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Matthew chapter 19

New International Version

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?'
4 Haven't you read,' he replied, 'that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.'
7 Why then,' they asked, 'did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?'
8 Jesus replied, 'Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.'
10 The disciples said to him, 'If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.'
11 Jesus replied, 'Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others--and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.'
13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.' 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, 'Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?'
17 Why do you ask me about what is good?' Jesus replied. 'There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.'
18 Which ones?' he inquired. Jesus replied, ''You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.''
20 All these I have kept,' the young man said. 'What do I still lack?'
21 Jesus answered, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.'
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, 'Who then can be saved?'
26 Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'
27 Peter answered him, 'We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?'
28 Jesus said to them, 'Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
English Standard Version

1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”
13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.
16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
King James Version

1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; 2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.
3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. 10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
New American Standard Bible

1 When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; 2 and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?' 4 And He answered and said, 'Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH '? 6 'So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.' 7 They said to Him, 'Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?' 8 He said to them, 'Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 'And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.'
10 The disciples said to Him, 'If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.' 11 But He said to them, 'Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 'For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.'
13 Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, 'Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.' 15 After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.
16 And someone came to Him and said, 'Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?' 17 And He said to him, 'Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.' 18 Then he said to Him, 'Which ones?' And Jesus said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS; 19 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' 20 The young man said to Him, 'All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?' 21 Jesus said to him, 'If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.' 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.
23 And Jesus said to His disciples, 'Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 'Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.' 25 When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, 'Then who can be saved?' 26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, 'With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'
27 Then Peter said to Him, 'Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?' 28 And Jesus said to them, 'Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 'And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 30 'But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.
New Living Translation

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. 2 Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.
3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: 'Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?'
4 'Haven't you read the Scriptures?' Jesus replied. 'They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' 5 And he said, 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.'
7 'Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?' they asked.
8 Jesus replied, 'Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. 9 And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery--unless his wife has been unfaithful.'
10 Jesus' disciples then said to him, 'If this is the case, it is better not to marry!'
11 'Not everyone can accept this statement,' Jesus said. 'Only those whom God helps. 12 Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.'
13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
14 But Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.' 15 And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: 'Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?'
17 'Why ask me about what is good?' Jesus replied. 'There is only One who is good. But to answer your question--if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.'
18 'Which ones?' the man asked. And Jesus replied: ''You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.''
20 'I've obeyed all these commandments,' the young man replied. 'What else must I do?'
21 Jesus told him, 'If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I'll say it again--it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!'
25 The disciples were astounded. 'Then who in the world can be saved?' they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, 'Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.'
27 Then Peter said to him, 'We've given up everything to follow you. What will we get?'
28 Jesus replied, 'I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.
Christian Standard Bible

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he departed from Galilee and went to the region of Judea across the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. 3 Some Pharisees approached him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?"
4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that he who created them in the beginning made them male and female," 5 and he also said, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate."
7 "Why then," they asked him, "did Moses command us to give divorce papers and to send her away?"
8 He told them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts, but it was not like that from the beginning. 9 I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery."
10 His disciples said to him, "If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it's better not to marry."
11 He responded, "Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who is able to accept it should accept it."
13 Then children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, "Leave the children alone, and don't try to keep them from coming to me, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 15 After placing his hands on them, he went on from there.
16 Just then someone came up and asked him, "Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?"
17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" he said to him. "There is only one who is good. If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
18 "Which ones?" he asked him. Jesus answered: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; 19 honor your father and your mother; and love your neighbor as yourself.
20 "I have kept all these," the young man told him. "What do I still lack?"
21 "If you want to be perfect," Jesus said to him, "go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22 When the young man heard that, he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.
23 Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
25 When the disciples heard this, they were utterly astonished and asked, "Then who can be saved?"
26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
27 Then Peter responded to him, "See, we have left everything and followed you. So what will there be for us?"
28 Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields because of my name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

What does Matthew chapter 19 mean?

