Matthew 19:13-26

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

JESUS BLESSES THE LITTLE CHILDREN

AND JESUS’ CONVERSATION

WITH THE RICH YOUNG RULER

INTRODUCTION:

 

The Problems of the King include the narrative about Jesus (19:3 - 23:39), the Olivet Discourse (24:1 - 25:46), and the concluding statement, Matthew 26:1-2(1) And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, (2) Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

 

The Narrative about Jesus begins with His teaching concerning divorce (19:3-12). It continues with the apostles rebuking people for bringing children to Jesus so that He might bless them and Jesus instructing His apostles to permit the little children to come to Him (19:13-15) followed by Jesus’ conversation with the rich young ruler (19:16-26).

We see that –

    I.     JESUS BLESSES THE LITTLE CHILDREN – 19:13-15

 

We note that –

            A.  CHILDREN WERE BROUGHT TO JESUS THAT HE MIGHT LAY HANDS ON THEM AND PRAY FOR THEM, BUT THE DISCIPLES REBUKED THOSE WHO BROUGHT THE CHILDREN – 19:13

 

Matthew 19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

 

Children were brought to Jesus that He might lay hands on them and pray for them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought the children. It is as if they thought the children were unimportant and He shouldn’t be bothered with them.

 

Then suggests thereupon.

 

Were there brought unto him little children is little children were brought to Him.

 

Were brought is passive and indicates that someone brought them. They did not come on their own.

 

Unto him means to Jesus.

 

Little children is a term used normally of children below the age of puberty.

 

Neither the number of children nor their ages are stated.

 

In a parallel passage, however, Luke uses a term meaning infants (Luke 18:15 ); whereas, Matthew and Mark use the term meaning little children (Mark 10:14 ).

 

That suggests in order that, for the purpose that, or so that.

 

He is Jesus.

 

Should put his hands on them, and pray is might lay hands on them and pray.

 

It implies that the intent or intended result of those who brought the children to Jesus was that Jesus would bless the children and pray for them, calling on God the Father to bless them.

 

As indicated by the italics, his has been supplied by the translators and refers to Jesus.

 

And (or but) introduces the disciples’ reaction to the people bringing children to Jesus: the disciples rebuked them.

 

The disciples would seem to be the twelve disciples, i.e. the twelve apostles.

 

Rebuked them implies that the disciples expressed strong disapproval of the people who were bringing children to Jesus in the sense of reproved them in order to prevent them from doing this or to stop them from continuing to do it.

 

We also note that –

            B.  JESUS INSTRUCTED HIS DISCIPLES TO PERMIT THE CHILDREN TO COME TO HIM AND TO STOP HINDERING THEM – 19:14

 

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Jesus responded to His disciples’ action in rebuking those who brought children that they were to permit the children to come to Him and to stop hindering them.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to the disciples’ rebuking the people who brought little children to Jesus in verse 13.

 

Jesus said suggests Jesus asserted or Jesus declared.

 

Suffer little children . . . to come unto me is allow (i.e. let or permit) the little children to come to Me, a reference to Jesus.

 

And forbid them not is and stop forbidding (i.e. stop hindering or stop preventing) them (i.e. the little children).

 

For introduces an explanation of Jesus’ reason for His statement.

 

Of such is of such ones as these (little children) (or of such ones like these).

 

Is the kingdom of heaven indicates that the kingdom of heaven, which is comprised of those professing salvation, is made up of people like these little children who are believing in Jesus.

 

Children were just as important to Jesus as adults and should not be considered unimportant.

 

It indicates that everyone who will come to Jesus is welcome by Him to do so.

 

In addition we note that –

            C.  JESUS LAID HIS HANDS ON THE CHILDREN BEFORE LEAVING THE AREA – 19:15

 

Matthew 19:15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

 

It is what people who brought little children to Jesus were hoping He would do.

 

Laid his hands on them is laid (i.e. put or placed) His hands on the little children who had been brought to Him. It may instead be understood in the sense of after laying hands on them or after He laid hands on them.

