Chapter 19


19:1-12 This marks the end of the 4th major speech section followed immediately by the 8th healing section. The Pharisees’ question on divorce has to do with 3 Jewish schools of thought based on Deuteronomy 24:1. Moses permitted divorce if the husband found something indecent about his wife. Rabbi Shammai believed indecency to refer only to sexual unfaithfulness. Rabbi Hillel believed indecent meant anything displeasing including burning the breakfast toast. Rabbi Akiba believed you couldn’t divorce unless you found a prettier woman to trade her in on. The Pharisees hoped Jesus would side with one school of thought causing Him to lose favor with the other two. He sided with none, but went to scripture. Haven’t you read,… Jesus points out the equality of man and woman, a point that was not considered in this discussion. He also shifts the emphasis from divorce to marriage. That is the main issue. Man should not be undoing what God has done for any reason. When pressed further, Jesus does concede that in the instance of marital unfaithfulness God permits divorce, but never does God prefer it (Mal 2:13-16). If a couple is not ready to make a lifetime commitment, they should not get married. Single life has its merits because there is no danger of falling into the mess of divorce. Only those who can handle the commitment should marry and those who are better off single should be single. There is merit in voluntarily renouncing marriage for the sake of the kingdom, but should never be mandated by the church (1Tim 4:3).
19:13-15 Jesus always had time for children, no matter how busy he was. The kingdom belongs to the children. They are not saved because they are not initially lost. They are safe in innocence.
19:16-30 This young man was seeking eternal life, but he was going at it the wrong way. Christianity is not about keeping commandments. It is a relationship with Jesus, surrendering everything to His care. The disciples had not lived as good a life as this man who went away dejected and needed assurance that they were receiving eternal life. Jesus gives it; assurance of a better life in this age and the one to come.


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