Matthew 19 begins with Jesus leaving Galilee behind for the last time and heading toward Jerusalem. After entering the region of Judea, however, Jesus and the disciples cross over the Jordan to the east, likely into the Jewish region of Perea. Large crowds continue to follow Him, and Jesus continues to heal those who come to Him.

While east of the Jordan, some Pharisees find Jesus, as well, and come to test Him with a difficult and divisive question. They hope to get Jesus to say something that will discredit Him in the eyes of the people. Or, He might give them cause to accuse Him of heresy. They ask Jesus if it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause. Some Pharisees said infidelity was the only allowable cause; others said a man could divorce his wife for virtually any reason. Christ quotes from Genesis, citing God's plan for marriage. God made human beings to be male and female and decreed that men should leave their parents, hold fast to their wives, and become one flesh in marriage. Men should not separate what God has joined, Jesus concludes (Matthew 19:1–6).

The Pharisees push back by referring to Deuteronomy 24, where Moses permits a man to give his wife a certificate of divorce for "indecency." Jesus insists that Moses allowed this only because human hearts are hard. It was never God's intent for marriage. For that reason, anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, commits adultery as soon as he marries another woman. When the disciples suggest that it might be better not to marry if this is the case, Jesus says this is true only for those to whom this ability is given. He makes clear He is speaking of eunuchs by birth, castration, or choice. Celibacy is not holier than marriage, and the decision to eschew all sexuality is not one meant for most people (Matthew 19:7–12).

Jesus overrules His disciples after they rebuke some people for bringing children to Him to lay hands on and pray for. He repeats the idea that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like little children. By this, Jesus refers to their sense of trust and dependence. A humble, faithful approach is required to fully embrace our relationship to God. Blind belief or gullibility are not part of childlike faith, but neither is arrogance (Matthew 19:13–15).

A wealthy young man approaches Jesus, calling Him "good," and asks what he must do to have eternal life. Jesus insists that only one, God, is good—implying that to call Jesus "good" is to call Him God. That implies that whatever Jesus says ought to be obeyed. Christ sets up a unique challenge for the man: telling him to keep the [Ten] Commandments, and gives a sample list of five, if he sincerely wants to enter eternal life. The man asks which commandments and Jesus lists five from the Ten Commandments. The man says he has kept these, and asks what else he's missing (Matthew 19:16–20).

Jesus finally gives the man what he came to ask for—a good thing that will ensure his eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. If the man would be "perfect," Jesus says, he should sell everything he owns, give it to the poor, and come follow Jesus. The point of this statement is not that all people must be poor to be saved. Rather, this is a challenge for this particular person: a way to demonstrate his heart is sincerely committed to following God. The man, we now learn, is enormously wealthy, and he leaves sad. Rather than being happy about having a chance for salvation, he is dejected at the idea of setting aside his riches (Matthew 19:21–22).

Jesus tells His disciples that it easier for a camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Wealth—as with many other worldly advantages—tempts people to think they are self-sufficient. Money can numb us to our need for God. This countered conventional wisdom of Jesus' era, which assumed that wealth was a sign of divine approval. Shocked, they ask how anyone could be saved. Jesus tells them salvation is impossible with men—but not with God (Matthew 19:23–26).

Peter then refers to Jesus' promise to the young man that he would have treasure in heaven. He asks Jesus what he and the other disciples will have in heaven, since they have left everything in their former lives to follow Him. Jesus says that the Twelve will occupy twelve thrones when He takes His own throne in the new world. They will judge the twelve tribes of Israel. In addition, all who leave everything for Him will receive it back a hundredfold in heaven, as well as receiving eternal life. He reminds them that one's status in this life does not imply one's status in eternity (Matthew 19:27–30).

Though separated with a chapter break, Jesus will continue to explain this idea with a parable in the very next verse (Matthew 20:1).