Jesus Teaches About Divorce
1After Jesus said all these things, he left Galilee. He went into the area of Judea on the other side of the Jordan River. 2Large crowds followed Jesus, and he healed them there.
3Some Pharisees came to Jesus and tried to trick him. They asked, “Is it right for a man to divorce his wife for any reason he chooses?”
4Jesus answered, “Surely you have read in the Scriptures: When God made the world, ‘he made them male and female.’# Quotation from Genesis 1:27 or 5:2. 5And God said, ‘So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife. And the two people will become one body.’# Quotation from Genesis 2:24. 6So the two are not two, but one. God joined the two people together. No person should separate them.”
7The Pharisees asked, “Why then did Moses give a command for a man to divorce his wife by giving her divorce papers?”
8Jesus answered, “Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because you refused to accept God’s teaching. But divorce was not allowed in the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman is guilty of adultery.# Some Greek copies continue, “And anyone who marries a divorced woman is guilty of adultery,” Compare Matthew 5:32. The only reason for a man to divorce and marry again is if his first wife has been unfaithful to him.”
10The followers said to him, “If that is the only reason a man can divorce his wife, then it is better not to marry.”
11Jesus answered, “Not everyone can accept this truth about marriage. But God has made some able to accept it. 12There are different reasons why some men cannot marry. Some men were born without the ability to become fathers. Others were made that way later in life by other people. And other men have given up marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. But the person who can marry should accept this teaching about marriage.”# This may also mean, “The person who can accept this teaching about not marrying should accept it.”
Jesus Welcomes Children
13Then the people brought their little children to Jesus so that he could put his hands on them# Showing that Jesus gave special blessings to these children. and pray for them. When his followers saw this, they told the people to stop bringing their children to Jesus. 14But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people who are like these children.” 15After Jesus put his hands on the children, he left there.
A Rich Young Man’s Question
16A man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have life forever?”
17Jesus answered, “Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. But if you want to have life forever, obey the commands.”
18The man asked, “Which commands?”
Jesus answered, “‘You must not murder anyone. You must not be guilty of adultery. You must not steal. You must not tell lies about your neighbor in court. 19Honor your father and mother.# Quotation from Exodus 20:12–16; Deuteronomy 5:16–20. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’”# Quotation from Leviticus 19:18.
20The young man said, “I have obeyed all these things. What else do I need to do?”
21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, then go and sell all the things you own. Give the money to the poor. If you do this, you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me!”
22But when the young man heard this, he became very sad because he was very rich. So he left Jesus.
23Then Jesus said to his followers, “I tell you the truth. It will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Yes, I tell you that 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.”
25When the followers heard this, they were very surprised. They asked, “Then who can be saved?”
26Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible. But for God all things are possible.”
27Peter said to Jesus, “We left everything we had and followed you. So what will we have?”
28Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth. When the new age comes, the Son of Man will sit on his great throne. And all of you who followed me will also sit on 12 thrones. And you will judge the 12 tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother,# Some Greek copies continue, “or wife.” children, or farms to follow me will get much more than he left. And he will have life forever. 30Many who are first now will be last in the future. And many who are last now will be first in the future.