 

Although it does not state that He prayed for them, it suggests that He did.

 

And departed thence is and went from there. Where He was or where He went is not known.

We also see –

  II.     JESUS’ CONVERSATION WITH THE RICH YOUNG RULER – 19:16-26

 

We note that –

            A.  HAVING APPROACHED JESUS, A MAN ASKED WHAT GOOD THING HE MIGHT DO IN ORDER TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE – 19:16

 

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

 

He came to the right Person, but he asked the wrong question.

 

And behold is used to gain the reader’s attention.

 

One came and said to him (i.e. to Jesus) suggests one came to Him (or approached Him) and asked or after one came to Him (or approached Him), he asked Him.

 

He addresses Jesus as good Master, i.e. as good Teacher, and then asks, What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

 

By addressing Jesus as good Master or good Teacher, he underestimated Who Jesus was. He did not recognize Jesus as God the Son or as the Messiah.

 

His question indicates that he believed he could earn eternal life by doing some good thing, but he could never do this.

 

He did not realize that he was a lost, helpless, and hopeless sinner.

 

That I may have eternal life suggests purpose in the sense of in order that I may have eternal life or intended result in the sense of with the result that I may have eternal life.

 

We also note that –

            B.  JESUS QUESTIONED WHY THIS PERSON HAD CALLED HIM GOOD BECAUSE ONLY GOD IS GOOD – 19:17A

 

Matthew 19:17 a – And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. . . .

 

And he (i.e. Jesus) said unto him (i.e. to the man who asked what good thing he might do that he may have eternal life) introduces Jesus’ response.

 

Why callest thou me good? is Why are you saying that I am good?

 

There is none good but one, that is God is no one (is) good, except One, God.

 

As indicated by the italics, there is and that is have been supplied by the translators to aid the understanding of the English reader.

 

Jesus’ response suggests that, by this man’s referring to Him as good, he was also suggesting that Jesus was God, which He was; but this man did not realize it.

 

In addition, we note that –

            C.  JESUS STATED THAT TO ENTER INTO LIFE ONE MUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS – 19:17B

 

Matthew 19:17 b – . . . But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

 

But introduces a conditional statement.

 

It may be understood in the sense of now.

 

If thou wilt enter into life is a simple condition, which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true; and in view of this man’s question in the previous verse, it is apparently true. This man did want to enter into life.

 

If is therefore understood in the sense of because, since, inasmuch as, in view of the fact, or assuming that.

 

Thou wilt enter into life is you wish (i.e. you want or you desire) to enter into life.

 

Enter suggests that he had not yet entered life.

 

Life is the term used of eternal life.

 

The conclusion of this conditional statement is keep the commandments, which were found in the Mosaic Law.

 

Of course, this was impossible; and he had already broken them.

 

Whether the man realized it or not, Jesus’ point was that keeping the commandments was impossible and that doing some good deed would not overcome his failure to keep the commandments throughout his life.

 

Hopefully, this man would conclude that there had to be another way of obtaining eternal life than doing some good thing.

 

Next, we note that –

            D.  IN VERSES 18-19 THE INDIVIDUAL ASKED WHICH COMMANDMENTS; SO JESUS GAVE HIM FIVE SPECIFIC COMMANDMENTS AND ONE GENERAL ONE – 19:18-19

 

Jesus reminded this man of the fifth through ninth commandments of the Ten Commandments and then summarized the ones He referred to.

 

Matthew 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness.

 

He saith unto him means that the man, who asked what good thing he should do in order that he may have eternal life, says to Jesus.

 

What he said is Which?, i.e. which commandments (must I keep)? Jesus said is and Jesus said and introduces six commands the man must keep listed in the rest of verse 18 and all of verse 19.

 

Thou shalt do no murder is you shall not commit murder.

 

It forbids someone from taking somebody else’s life.

