January 28/Matthew 19

Verses 1-12 >Jesus just heals a huge number of people and instead of celebrating and praising God the Pharisees only want to debate. Some people just don’t get it do they? They can see you doing 99 good things but they want to pick on the one thing that wasn’t so good. 99.9% of your white shirt can be white but let there be a little tiny black spot and that is what most people will focus on. I don’t want to be one of those people, do you? I sure am glad our heavenly Father isn’t like that. He just sees us with a clean white shirt… slate because righteousness of Jesus has been applied to us. Yea! I want to celebrate not debate.

The Pharisees asked if a man could divorce his wife for just any reason. My take on this is if he is a ‘man’ he chooses wisely the one he will marry. If he is a ‘man’ he will keep his vows. If he is a ‘man’ he will lay down his life for his wife according to scripture in Ephesians 5. If he is a ‘man’ he will get counsel. If he is a ‘man’ he will do everything he can to keep his marriage together. If he is a ‘man’ he will guard his heart from becoming hard. Even if his wife is unfaithful a ‘man’ will see what he can do to save the marriage. Take that you Pharisees and read the book of Hosea!

“A good marriage is not a contract between two persons but a sacred covenant between three. Too often Christ is never invited to the wedding and finds no room in the home.” Donald T. Kauffman

Verses 16-30 > this rich guy loved stuff more than he loved Jesus. That’s not you is it? In John Chapter 14 Jesus said if you love me obey me. This guy proved he didn’t love Jesus and he didn’t love God because he couldn’t obey. He really loved his stuff over eternal life. He thought he was a big commandment keeper but he tripped over the first one which says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” That blew all the rest of them. If break one you are guilty of breaking them all.

The disciples were astonished that Jesus said it was hard for a rich man to get into heaven because the thinking of the day was that rich people must be blessed by God. Here is the deal on the camel thing:

The Talmud, the Jewish body of teaching present in Jesus’ day, contained the similar phrase, “It is easier for an elephant to go through the eye of a needle.” Elephants were common in Persia or Iran, where the Talmud was written, but not in Jerusalem. So Jesus modified the Talmud with something His Jerusalem audience could relate to: a camel. Was He talking about a literal needle and camel, or was He, as G. Campbell Morgan strongly suggests, speaking of something else?
  In Jerusalem, all commerce would stop when the gates of the city of Jerusalem were closed on the Sabbath day and every evening at sunset. Commerce stopped because camels and caravans could no longer enter. But there was a little gate called the Needle Gate that was actually a gate inside of the main gate. It could be opened to allow access and egress to only one person at a time. The only way a camel could possibly get through this Needle Gate would be if all of the baggage was removed from his back and if he crawled through the gate on his knees.
I believe it is very possible that this is what Jesus was alluding to, saying, “There is a way for a rich man to enter the kingdom, but only if he places no priority on his possessions and is willing to fall to his knees in humility.”
Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (p. 151). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    From Genesis we learn that God’s plan is for marriage and procreation. In this chapter we first hear about God’s thoughts on not marrying. He uses the term eunuch which means being unable to procreate. This stresses that if you are unmarried you are to remain celibate. When you get to the epistles of Paul he praises this state. It is all a matter of priorities and God approves of following either decision.