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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Matthew 19

Introduction

  1. Introduction
    1. (Read) John 12:24-25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
    2. Humility – it’s not thinking of ourselves but what will please God and show love to our neighbors…
    3. Brokenness brings us to the position of humility…

Verses 1-6

  1. One Flesh
    Matthew 19:1-6 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; 2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. 3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
    1. Christ and the Church
      Ephesians 5:22-27, 30-32 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
    2. Husbands
      Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
      1. How are husbands to love their wives?
      2. Unconditionally, sacrificially, patiently, kindly and without fail!
    3. Wives
      Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
      1. How are wives to respond to their husbands? > They are to submit to them in EVERYTHING!
      2. Why? Because it’s a picture of how ALL OF US are to submit to Christ!
    4. God’s Heirarchy
      1. 1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
      2. Ephesians 5:32-33 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Verses 7-12

  1. Divorce
    Matthew 19:7-12 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. 10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
    1. God Hates Divorce
      Malachi 2:14, 16 …the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away:
      1. Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
    2. Permission, not Command
      Matthew 19:7-8 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
      1. They were permitted, not commanded to give divorce.
      2. Marriage problems, including adultery, should be approached with God’s Heart…the heart of 1) Reconciliation, and 2) Restoration.
    3. Fornication Only
      1. Now Jesus is saying that one can divorce on the grounds of fornication
      2. Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
      3. Jesus is saying ONLY for Fornication (Porneia) – Any sexual activity outside of marriage.
      4. Because the Rabbi’s said Adultery could only take place with another “common” or “free” woman … i.e. not a concubine, a slave, a mistress or a prostitute.
        1. This speaks to selfishness…thinking of themselves and what met their fleshly desires!
      5. Remember: Humility – it’s not thinking of ourselves but what will please God and show love to our neighbors…
  2. Hardness of the Heart
    1. Rebellion Towards God
      1. The real issue is the issue of the heart…hardness of heart is really rebellion towards God!
      2. Hardness comes from feeding our flesh…walking after our selfishness
      3. 1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
    2. Brokenness
      1. Seeing God’s Heart
        1. ​​​​​​​Isaiah 66:1-2 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
        2. Isaiah 57:15 or thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
        3. Psalms 34:17-18 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
      2. Our Actions
        1. ​​​​​​​Repentance
          1. ​​​​​​​Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
          2. 1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
        2. Confession
          1. ​​​​​​​Psalms 51:2-4 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
          2. Psalms 51:7-10 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
  3. Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Rev 2:4-5 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Verses 13-15

  1. Introduction
    1. (Read) Deuteronomy 10:16-20 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: 18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. 19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
  2. Child-Like Faith
    1. Matthew 19:13-15 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

Verses 16-30

  1. Where’s Your Treasure?
    1. The Rich Young Ruler
      1. Good Master / God
        1. Matthew 19:16-17a And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God:
      2. Second Table of the Law
        1. ​​​​​​​Matthew 19:16-17b but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
          Response:
          1. ​​​​​​​Matthew 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
            …there’s still a hole, a need, an understanding that he needs more than to be “good”.
      3. Is God your god?
        Matthew 19:21-22 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
        1. ​​​​​​​Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
      4. The Eye of a Needle
        Matthew 19:23-24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
        1. ​​​​​​​The words of Jesus amaze the disciples because they assume that wealth is always a sign of God’s blessing and favor. After all, if the rich aren’t saved, then who is?
        2. 1 Timothy 6:9-11 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
      5. The “REAL” issue here is the one of the Heart:
        1. ​​​​​​​The rich young ruler is trying to “earn” his way to heaven. His heart, however, is not on God but on his stuff (in this case his money).
        2. Riches are a snare because they tend to make us satisfied with this life, instead of longing for the age to come.
      6. The “Eye of the Needle” is Jesus saying that we can not do anything to “Earn” our way to heaven.
        1. We can also contrast the dependence of a child (Matt 18) with the independence of a rich man (Matt 19) - which does Jesus say is more likely to inherit the kingdom of God?​​​​​​​
          1. ​​​​​​​Salvation – is the possessing of the ability to go to heaven and be with God when this life is over.
        2. Matthew 19:25-26 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
          1. ​​​​​​​We possess that through “a faith in Jesus Christ that trusts God for our eternal salvation”!
    2. The Disciples
      Matthew 19:27-30 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

      Regeneration – Millenium

      ​​​​​​​First > last; Last > first …Jews and Gentiles
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Matthew 19". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/matthew-19.html. 2017.