I. Jesus Ministers In Perea.
A. Bias. Everyone has a bias on certain subjects. A bias may be healthy or unhealthy.
B. Consideration. Context must be maintained while reading the text.
II. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview.
A. Teachings Concerning Greatness and Forgiveness.
1. Leaving Capernaum for the last time, Jesus began His journey which was to end in Jerusalem and the cross. The expression “into the coasts of Judaea beyond the Jordan” means the region beyond Judea to the east of the Jordan. By taking this route, Christ avoided Samaria, where He had ministered before, and passed through territory that was new to His public ministry. As He went, crowds following Him from Galilee were joined by others.
2. The crowds had four classes: those who came with need, bringing their sick; those who came to trap Him; those who came in admiration; and at least one with a sincere question. A parallel account to Matthew 19 is found in Mark 10:1-31. Only Matthew records, however, that His ministry included healing the sick.
B. Discourse on Divorce. 19:1-12.
Both Mark and Matthew, however, record the question of the Pharisees regarding divorce. Matthew observes that the Pharisees did this in order to tempt Jesus.
C. Jesus Blesses the Children, 19:13-15.
As Jesus was teaching, ambitious parents brought their small children to have Jesus put His hands on them and pray for them (cf. Mk 10:13-16; Lk 18:15-17). The scene was probably the same as “in the house,” mentioned in Mark 10:10. The disciples felt that this was an unwarranted intrusion into the privacy of Jesus, and attempted to restrict the children, but Jesus rebuked the disciples instead saying, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:14). While there is no mention that He actually prayed for them, Mark’s gospel adds that He took the children up in His arms and blessed them (Mk 10:13-16). It is of interest that children instinctively recognized in Jesus one who loved them and cared for them, and they came to Him freely. The one who was the Friend of publicans and sinners was also the Friend of children.
D. Rich Young Ruler, 19:16-22.
1. Later, departing from the house, Jesus was approached by a young man who raised the question, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
2. In reply, Jesus first called attention to the fact that he had called Him “good,” which properly refers only to God. As Glover notes, “Good Master is compliment, not adoration.
3. The question is naturally raised by this incident whether it is necessary for a rich man to give up all his possessions in order to receive eternal life. Is not salvation by faith and by grace and not by works?
4. The answer seems to be that in this instance, the questioning of Jesus brought out the shallowness of the young man’s faith. When it came right down to it, he trusted his riches and his position more than he trusted in Jesus Christ. His real problem was lack of faith in Christ, whom he considered a good Teacher but who apparently was not to be regarded as one who had the right to demand that he give up all in order to follow Him. Faith is ultimately a choice, and the young man chose riches rather than Jesus.
E. Relation of Discipleship to Riches, 19:23-30.
1. After the young ruler had left, Jesus observed to His disciples, “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven” (19:23). In contrast to the prevailing opinion of the Jews, who, through their riches, thought they were gaining favor with God, Jesus pointed out that often riches are a stumbling block rather than a stepping-stone for those entering the kingdom. He further commented, “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” (v. 24). The disciples replied in their amazement, “Who then can be saved?”
2. Various explanations have been given for Christ’s illustration of a camel going through a needle’s eye. Thus construed, He was saying, in effect, that it is impossible.
3. Some have taken the needle’s eye to be a reference to a small, low gate into a walled city requiring one entering to take off his load and crawl through the hole on his knees, but there is no evidence that this is the intended meaning. Like the reference to the blind guides, as in Matthew 23:24, who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, He was illustrating that which is impossible to do naturally. Jesus was not saying simply that it is difficult for rich men to be saved. What He was saying was that it takes a miracle, a supernatural work of God. This is clear in the comment of Jesus in answering the disciples’ question, “Who then can be saved?” He stated, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (19:26). The new birth, as an act of creation, is not something that comes naturally or easily.
4. Note should be taken that in verse 24, Jesus used the expression “the kingdom of God” in contrast to the usual expression “kingdom of heaven.” If there is a distinction, the kingdom of God refers to the sphere of salvation, not merely the sphere of profession. A rich man could profess to follow Christ, but apart from supernatural grace, he could not enter into salvation.
5. The discourse of Christ on the place of riches on earth in contrast to “treasure in heaven” (v. 21) led to Peter’s next question, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” (v. 27).
6. To this practical question, Christ gave a specific answer. He stated that in the “regeneration,” or restoration of the kingdom, “When the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,” the disciples also “shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (v. 28). This is clearly a picture of the millennial earth, not heaven. Late in Christ’s ministry, He supports the concept that the kingdom, while postponed as far as human expectation is concerned, is nevertheless certain of fulfillment following His second coming.
7. In addition to the promise that they shall sit on thrones acting as judges, Jesus gave the promise to all His disciples who, for Christ’s sake, have forsaken houses, brethren, sister, father, mother, wife, children, or lands, that they shall receive an hundredfold reward in addition to having eternal life. There is no uncertainty about the riches of heaven, which will endure long after the treasures of the rich young ruler have been dissipated.
8. One final word of caution was given by Jesus, “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first” (v. 30). By this, Jesus meant that God’s estimation of worthiness for reward may be entirely different than man’s estimation. Those prominent in this life may not necessarily be first in reward in the life to come. The widow who gave her two mites but had nothing else to give may be ahead of those who have given much. Those who labor merely for reward may miss it. His discussion of this point is illustrated in the next chapter.
III. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.
A. 19:1. “beyond the Jordan”=Perea, not part of Judea, but within the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas. Perea was a region East of the Jordan, extending from the sea of Galilee almost to the Dead Sea.
B. 19:16. Jews of the time believed that performing some single good act would guarantee salvation.
C. 19:21. “complete.” I.e., generally pleasing to God. “go and sell.” The man was being asked to prove his claim to have kept the commandments, especially the one that says, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (v. 19). His unwillingness to do so belied his claim (v. 20) and showed him as a sinner in need of salvation.
D. 19:24. “needle” means a “sewing needle.” In this proverbial expression, Christ does not say that a rich man could not be saved (v. 26), but only that, for him, it is more difficult, since such a person seldom senses his personal need as readily as a poorer man does,
E. 19:27. Peter must have been thinking, “Well, we disciples certainly don’t have any such hindrances of wealth!”
F. 19:28. “in the regeneration” = the new age, the Millennium, when the earth will be made new, during which time the disciples will judge Israel. The only other use of the word “regeneration” in the NT speaks of people being made new in the present age (Titus 3:5). “on His glorious throne.” See 25:31.
IV. Summing It Up. It is import to remember that Jews had no knowledge of people going to heaven, above them, in the sky. They knew about the earthly kingdom that is described in the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:8-17). Whenever “kingdom” is discussed in the four gospels, its meaning is the earthly, Davidic kingdom, upon which Messiah Christ will rule, reign and teach during the 1,000 year Millennium (Rev 20:4), which will take place after the tribulation and the second coming of Christ to earth (Isa 2:2-4), (Matt 24:29-30), (Rev 19:11-16), (Zech 14:4-5; 9).
V. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the seminary. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_Theological_Seminary
4 thoughts on “Matthew Chapter 19”
Another item that Matthew missed in his telling of the rich young ruler but found in Mark’s account is the simple phrase that says, as the young ruler walked away, “Jesus loved him. ” It was from this phrase that I wrote my first novel, “The Nazarene’s Price.”
And as impossible as it is for the rich to be saved by human means, so it is with all of us. Salvation is the divine work of God. Good post.
Thanks for sharing.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Good post, with some new insights for me.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you. I am always looking for things that I may have overlooked.
LikeLiked by 1 person