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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Matthew 19

Introduction

Wisdom From Above

- Matthew Nineteen -

In Matthew nineteen we have record of the Pharisees asking Jesus about divorce and remarriage. Jesus said that the only reason a man could divorce his wife marry another was because of her adultery. He also said that if a man divorces his wife because of her adultery and another man marries her that man is in like manner committing adultery. Jesus again showed his compassion on children by saying, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." He showed that it is difficult for the rich to go to heaven. He said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Life is full of problems. Only wisdom from above can provide answers to questions about (1) divorce and remarriage, (2) celibacy, (3) how important are children? (4) what about our wealth?, and (5) who can be saved? Matthew chapter nineteen allows us to look into the mind of God for wisdom from the Master on some very difficult subjects.

Verses 13-15

Wisdom from above concerning children - : It was only natural that the Lord would move from the topic of marriage to discuss children. Wise parent will always desire the blessings of the Lord upon their children. These parents "brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them." They thought that it was beneath the dignity of Jesus to be "bothered" with children. Jesus told them to leave the children alone.

Jesus told the apostles to leave the children alone. Today I would like to say to the abortionist "leave the children alone." Do not murder these innocent children. The drug pusher, tobacco industry, sexual perverts and atheist need to hear the same message -- "leave the children alone." They are too precious to be destroyed by your evil works! Jesus told the disciples the kingdom of heaven is composed of those who are like little children. (Matthew 19:14)

Verses 16-22

Wisdom from above concerning our attitude toward wealth - : The rich young ruler came running to Jesus. He knelt down in the presence of the Lord manifesting his humility. He asked the most important and interesting question that any person can ever ask of God. His question was, "What good deed must I do to possess eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16) He was interested in having eternal life.

Jesus told him, "...you must continually keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17) The young man said he had been obedient from youth. But, he asked, "What still do I lack?" (Matthew 19:20) Jesus told him that to have spiritual maturity he must, "...go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Matthew 19:22) He would not obey. He would have had far more than he was asked to give up if he had only been willing to surrender to the Lord. The church in the twentieth-first century has been drastically affected by the same problem, materialism. Many sell their souls for a few perishing things!

The rich young ruler wanted to go to heaven, but he wanted to go on his own terms! We see the same thing with denominations today. They have their own teachings. They say, "Just pray the sinner"s prayer, and you will go to heaven!" They have their instruments of music in their worship services, sometimes even a full band. They want salvation, but they want it on their own terms. It seems as if many want to go to heaven but few are willing to live in simple, humble obedience to what the Word of God teaches.

Verses 23-30

Wisdom from above concerning who can be saved - : It is difficult for those who have wealth to get into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:23) When the disciples heard Jesus say that 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 heaven they asked, "Who then can be saved?" (Matthew 19:24)

The rich man that Jesus spoke of was a person that loved his riches, and made an idol of them. His desire was to gain more and more. "Who then can be saved?" Jesus told the disciples that those that had left all and become His disciple would be blessed in this life. They would receive one hundred percent on whatever they had given up. However, even more than this they would receive eternal life. (Matthew 19:29) We can have faith in this promise and trust Christ for its performance!

The only power that can cause a man to cease trusting in his money is the power of God. The problem is never that a person has possessions but rather, that the possessions have him. Any wealth that we possess must be used to serve God and glorify Him in His kingdom. The apostles had given up material things for Christ. Peter wondered what they would have as a result of this sacrifice. What they gave up may have been looked upon by many as "small" but by forsaking these things they showed their sincerity. Jesus told the apostles that they would sit upon "twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Jesus said, "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 hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life."

Wisdom from above says that sinners should come to Christ and live for Him. Purify your heart by faith (John 8:24), change your life through repentance, (Acts 17:30), change your relationship with God through baptism. Then, from that watery grave of baptism arise to a walk in newness of life in Christ. (Romans 6:3-4)

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 19". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/matthew-19.html. 2014.