Jesus Verse by Verse

an expanded commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

Jesus Verse by Verse...

This material is emailed regularly, section by section, each week, as part of a 52 Week study scheme which provides spiritual food for the year. Sign up to receive the weekly material here


19:5,6 Often partners don’t psychologically ‘leave’ their parents, and only when this is done can they cleave to their partner. As they try to do this, so God will confirm them in ‘joining’ them. Partners are glued together [Gk.] by God in His own way- often through life circumstances overruled by Him. Adultery is therefore so wrong. It’s a fighting against God’s work in a couples’ life.
19:8 God makes concessions to human weakness. He knows the mind of those He has created. He sets an ideal standard but is willing to accept a lower achievement from us in practice. But this is no reason to abuse this. If we love God we will try to live life on the higher levels rather than be minimalists.
19:11 There are different levels. Some people can live on a higher level than others spiritually, especially in this area of marriage and human relationships. We must bear this in mind when forming opinions about those in the church who fail in these areas.
19:17 Jesus is at pains to show that He is not God Himself. The man wanted to know what he could do to be perfect. Jesus was perfect; but even then, His standing with God was only what it was by God’s grace.
19:20 The young man said he had kept the commandments from his youth. That’s youthful arrogance! But Jesus loved him (Mk. 10:21) rather than condemning his obvious arrogance and self-contradiction.
19:21 This was a specific command to the young man; it’s not a global command to all Christians to sell literally all they have. The example of converts in the later New Testament shows that they didn’t do this. “The poor” are often poor because of their own bad decisions. But Jesus says that we should still be generous to them with all that we have, rather than blaming them for having got themselves into the hole they have. If a person’s in a hole, however they got there, they still need our help out of it. Just as God does to us.
19:24 The needle gate was the small gate in a city wall through which only people could walk. For a camel to pass through it, it had to kneel down and have all its baggage unloaded- and even then it could only just squeeze through. We must shed our wealth and humble ourselves if we are to enter the Kingdom.
19:25 The disciples held the common but wrong idea that wealthy people were wealthy because God had blessed them. Jesus here totally deconstructs the ‘prosperity Gospel’.