Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;
Mt 19:1-12. Final Departure from Galilee—Divorce. ( = Mr 10:1-12; Lu 9:51).
Farewell to Galilee (Mt 19:1, 2).
1. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee—This marks a very solemn period in our Lord's public ministry. So slightly is it touched here, and in the corresponding passage of Mark (Mr 10:1), that few readers probably note it as the Redeemer's Farewell to Galilee, which however it was. See on the sublime statement of Luke (Lu 9:51), which relates to the same transition stage in the progress of our Lord's work.
and came into the coasts—or, boundaries
of Judea beyond Jordan—that is, to the further, or east side of the Jordan, into Perea, the dominions of Herod Antipas. But though one might conclude from our Evangelist that our Lord went straight from the one region to the other, we know from the other Gospels that a considerable time elapsed between the departure from the one and the arrival at the other, during which many of the most important events in our Lord's public life occurred—probably a large part of what is recorded in Lu 9:51, onward to Lu 18:15, and part of Joh 7:2-11:54.
And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.
2. And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there—Mark says further (Mr 10:1), that "as He was wont, He taught them there." What we now have on the subject of divorce is some of that teaching.
Divorce (Mt 19:3-12).
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
3. Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?—Two rival schools (as we saw on Mt 5:31) were divided on this question—a delicate one, as De Wette pertinently remarks, in the dominions of Herod Antipas.
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
4. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female—or better, perhaps, "He that made them made them from the beginning a male and a female."
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
5. And said, For this cause—to follow out this divine appointment.
shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?—Jesus here sends them back to the original constitution of man as one pair, a male and a female; to their marriage, as such, by divine appointment; and to the purpose of God, expressed by the sacred historian, that in all time one man and one woman should by marriage become one flesh—so to continue as long as both are in the flesh. This being God's constitution, let not man break it up by causeless divorces.
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
8. He saith unto them, Moses—as a civil lawgiver.
because of—or "having respect to."
the hardness of your hearts—looking to your low moral state, and your inability to endure the strictness of the original law.
suffered you to put away your wives—tolerated a relaxation of the strictness of the marriage bond—not as approving of it, but to prevent still greater evils.
But from the beginning it was not so—This is repeated, in order to impress upon His audience the temporary and purely civil character of this Mosaic relaxation.
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except, &c.—See on Mt 5:32.
His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
10. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry—that is, "In this view of marriage, surely it must prove a snare rather than a blessing, and had better be avoided altogether."
But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
11. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given—that is, "That the unmarried state is better, is a saying not for everyone, and indeed only for such as it is divinely intended for." But who are these? they would naturally ask; and this our Lord proceeds to tell them in three particulars.
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
12. For there are some eunuchs which were so born from their mother's womb—persons constitutionally either incapable of or indisposed to marriage.
and there are some eunuchs which were made eunuchs of men—persons rendered incapable by others.
and there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake—persons who, to do God's work better, deliberately choose this state. Such was Paul (1Co 7:7).
He that is able to receive it, let him receive it—"He who feels this to be his proper vocation, let him embrace it"; which, of course, is as much as to say—"he only." Thus, all are left free in this matter.
Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
Mt 19:13-15. Little Children Brought to Christ. ( = Mr 10:13-16; Lu 18:15-17).
For the exposition, see on Lu 18:15-17.
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mt 19:16-30. The Rich Young Ruler. ( = Mr 10:17-31; Lu 18:18-30).
For the exposition, see on Lu 18:18-30.
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
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,
Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
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.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
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.
When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.