Matthew 19:11

ESV But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.
NIV Jesus replied, 'Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.
NASB But He said to them, 'Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.
CSB He responded, "Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given.
NLT Not everyone can accept this statement,' Jesus said. 'Only those whom God helps.
KJV But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

What does Matthew 19:11 mean?

The disciples have said, perhaps somewhat flippantly, that if God does not allow for divorce except for cases of sexual immorality, it is better not to get married in the first place. Such a statement reflects the views of the time in which divorce was common (Matthew 19:9–10).

Jesus does not correct their views on marriage. He does not insist that every person must get married. Instead, Jesus says that not everyone is able to receive "this saying," most likely meaning the saying that it is better not to get married. Only those who have been given the ability not to get married are able to do so.

In the context of the verses that follow, it becomes clear that Jesus means that only those without a strong sexual appetite can forego getting married. Paul, who was apparently unmarried, expands on this teaching in 1 Corinthians 7, speaking even more clearly: "I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:7–9).
What is the Gospel?
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