Jesus in chapter 18 has taught that citizens in the Kingdom must get along with one another and love one another. In chapter 19,
The only place in the Torah where divorce is mentioned is Deuteronomy 24:1-4, and even that is passing. Rabbis
The Pharisees ask the wrong question. The right question is, “Is there any way to restore a crumbling marriage?” The answer is “Yes.” The answer is in Matthew 18. We remember we are like sheep, we find restoration. We confront sin and forgive, and we keep on forgiving.
Instead of answering the question,
Divorces and marries (19:9) – The nature of marital unfaithfulness (porneia) has been much debated and is uncertain. The force of the statement is that divorce should never be taken lightly or for selfish reasons (eg., to marry a younger, more attractive woman). This is not a new law abrogating the OT permission or its rationale, for human beings still have hard hearts. This is the author’s halakah on the passage. Verse 9 may imply that divorce without remarriage is permissible for lesser reasons. A second ground for divorce is given at 1 Corinthians 7:12-16.
Matthew 19:13-15 The Little Children
Children are responsive to Him, not self-righteously trying to keep a set of rules or impress Him with their good deeds. This is the crux of the passage, and the center point to which Matthew points us. We cannot be self-righteous know-it-alls and we cannot be self-serving do-gooders. We must come as little children, expecting nothing but love, trusting, responding to Him, loving Him in return for who He is, not jockeying for position in His Kingdom, not trying to impress Him with our deeds, just enjoying Him, waiting for Him to lay His hand upon us.
Again the disciples have missed the point, and Jesus has to correct them. Mark tells us that he was indignant. His mission since 16:16, 21 is now the Cross and His men.
The young man’s question reveals his motivation: Do good to “get eternal life.” Believers rather do good to others because we love and care for them as God does. This rich young man’s benevolence was self-serving. He was as far from the Kingdom as a self-righteous Pharisee.
Sell All – : This is not a command for all Christians for all time. It was spoken to the rich young ruler for a specific purpose – to test his loyalty and get something off the throne that stands in the way of
G. Campbell Morgan: “The King then revealed to him the fact that his surrender to authority was not complete, in that he had never yielded his all; and showed that in order to do so he must follow by the way of the Cross, giving up all that upon which he had depended, and submitting himself entirely to control. As the disciples were filled with sorrow when the Lord spoke of His Cross, so this young man went away sorrowful because he had great possessions.”
AW Tozer: “The rich young ruler made his decision on the basis of what he wanted most in life. The last thing we know about him is the fact that he turned from Jesus and walked away. . . Every faithful pastor can tell you the stories of young people and men and women who walked away from the church and warm Christian fellowship to have their own way. When the old nature stirred, they turned their backs on God and walked away. They went into questionable marriages. They went into worldly alliances. They took jobs in which there was no chance to please and glorify God. They went back into the world.”
Thomas Kelly: “Meister Eckhart wrote: ‘There are plenty to follow our Lord half-way, but not the other half. They will give up possessions, friends and honors, but it touches them too closely to disown themselves.’ It is just this astonishing life which is willing to follow Him the other half, sincerely to disown itself, this life which intends complete disobedience, without any reservations, that I would propose to you in all humility, in all boldness, in all seriousness. I mean this literally, utterly, completely, and I mean it for you and for me–commit your lives in unreserved obedience to Him.
“If you don’t realize the revolutionary explosiveness of this proposal you don’t understand what I mean. Only now and then comes a man or a woman who, like
Needle’s Eye 19:23-27 –
“At the renewal of all things” 19:28-30 – The OT speaks of a regenerated world: Isaiah 1:25-2:5; 11:1-16; 65:17; Jeremiah 23:3-8; 30:1-31:40; Micah 4:1-5:3; Zechariah 12:1-14:21; Psalm 2, 22, 89; Daniel 7-12; Romans 8:19-23; Revelation 7, 14:1-5; 21:1-22:5.