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.
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Teaching about Divorce
1When Jesus finished teaching, he left Galilee and went to the part of Judea east of the Jordan River. 2Large crowds followed him, and he healed their sick.
3Some Pharisees wanted to test Jesus. They came up to him and asked, “Is it right for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
4 # Gn 1.27; 5.1,2. Jesus answered, “Don't you know in the beginning the Creator made a man and a woman? 5#Gn 2.24. That's why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. He becomes like one person with his wife. 6Then they are no longer two people, but one. And no one should separate a couple God has joined together.”
7 # Dt 24.1-4; Mt 5.31. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Why did Moses say a man could write out divorce papers and send his wife away?”
8Jesus replied, “You are so heartless! That's why Moses allowed you to divorce your wife. But from the beginning God did not intend it to be that way. 9#Mt 5.32; 1 Co 7.10,11. I say if your wife has not committed some terrible sexual sin,#19.9 some terrible sexual sin: See the note at 5.32. you must not divorce her to marry someone else. If you do, you are unfaithful.”
10The disciples said, “If that's how it is between a man and a woman, it's better not to get married.”
11Jesus told them, “Only those people who have been given the gift of staying single can accept this teaching. 12Some people are unable to marry because of birth defects or because of what someone has done to their bodies. Others stay single in order to serve God better. Anyone who can accept this teaching should do so.”
Jesus Blesses Little Children
(Mark 10.13-16; Luke 18.15-17)
13Some people brought their children to Jesus, so he could place his hands on them and pray for them. His disciples told the people to stop bothering him. 14But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and don't try to stop them! People who are like these children belong to God's kingdom.”#19.14 People who are like these children belong to God's kingdom: Or “God's kingdom belongs to people who are like these children.” 15After Jesus had placed his hands on the children, he left.
A Rich Young Man
(Mark 10.17-31; Luke 18.18-30)
16A man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?”
17Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey his commandments.”
18 # Ex 20.13; Dt 5.17; Ex 20.14; Dt 5.18; Ex 20.15; Dt 5.19; Ex 20.16; Dt 5.20. “Which ones?” the man asked.
Jesus answered, “Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. 19#Ex 20.12; Dt 5.16; Lv 19.18. Respect your father and mother. And love others as much as you love yourself.” 20The young man said, “I have obeyed all of these. What else must I do?”
21Jesus replied, “If you want to be perfect, go sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower.” 22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he was very rich.
23Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, it's terribly hard for rich people to get into the kingdom of heaven! 24In fact, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God's kingdom.”
25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly surprised and asked, “How can anyone ever be saved?”
26Jesus looked straight at them and said, “There are some things people cannot do, but God can do anything.”
27Peter replied, “Remember, we have left everything to be your followers! What will we get?”
28 # Mt 25.31; Lk 22.30. Jesus answered:
Yes, all of you have become my followers. And so in the future world, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, I promise you will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. 29All who have given up home or brothers and sisters or father and mother or children or land for me will be given 100 times as much. They will also have eternal life. 30#Mt 20.16; Lk 13.30. But many who are now first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
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