Marriage is a sacred union. God created mankind and made us male and female. Union of a man and a woman in marriage is the basic human relationship of the world (Gen. 2:18-25). Into this union children are born, and the human race is propagated. God applauds the natural affection between male and female in the marriage union. Marriage is carefully regulated in the Old Testament, and Jesus indicates God’s standard has not changed for the Gospel Age. In 1 Cor. chapter 7, Paul echoes the teaching of Jesus. The growing practice of sexual immorality, homosexuality, and changing sexual identity is surely against everything God teaches us in Scripture.
Ours is a materialistic, temporary, throw-away society. Recycle and re-use. Not so with marriage, according to Jesus (Matt. 19:6). God has always hated divorce (Malachi 2:13-16). When the Pharisees came to Jesus and asked if it is lawful to divorce a mate for any and every reason, they were trying to pit him against Moses’ teaching (Deut. 24). The Matthew 19 context does not answer all questions that are asked of it. However, this is clear: marriage should not be dissolved unless one of the partners has been sexually unfaithful. Modern interpretation finds whatever it wishes to find, but Jesus has spoken. “The one who can accept this should accept it” (Matt. 19:12).
Again, Jesus uses children to illustrate the necessity of humility and purity in the kingdom of heaven. Let us love the little children and let us emulate them.
The narrative of the rich young ruler is found here and in Mark 10 and Luke 18. Repetition indicates the theological weight of the passage. “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” asked the young man (vs. 16). Since this episode occurs during the closing days of the Old Testament era, Jesus replies that keeping the Commandments is necessary. This does not mean one could earn his salvation, but rather that he could not find God’s approval without obedience to the Law. Having kept the letter of the Law did not mean the young man had become all God wanted him to be. Would he part with worldly goods and follow Jesus? Would we? “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18). What do we lack in God’s eyes?
It is impossible for one who depends on his riches to enter the kingdom of heaven. The idea about a gate through which a camel could barely enter is a fanciful and false tradition. We must be willing to sacrifice any material thing and any sinful relationship in order to please God. Whatever we give up to please God will be replaced and multiplied in spiritual blessings.
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of Matthew’s gospel. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.