 

It is the fifth of the Ten Commandments.

 

Thou shalt not commit adultery is the sixth of the Ten Commandments.

 

It forbids someone who is married from having sexual relations with another person to whom he (or she) is not married.

 

Thou shalt not steal is the seventh of the Ten Commandments.

 

It forbids taking something which belongs to someone else.

 

Thou shalt not bear false witness is the eighth of the Ten Commandments.

 

It forbids giving false testimony.

 

Matthew 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 

Honour thy father and thy mother means that a son or daughter is to revere (or have high regard for) both his (or her) father and his (or her) mother.

 

It is the ninth of the Ten Commandments.

 

And introduces the sixth commandment Jesus tells the man he must keep.

 

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself summarizes the five commandments Jesus told the man he needed to keep and affects all actions involving other people.

 

It indicates that he should always treat everyone in a righteous manner with pure motives.

 

Thy neighbour implies your fellow human being and is not limited to those who live close by.

 

We furthermore note that –

            E.  THIS PERSON, NOW IDENTIFIED AS A YOUNG MAN, CLAIMED TO HAVE KEPT ALL THE COMMANDMENTS JESUS QUOTED AND WONDERS WHAT HE STILL LACKED IN ORDER TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE – 19:20

 

Matthew 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

 

The young man saith unto him is the young man says to Him (i.e. to Jesus).

 

It introduces his response to Jesus telling him what commandments he needed to obey.

 

Whether the young man actually thought he had or not, he claimed, All these things have I kept from my youth up.

 

All these things refers to the six commandments Jesus cited for him in verses 18-19.

 

Of course, he had not kept them perfectly even if he thought he had; and his failure to keep them perfectly throughout his entire life demonstrated his need for some means of gaining eternal life other than keeping the commandments.

 

Have I kept is I kept, I followed, or I observed; and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

 

From my youth up is from my youth and suggests since he was young.

 

He then asks Jesus, What lack I yet?, i.e. What am I still lacking (that I may have eternal life)?

 

Again, we note –

            F.  JESUS ADVISES HIM TO SELL EVERYTHING HE HAD, TO GIVE TO THE POOR, AND TO COME AND FOLLOW HIM – 19:21

 

Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

 

Jesus said unto him introduces Jesus’ response to the man’s question, What lack I yet? in verse 20.

 

The tense of said indicates ongoing or repeated action in past time.

 

Jesus’ response is in the form of a simple condition, which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true.

 

The condition is if thou wilt be perfect.

 

It is interesting that it is not if you wish to enter the kingdom of heaven, which is what this man had just asked Jesus.

 

If is best understood in the sense of assuming that.

 

Thou wilt be perfect is you are wishing (i.e. you are desiring or you are wanting) to be perfect.

 

Of course, the man was already imperfect but did not know it.

 

He would have to love others as he loved himself, and Jesus’ statement is intended to help him realize that he was not perfect.

 

The conclusion of the condition is go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor.

 

Go is go away and especially go home.

 

Its tense indicates that its action is viewed as beginning and continuing in the sense of be going home or begin going home.

 

As indicated by the italics, and has been supplied by the translators who have also supplied it a second time in this verse.

 

Sell that thou hast is sell your possessions.

 

The tense of sell indicates that its action is to be undertaken at once and without delay.

 

And give to the poor indicates that the man should be generous toward those in need.

 

It does not mean that he had to give every last cent away.

 

This would not save him from his sins but would demonstrate that he was a saved man.

 

And thou shalt have treasure in heaven demonstrates the result if he were to sell his possessions and give to the poor.

 

It is a reminder of what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:19-21 ,

 

Matthew 6:19-21 – (19) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

Thou shalt have is you will have and is predictive of something which will definitely happen in the future.

 

And come and follow me implies and come and be following Me or (begin following Me). It implies come, be My disciple.

 

The rich young ruler’s reaction in verse 22 suggests that he was not a saved man.

 

His wealth was more important to him than following Jesus.

