19:3 Then some Pharisees 3 came to him in order to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful 4 to divorce a wife for any cause?” 5 19:4 He answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female, 6 19:5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 7 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 19:7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” 8 19:8 Jesus 9 said to them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of your hard hearts, 10 but from the beginning it was not this way. 19:9 Now I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery.” 19:10 The 11 disciples said to him, “If this is the case of a husband with a wife, it is better not to marry!” 19:11 He 12 said to them, “Not everyone can accept this statement, except those to whom it has been given. 19:12 For there are some eunuchs who were that way from birth, 13 and some who were made eunuchs 14 by others, 15 and some who became eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who is able to accept this should accept it.”
19:13 Then little children were brought to him for him to lay his hands on them and pray. 16 But the disciples scolded those who brought them. 17 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 18 19:15 And he placed his hands on them and went on his way. 19
19:16 Now 20 someone came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?” 19:17 He said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 19:18 “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19:19 honor your father and mother, 21 and love your neighbor as yourself.” 22 19:20 The young man said to him, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed 23 all these laws. 24 What do I still lack?” 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money 25 to the poor, and you will have treasure 26 in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 19:22 But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich. 27
19:23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, 28 it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! 19:24 Again I say, 29 it is easier for a camel 30 to go through the eye of a needle 31 than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” 19:25 The 32 disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” 33 19:26 Jesus 34 looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, 35 but for God all things are possible.” 19:27 Then Peter said 36 to him, “Look, 37 we have left everything to follow you! 38 What then will there be for us?” 19:28 Jesus 39 said to them, “I tell you the truth: 40 In the age when all things are renewed, 41 when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging 42 the twelve tribes of Israel. 19:29 And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much 43 and will inherit eternal life. 19:30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
1 tn Grk “it happened when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
2 tn “River” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity. The region referred to here is sometimes known as Transjordan (i.e., “across the Jordan”).
3 tn Grk “And Pharisees.”
sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.
4 tc ‡ Most
5 sn The question of the Pharisees was anything but sincere; they were asking it to test him. Jesus was now in the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas (i.e., Judea and beyond the Jordan) and it is likely that the Pharisees were hoping he might answer the question of divorce in a way similar to John the Baptist and so suffer the same fate as John, i.e., death at the hands of Herod (cf. 14:1-12). Jesus answered the question not on the basis of rabbinic custom and the debate over Deut 24:1, but rather from the account of creation and God’s original design.
8 tc ‡ Although the majority of witnesses (B C W 078 087 Ë13 33 Ï syp,h) have αὐτήν (authn, “her”) after the infinitive ἀπολῦσαι (apolusai, “to divorce”), a variant lacks the αὐτήν. This shorter reading may be due to assimilation to the Markan parallel, but since it is attested in early and diverse witnesses (א D L Z Θ Ë1 579 700 pc lat) and since the parallel verse (Mark 10:4) already departs at many points, the shorter reading seems more likely to be original. The pronoun has been included in the translation, however, for clarity. NA27 includes the word in brackets, indicating reservations regarding its authenticity.
sn A quotation from Deut 24:1. The Pharisees were all in agreement that the OT permitted a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce his wife (not vice-versa) and that remarriage was therefore sanctioned. But the two rabbinic schools of Shammai and Hillel differed on the grounds for divorce. Shammai was much stricter than Hillel and permitted divorce only in the case of sexual immorality. Hillel permitted divorce for almost any reason (cf. the Mishnah, m. Gittin 9.10).
9 tc A few important
tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
10 tn Grk “heart” (a collective singular).
11 tc ‡ Some significant witnesses, along with the majority of later
12 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
13 tn Grk “from the womb of the mother” (an idiom).
14 tn The verb εὐνουχίζω occurs twice in this verse, translated the first time as “made eunuchs” and the second time as “became eunuchs.” The term literally refers to castration. The second occurrence of the word in this verse is most likely figurative, though, referring to those who willingly maintain a life of celibacy for the furtherance of the kingdom (see W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, Matthew [ICC], 3:23).
15 tn Grk “people.”
16 tn Grk “so that he would lay his hands on them and pray.”
17 tn Grk “the disciples scolded them.” In the translation the referent has been specified as “those who brought them,” since otherwise the statement could be understood to mean that the disciples scolded the children rather than their parents who brought them.
18 sn The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Children are a picture of those whose simple trust illustrates what faith is all about. The remark illustrates how everyone is important to God, even those whom others regard as insignificant.
19 tn Grk “went from there.”
20 tn Grk “And behold one came.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1). Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
23 tn Grk “kept.” The implication of this verb is that the man has obeyed the commandments without fail, so the adverb “wholeheartedly” has been added to the translation to bring out this nuance.
24 tn Grk “these things.” The referent of the pronoun (the laws mentioned by Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
sn While the rich man was probably being sincere when he insisted I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws, he had confined his righteousness to external obedience. The rich man’s response to Jesus’ command – to give away all he had – revealed that internally he loved money more than God.
25 tn The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
26 sn The call for sacrifice comes with a promise of eternal reward: You will have treasure in heaven. Jesus’ call is a test to see how responsive the man is to God’s direction through him. Will he walk the path God’s agent calls him to walk? For a rich person who got it right, see Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10.
27 tn Grk “he had many possessions.” This term (κτῆμα, kthma) is often used for land as a possession.
28 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”
29 tn Grk “I say to you.”
30 tc A few late witnesses (579 1424 pc) read κάμιλον (kamilon, “rope”) for κάμηλον (kamhlon, “camel”), either through accidental misreading of the text or intentionally so as to soften Jesus’ words.
31 sn The eye of a needle refers to a sewing needle. (The gate in Jerusalem known as “The Needle’s Eye” was built during the middle ages and was not in existence in Jesus’ day.) Jesus was saying rhetorically that it is impossible for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom, unless God (v. 26) intervenes.
32 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
33 sn The assumption is that the rich are blessed, so if they risk exclusion, who is left to be saved?
34 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
35 tn The plural Greek term ἄνθρωποις (anqrwpois) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women (cf. NASB 1995 update, “people”). Because of the contrast here between mere mortals and God (“impossible for men, but for God all things are possible”) the phrase “mere humans” has been used in the translation. There may also be a slight wordplay with “the Son of Man” in v. 28.
36 tn Grk “Then answering, Peter said.” This construction is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified in the translation.
37 sn Peter wants reassurance that the disciples’ response and sacrifice have been noticed.
38 tn Grk “We have left everything and followed you.” Koine Greek often used paratactic structure when hypotactic was implied.
39 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
40 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”
41 sn The Greek term translated the age when all things are renewed (παλιγγενεσία, palingenesia) is understood as a reference to the Messianic age, the time when all things are renewed and restored (cf. Rev 21:5).
42 sn The statement you…will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel looks at the future authority the Twelve will have when Jesus returns. They will share in Israel’s judgment.
43 sn Jesus reassures his disciples with a promise that (1) much benefit in this life (a hundred times as much) and (2) eternal life will be given.