Co 7:1-9|). The Bible nowhere countenances any celibate vow, for it teaches that celibacy is to be continued only so long as it is expedient. Much less does it give countenance to the doctrine that a church can pass laws enforcing celibacy on the whole class of clergy, without any regard for their natural constitution, their spiritual powers, or their faithful continuance.--P. Y. P. (TFG 540-542) #Mt 19:13| XCIX. BLESSING CHILDREN. CONCERNING CHILDLIKENESS. (In Peraea.) #Mt 19:13-15 Mr 10:13-16 Lu 18:15-17| Then were brought unto him little children, etc. See TFG "#Mr 10:13|". #Mt 19:14| Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, etc. See TFG "#Mr 10:14|". #Mt 19:15| And he laid his hands on them. See TFG "#Mr 10:16|". #Mt 19:16| C. THE RICH RULER. PERIL OF RICHES. REWARD OF SACRIFICE. PARABLE OF THE LABORERS IN THE VINEYARD. (In Peraea.) #Mt 19:16-20:16 Mr 10:17-31 Lu 18:18-30| Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? See TFG "#Mr 10:17|". #Mt 19:17| Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? Jesus' reply to the question of the young man, "What good thing," etc. (#Mt 19:16|). See TFG "#Mr 10:18|". But if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments. By referring the ruler to the commandments, Jesus not only answered the question as to obtaining life, but he emphasized the confession of his divinity contained in the question, "Why askest," etc. God, who knows what is good, had revealed that good in the commandments which he had given. Yet the ruler had asked Jesus to be wise above God's revelation, and to propound a law or rule of goodness in addition to that already given, and of such a nature as to more fully insure the attainment of life by obeying it. The ruler's question reveals that common weakness in man which prompts him to look to his fellow-men for religious and moral instruction; forgetting that only God can propound the absolute standards of goodness. We should note, too, that the young man, being under the law given through Moses, was bidden to attain life by keeping the law. After the death of Christ a new law was given. Had the man waited until that time, he would have been directed to this new law, and obedience to it would have been required. Compare #Ac 2:37,38 2Th 1:8|, etc. (TFG 544-545) #Mt 19:18,19| He saith unto him, Which? etc. See TFG "#Mr 10:19|". #Mt 19:19| Honor thy father and mother. #Ex 20:12 De 5:16|. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. See #Le 19:18|. For the last commandment, "Thou shalt not covet" (#Ex 20:17 De 5:21|), Jesus substitutes its equivalent, being a summary of all the six commandments (#Ro 13:9|). (TFG 545) #Mt 19:20| All these things have I observed. See TFG "#Mr 10:20|". #Mt 19:21| If thou wouldest be perfect. That is, in keeping the commandments and in securing eternal life (#Jas 2:10|). Go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. See TFG "#Mr 10:21|". #Mt 19:22| But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sorrowful, etc. See TFG "#Mr 10:22|". #Mt 19:23| It is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. See TFG "#Mr 10:23|". #Mt 19:24| It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, etc. See TFG "#Mr 10:25|". #Mt 19:25| Who then can be saved? See TFG "#Mr 10:26|". #Mt 19:26| With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. See TFG "#Mr 10:27|". #Mt 19:27| Lo, we have left all, and followed thee; what then shall we have? See TFG "#Mr 10:28|". #Mt 19:28| In the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. By the term "regeneration," Jesus in this case means the period in which the process of regenerating men would be in progress; that is, the period of the mediatorial reign. After his ascension Jesus sat upon his throne (#Ac 2:33-35 Heb 1:13 Mt 25:31 1Co 15:24-28|). And on the day of Pentecost next following (#Ac 2:1|), he began this process of regeneration. Having enthroned himself, Jesus enthroned the apostles also, not as kings but as judges, having jurisdiction over all questions of faith and practice in the earthly kingdom. During their personal ministry, they judged in person; and since then they judge through their writings. True, we have written communications from only a part of them, but judgments pronounced by one of a bench of judges with the known approval of all, are the judgments of the entire bench. Moreover, the passage must be construed metaphorically, for the apostles are judges in the church of Christ--the true Israel--and not over the literal twelve tribes of Jacob. And again, the twelve who then heard Jesus speak were not all enthroned, Judas having fallen from his position before the day of enthronement (#Ac 1:16-18|), and Matthias and Paul were afterwards added to the group (#Ac 1:26 9:17-19|). Jesus here causes the number of the judges to correspond to the number of the tribes, to indicate that there will be a sufficiency of judgment commensurate to the need. (TFG 548-549) #Mt 19:29| Every one that hath left houses, or brethren, etc. See TFG "#Mr 10:29|". #Mt 19:30| But many shall be last that are first; and first that are last. See TFG "#Mr 10:31|".
Copyright information for TFG