1Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, He left Galilee and went into the part of Judea that is beyond the Jordan; 2and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
3And Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4He replied, “Have you never read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined inseparably to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7The Pharisees said to Him, “Why then did Moses command us to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8He said to them, “Because your hearts were hard and stubborn Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery#Some early mss add the phrase “...and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”.”
10The disciples said to Jesus, “If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom [the capacity to receive] it has been given. 12For there are eunuchs who have been born that way from their mother’s womb [making them incapable of consummating a marriage]; and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men [for royal service]; and there are eunuchs who have #This may refer to a personal vow of celibacy.made themselves so for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13Then children were brought to Jesus so that He might place His hands on them [for a blessing] and pray; but the disciples reprimanded them. 14But He said, “Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15After placing His hands on them [for a blessing], He went on from there.
The Rich Young Ruler
16And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what [essentially] good thing shall I do to obtain eternal life [that is, eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?” 17Jesus answered, “Why are you asking Me about what is [essentially] good? There is only One who is [essentially] good; but if you wish to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18He said to Jesus, “Which commandments?” And Jesus answered, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false testimony; 19Honor your father and mother; and love your neighbor as yourself” [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]. 20The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these things [from my youth]; what do I still lack?” 21Jesus answered him, “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” 22But when the young man heard this, he left grieving and distressed, for he owned much property and had many possessions [which he treasured more than his relationship with God].
23Jesus said to His disciples, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, it is difficult for a rich man [who clings to possessions and status as security] to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man [who places his faith in wealth and status] to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were completely #These declarations of Jesus directly contradicted the teaching of the Pharisees that God bestows wealth on those He loves and chooses. If the rich were not automatically granted entrance to God’s kingdom, how could the common man ever be welcomed?astonished and bewildered, saying, “Then who can be saved [from the wrath of God]?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The Disciples’ Reward
27Then Peter answered Him, saying, “Look, we have given up everything and followed You [becoming Your disciples and accepting You as Teacher and Lord]; what then will there be for us?” 28Jesus said to them, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, in the renewal [that is, the Messianic restoration and regeneration of all things] when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you [who have followed Me, becoming My disciples] will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother #One early mss adds or wife.or children or farms for My name’s sake will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first [in this world] will be last [in the world to come]; and the last, first.