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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 19

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-2

16 See Deu_19:15 ; Joh_8:17 ; 2Co_3:1 .

18 See Mat_16:19 .

19 The Lord continues in the same vein. If we should attempt to apply these privileges and promises now it would only bring reproach on His name and His word. Our actions are not ratified in heaven. Two or three may solemnly agree in their request, yet now, in this secret administration of God's grace, of which our Lord breathed not a single syllable, and for which He gave no instructions, we sink our own requests and agreements in a profound appreciation of the will of God and acquiescence in the ways of God.

21-22 Compare Luk_17:4 . See Mat_6:14-15 .

21 A more harmonious note is struck in our Lord's answer to Peter. Pardon, or forgiveness, is extended almost to the beginnings of grace. Singularly, the verb, pardon or forgive , does not even occur in Paul's epistles except as a quotation from the Hebrew Scriptures ( Rom_4:7 ). A term is used which goes beyond the seventy times seven of this passage. We are to deal graciously with one another even as God, in Christ , deals graciously with us ( Eph_4:32 ; Col_3:13 ). There are no limits to such grace.

33 The parable of the ten thousand talent debtor is a most graphic illustration of the true meaning of pardon or forgiveness. Though so great a debt was remitted, the pardon was afterwards recalled. The permanence of pardon depends on the conduct of the one receiving it. It may be withdrawn. Our “pardon” of sins is in the kingdom of the Son of His love. We are justified or vindicated or acquitted, in our judicial standing, for there is no charge against us. God, as Judge, has cleared us of guilt by the blood of Christ ( Rom_3:24 ). A judge cannot pardon. That is the prerogative of a governor or king. Only when a kingdom is in view can the pardon of sins be proclaimed. Justification puts us beyond the sphere of condemnation. It is based entirely on the blood of Christ, is received by faith, apart from works, in order that it may accord with grace ( Rom_8:1 ; Rom_4:5 ; Rom_4:16 ). Pardon leads to probation. Unbecoming conduct causes it to be withdrawn. God cancelled it in every case where it was not extended to others. Those who were pardoned in the Pentecostal era are the ten thousand talent debtor. They had crucified Christ, the Lord of glory, and were under incalculable obligations to God. Nevertheless, out of the compassion of His heart He pardoned their sins, as Peter proclaimed at Pentecost ( Act_2:38 ). The nations, who had none of the light and privilege which was Israel's special portion, did not owe nearly so much. They are the debtor who owed only one hundred denarii. But the pardoned believers in Israel had no thought of sharing the mercy they had received with the despised aliens. It took much persuasion before Peter would go to Cornelius, a convert who was already a proselyte to Judaism (Acts.10). And when he did he found his brethren most antagonistic to the very thought ( Act_11:3 ). But they are far more antagonistic to Paul's ministry among the nations. At his final appearance in Jerusalem these pardoned believers sought to stone him for the very mention of the name of the gentiles. Paul in his speech to them gets as far as the word “nations” ( Act_22:21 ), and they refuse to listen further. Consequently their pardon is revoked. It is important to note that this does not apply to the unbelieving part of the nation, for they had not been pardoned. It was true only of those who had “believed”. Pardon is probational because it is based on behaviour. Justification is irrevocable because it is based on the blood of Christ, which is ever precious and potent.

35 See Mat_6:12-15 ; Jam_:2:13: .

1-2 Compare Mar_10:1 ; Joh_10:40-42 .

Verses 3-23

3-12 Compare Mar_10:2-12 .

4 Compare Gen_1:27 . See Mal_2:15 .

4 Man was originally bi-sexual. Adam had both male and female functions ( Gen_1:27 ). Before the woman was taken out of Adam, the sexes were actually one flesh. Marriage is the reverse of this. The woman was not formed from a “rib”. The Hebrew word is nowhere else so rendered. It is used of the chambers in the temple building ( 1Ki_6:5 ), and denotes an angular vault. Hence the woman is the complement of the man, and both together constitute the human unit. One is incomplete without the other. The physical union, moreover, is not a mere legal agreement, but actual oneness of flesh, in which each is merged in the other. It is not the work of man merely, but of God. It is contrary to nature and to nature's God to destroy this unity. Originally no separation was contemplated. It is a concession to the hardness of their hearts. Only the infraction and destruction of the physical unity by union with another is given by our Lord as a just cause of separation (9), for, in that case, the unit is already marred beyond repair, in the offending party. It is in fullest harmony with the present grace, in which physical unity has no standing, that even the cause allowed by our Lord is not a valid basis for separation. This corresponds with the overflowing grace in which we are submerged. The only cause now given is where the unbelieving husband or wife gets a divorce. Then the believer is free ( 1Co_7:15 ). The believer today is to act in perfect grace even to the acknowledgment of a wrongful separation.

5 See Gen_2:24 ; 1Co_6:16 ; Eph_5:31 .

7 See Mat_5:31-32 ; Deu_24:1 .

9 Compare Luk_16:18 ; 1Co_7:10-11 .

12 As we have no standing in flesh, such matters are not within our sphere. They do not affect our place in Christ. Not so with the kingdom. We read of a male son who will shepherd the nations in that day ( Rev_12:5 ), and of the hundred and forty-four thousand who are celibates ( Rev_14:4 ) out of the twelve tribes ( Rev_7:3 ). It is more than likely that these are those to whom the special saying of which He spoke has been given.

13-15 Compare Mar_10:13-16 ; Luk_18:15-17 .

