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Bible Commentaries

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Matthew 19

Verses 1-30

The Pharisees approached Him with a question concerning divorce. The force of His reply is in the words "from the beginning." He had no opinions apart from the will and intention of God. As God willed, so let it be! "Why did Moses then command?" His answer is a contradiction of their main position. "Moses . . . suffered." He did not command, but because of the people's hardness of heart he suffered. Marriage, not celibacy, is the law of life, yet the Master recognizes that celibacy will be the condition of some, and does not condemn it when it arises from one of three causes, the necessity of birth, the action of men, the voluntary act for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. This is a dark saying not intended for all, as the words of Jesus indicate.

It is beautifully fitting that having reiterated the irrevocable divine law relating to marriage, thus emphasizing the value of family life, He should now show His direct and wonderful interest in and tenderness toward children. In this place the word "such" does not primarily refer to the child character, but to children; and so the Master that day claimed all child life as belonging to His Kingdom.

The picture of this young man would be perfect to any but the dear vision of Christ. Yet the words of the Master prove that He saw the imperfections, and, moreover, they suggest that the young man was also conscious of them, "If thou wouldst be perfect." "Follow Me" is the Master's supreme word to him. Submit, obey, follow! And then with rare skill the Lord sets His mark on the supremest thing hitherto in the young man's life, and that which is his greatest hindrance- his wealth. "He went away sorrowful." Yet "Jesus . . . loved him."

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Matthew 19". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/matthew-19.html. 1857-84.