 

We also note –

            G. THE ADVICE JESUS GAVE TO THE YOUNG MAN MADE HIM SAD BECAUSE HE POSSESSED MANY THINGS – 19:22

 

Matthew 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to Jesus’ advice for the man He has been speaking with.

 

When the young man heard that saying may be understood in the sense of after the young man heard that saying.

 

The young man is the individual who has been carrying on a discussion with Jesus in verses 16-21.

 

That saying is the saying, the statement, the declaration, or the assertion Jesus made in verse 21.

 

He went away sorrowful is he went away grieved (or sad).

 

Jesus had not told him what he wanted to hear; instead, Jesus told him something he needed to hear. Jesus told him the truth.

 

For introduces the reason he was grieved and is understood in the sense of because.

 

The tense of he had great possessions indicates ongoing action in past time.

 

He had many (or extensive) possessions, but it does not indicate what these possessions were.

 

It means that he was wealthy and implies that he did not desire to sell his possessions and give to the poor.

 

We furthermore note –

            H. JESUS RELATED TO HIS DISCIPLES THAT IT IS DIFFICULT FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AS WELL AS THE KINGDOM OF GOD – 19:23-24

 

Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Then transitions to the next thought in the context after the young man left Jesus.

 

Said Jesus unto his disciples is Jesus said to His disciples.

 

What He said is, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Verily is truly.

 

I say unto you is I am saying (i.e. I am declaring or I am asserting) to you.

 

That introduces the assertion.

 

A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven is with difficulty a rich (person) will enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

The kingdom of heaven is comprised of those who make a profession of salvation.

 

This is because he is trusting in his riches to obtain whatever he desires.

 

It is difficult to get a rich person to make a profession of faith in Christ because he is trusting in his riches.

 

Although it is difficult for the person, it is not difficult for God.

 

In the next verse Jesus makes a similar statement.

 

It is interesting that Jesus speaks of the kingdom of heaven in this verse but of the kingdom of God in the next verse.

 

Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, 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.

 

And again I say unto you is and again I (i.e. Jesus) am saying (i.e. am asserting or am declaring) to you (i.e. to you disciples).

 

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle is for a camel to pass through (i.e. or to go through) an eye of a needle (i.e. of a sewing needle) is easier.

 

It is a sewing needle rather than a small gate through which a camel might gain entrance with difficulty even though some have suggested this possibility.

 

In reality for a camel to go through the eye of a needle would be impossible.

 

Than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God is than (for) a rich (person) to enter the kingdom of God.

 

The kingdom of God is composed of saved people.

 

It is impossible for a rich person to be genuinely saved by trusting in his riches.

 

It is impossible for him to purchase his salvation.

 

Next, we note that –

            I.   JESUS’ DISCIPLES WONDERED WHO IS ABLE TO BE SAVED – 19:25

 

Matthew 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

 

When his disciples heard suggests after His disciples heard.

 

His disciples refers to Jesus’ disciples, the twelve apostles.

 

Were exceedingly amazed suggests were greatly astounded, were very astonished, or were greatly shocked.

 

Saying is understood in the sense of and were saying.

 

What they were saying in response to Jesus’ statements in verses 23-24 is, Who then can be saved?, i.e. Who then is able to be saved?

 

Finally, we note that –

            J.   JESUS INDICATED THAT WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH MEN IS POSSIBLE WITH GOD – 19:26

 

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

 

But transitions to the next thought in the narrative.

 

Jesus beheld them and said unto them is understood in the sense of Jesus looked at (or gazed on) and said to them (i.e. to His disciples).

 

What He said is, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

 

Men is the generic term for human beings and includes females as well as males.

 

This refers to the possibility of a rich man being saved.

 

Is impossible means that it is not able to happen.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to this is impossible: with God all things are possible. It means that God is able to make everything happen.

CONCLUSION:

 

Have you trusted Christ as your Savior, or are you trying to earn your salvation?

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