14 See Mat_18:3 .

16-22 Compare Mar_10:17-22 ; Luk_18:18-23 .

16 See Luk_10:27 .

16 When Israel entered the land, each one received an allotment sufficient for a living. This could not be sold outright. It could only be mortgaged till the next jubilee. With some exceptions, no one could acquire much land without encroaching on the allotments of others.

That is why it is so difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom. He must of necessity lose his riches and enter poor. That is the position of this rich youth. He had great acquisitions . This was land which God had allotted to others for their living, but which they had lost through poverty. His superfluous wealth meant distress for them. He claimed to keep the law, and no doubt he had never murdered or robbed any one, for he had no provocation to commit flagrant offenses. He even maintained that he loved his associates as himself! The Lord very simply suggests that he act in accordance with his profession. He did not ask him to give up his own means of livelihood. He could never expect him to relinquish his own allotment, for that was given by God. All He desired was that he should return to others their allotments. This is what God's law does at the jubilee. This is what will occur when the kingdom is established. The believing disciples in the Pentecostal era, recognizing the impossibility of carrying possessions and acquisitions, over and above their inherited allotments, into the kingdom, sold all such property and put the proceeds into the common fund ( Act_2:45 ). None of these acts have any bearing on present conduct. for our allotment is among the celestials. The Israelite might possibly carry his allotment into the kingdom, but we can take nothing of earth into the realms above. The shrewdest saint is the one who exchanges his terrestrial real estate for celestial currency before it all is taken from him. He knows that his acquisitions on earth will all be forfeited and decrease his balance in the celestial bank.

18 Compare Exo_20:12-16 .

19 See Lev_19:18 .

21-22 See Mat_6:19-21 ; Act_2:45 ; 1Ti_6:17-19 .

23-26 Compare Mar_10:23-27 ; Luk_18:24-27 .

23 See Mat_13:22 .

Verses 24-30

23 As the political constitution of the Jewish commonwealth rendered it practically impossible to acquire great possessions without oppressing others, riches were a hindrance and are largely lost in the readjustments of that day. No rich man, as such, will enter.

26 See Jer_32:17 ; Luk_1:37 .

27-30 Compare Mar_10:28-31 ; Luk_18:28-30 .

27 See Mat_4:18 ; Luk_5:11 .

27 On the ether hand, those sons of that kingdom who lose all, even the enjoyment of their own allotment for the time, will find an overflowing recompense in kind, in the kingdom, not only for the brief space of their mortal life, but for the whole of the coming eon. The apostles, who suffered most, will gain most. The government of the nation will be in their hands. This explains in part why there must be just twelve apostles, one for each tribe. The other nations will come under the jurisdiction of the male son ( Rev_12:5 ), a company out of Israel distinct from the twelve. It will be seen that Paul has no place in the government of that kingdom. He and those connected with his ministry, have a celestial destiny and will judge messengers ( Eph_1:3 ; 1Co_6:3 ).

28 See Mat_20:21 ; Luk_22:28-30 .

30 See Mat_20:16 ; Luk_13:30 .

1 Many of the explanations of this parable ignore the fact that it illustrates the kingdom of the heavens, and not at all intended to be applied to our service for God. If so applied, it can hardly encourage aught but idleness in the hope that a little labor at the end of life will bring an equal, if not greater, reward than a long career suffering service. The vineyard is Israel. Those who agree for a denarius a day were under law and got what was their due. The others were recipients of various degrees of grace. The third hour workers were under promise. Though they made no contract, yet they received more than they had a right to expect, because they had mixed their work with a little confidence in the householder. In the sixth and ninth hour we have the same circumstances, but less deserts. The eleventh hour workers do not seem to have had even a promise on which to base their expectations. They trusted the householder completely, and had very little of their own works to offer him. At this point we must insert another class, who do not appear in the parable, for the very good reason that they do nothing at all and are not associated with the kingdom. So far as salvation goes, our works have no part in it. We are the twelfth hour “laborers”, who have done nothing ( Rom_4:5 ), yet receive much more than those who toil under law. This is because we do not depend on our own efforts whatever, but upon the favor of the great Householder. We were lower than the last in the parable, and have become higher than the first. Such is the nature of grace. May we never seek to make a bargain with God' Let us work without a contract or any assurances, but rest wholly on the innate graciousness which He delights to display when His creatures give Him occasion. Even in the kingdom, it is not the amount of work which determines the reward, but the amount of faith which is blended with it ( Heb_4:2 ). Since those who worked the full day are displeased with His goodness, and have a wicked eye, and are last, we may well believe that they will have no part in the kingdom. They are not of faith but of law works. They stumble on the Stumbling Stone ( Rom_9:32-33 ):

Lo! I am laying in Zion a Stumbling Stone and a Snare Rock, And the one believing on Him will not be disgraced.

8 See Lev_19:13 .

16 See Mat_19:30 .

17-19 Compare Mar_10:32-34 ; Luk_18:31-34 .

17 Though the Lord is blinding the eyes of the people by parables, He is seeking to open the understanding of His disciples and to engage their hearts with His great sacrifice. It seems strange that they, who had been accustomed to the thought of blood propitiation all their lives, could not entertain His teaching concerning the great Antitype of all their offerings. He did not perplex .them with parables, but spoke to them plainly and persistently, and still they do not seem to have grasped His meaning until all He foretold had occurred, and He was roused from among the dead.

20-28 Compare Mar_10:35-45 .

20 See Mat_4:21 .

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Matthew 19". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/matthew-19.html. 1968.
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