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Jesus Crosses the Jordan

(Chapter 19, verses 1-2)

 

     (1) After Jesus finished speaking he left Galilee and came to the plains of Judea across the Jordan River. (2) But he was not alone. Great crowds followed him, and he miraculously healed them.

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Jesus Debates Divorce

(Chapter 19, verses 3-9)

 

     (3) The Pharisees now approached Jesus with the express purpose of testing him, asking: "Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?" (4) Jesus replied: "Absolutely not! Didn't you read in the Law of Moses that in the beginning when God created male and female (5) He said, ‘This is why a man will leave the care of his father and mother, and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh'? (6) They're not two anymore. They've become one flesh. Therefore, what God has bonded together, let no man disassemble." (7) To this they responded: "Well then, why did Moses command that she be given divorce papers and sent on her way if her husband determined that she behaved indecently?" (8) Jesus answered: "Moses only did that as a compromise. Both he and God knew you were stubborn, so you were permitted to divorce your wives for virtually anything, but that wasn't how God originally arranged it. (9) I'm telling you now, though, that whoever divorces his wife for any reason other than sexual infidelity and marries another woman commits adultery."

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Jesus Encourages Singleness

--for Those Able

 (Chapter 19, verses 10-12)

 

     (10) The disciples responded: "If a man is displeased with his wife and can't easily divorce her, then it's better not to married in the first place." (11) He said: "Every man can't do what you're saying. Singleness simply isn't an option for them; it's only for those who possess the gift. (12) There are three reasons why some men don't marry: [1] some are involuntarily predisposed to singleness from birth, [2] other men compel certain men not to marry, and [3] still others choose singleness so as to devote more time to heavenly kingdom interests. For the man who can--for the sake of the kingdom--make room in his life for singleness, let him do so.

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Jesus Reprimands Disciples

for Restricting Children

(Chapter 19, verses 13-15)

 

     (13) Then little boys and girls were brought to him with the understanding that he'd lay his hands upon them and offer prayer. But his disciples weren't having it. (14) However, Jesus said: "Leave those children alone, and quit trying to stop them from coming to me, for the kingdom of the heavens belongs to people with the innocence such as is possessed by these children."  (15) And he proceeded to lay his hands upon them, embracing them, and then he left.

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Jesus Discusses Difficulty of

Rich Entering Kingdom

(Chapter 19, verses 16-26)

 

     (16) Why look at that! A person approached him and asked: "Teacher, what good works must I perform to live forever?" (17) "Why do you ask me about what's ‘good' when it's beyond you to perform? There is only One that's actually ‘good.' But, if you want to live forever, live by the commandments continually." (18) He responded: "Can you be more specific? Which ones?" Jesus said: "Which ones? The most popular ones: You mustn't murder, You mustn't commit adultery, You mustn't steal, You mustn't lie, (19) Honor your father and mother, and, You must love your neighbor in the same way as you love yourself." (20) The young man said to him: "I've done all of these. Am I missing something?" (21) Jesus said to him: "Yes, you are. If you want to be complete in your worship of God-not missing a thing-go sell what you have and distribute the proceeds to the poor, and you'll have heavenly riches. Then, come be my follower." (22) When the young man heard Jesus' answer he went away crestfallen, for he had many riches. (23) Consequently, Jesus said to his disciples: "You can rest assured that it'll be tough for a rich man to gain entrance into the kingdom of the heavens. (24) Let me put it to you another way, It's easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God.

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     (25) When the disciples heard this they were very surprised, asking: "If this rich young man who keeps the Law can't be saved, then who can?" (26) Staring them straight in their eyes, Jesus said: "With any man-rich or poor-it would be an impossible feat to get saved; but God makes salvation possible for anyone."  

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Jesus Discusses Sacrifices and

Rewards of Discipleship

(Chapter 19, verses 27-30)

 

     (27) Peter spoke up and said: "Well, look at our situation! We did exactly what you told the rich guy to do. We gave up everything to follow you; so, what heavenly treasures await us?" (28) Jesus said: "Here's my twofold guarantee to each of you: [1] In the heavenly re-creation when I, the Kingly Son of Man, sit on my glorious throng, each of you who have followed me will sit on twelve judicial thrones to judge all who initially start out in God's favor as did the original twelve tribes of Israel when they left Egypt. (29) [2] And everyone that has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or inherited properties for the kingdom cause that I champion, will get multiple blessings, and will inherit everlasting life.

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     (30) "But many that are first will be last, and the last first."

To Matthew Chapter 20