Jesus’ Teaching about Divorce
1Getting up, He left there (Capernaum) and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; and crowds gathered around Him again and accompanied Him, and as was His custom, He once more began to teach them.
2Pharisees came to Jesus to test Him [intending to trick Him into saying something wrong], and asked Him, “Is it lawful [according to Scripture] for a man to divorce his wife and send her away?” 3He replied to them, “What did Moses command you?” 4They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of hearts [your callousness and insensitivity toward your wives and the provision of God] he wrote you this precept. 6But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. 7For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother [to establish a home with his wife], 8and the two shall become one flesh; so that they are no longer two, but [are united as] one flesh. 9Therefore, what God has united and joined together, man must not separate [by divorce].”
10In the house the disciples began questioning Him again about this. 11And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; 12and if a woman divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13People were bringing children to Him so that He would touch and bless them, but the disciples reprimanded them and discouraged them [from coming]. 14But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and He said to them, “Allow the children to come to Me; do not forbid them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16And He took the children [one by one] in His arms and blessed them [with kind, encouraging words], placing His hands on them.
The Rich Young Ruler
17As He was leaving on His journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, “Good Teacher [You who are essentially good and morally perfect], what shall I do to inherit eternal life [that is, eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?” 18Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is [essentially] good [by nature] except God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not testify falsely, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20And he replied to Him, “Teacher, I have [carefully] kept all these [commandments] since my youth.” 21Looking at him, Jesus felt a love (high regard, compassion) for him, and He said to him, “You lack one thing: go and sell all your property and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” 22But the man was saddened at Jesus’ words, and he left grieving, because he owned much property and had many possessions [which he treasured more than his relationship with God].
23Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who are wealthy [and cling to possessions and status as security] to enter the kingdom of God!” 24The disciples were amazed and bewildered by His words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is [for those who place their hope and confidence in riches] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man [who places his faith in wealth or status] to enter the kingdom of God.” 26They were completely and utterly astonished, and said to Him, “Then who can be saved [from the wrath of God]?” 27Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
28Peter started saying to Him, “Look, we have given up everything and followed You [becoming Your disciples and accepting You as Teacher and Lord].” 29Jesus said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there is no one who has given up a house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30who will not receive a hundred times as much now in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms—along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”
Jesus’ Sufferings Foretold
32Now they were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they were perplexed [at what Jesus had said], and those who were following were alarmed and afraid. And again He took the twelve [disciples] aside and began telling them what was going to happen to Him, 33saying, “Listen very carefully: we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed and handed over to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and hand Him over to the Gentiles (Romans). 34They will mock and ridicule Him and spit on Him, and whip (scourge) Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise [from the dead].”
35James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.” 36And He replied to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37They said to Him, “Grant that we may sit [with You], one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory [Your majesty and splendor in Your kingdom].” 38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism [of suffering and death] with which I am baptized?” 39And they replied to Him, “We are able.” Jesus told them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. 40But to sit on My right or left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared [by My Father].”
41Hearing this, the [other] ten became indignant with James and John. 42Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their powerful men exercise authority over them [tyrannizing them]. 43But this is not how it is among you; instead, whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first and most important among you must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
46Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting beside the road [as was his custom]. 47When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and say, “Jesus, Son of David (Messiah), have mercy on me!” 48Many sternly rebuked him, telling him to keep still and be quiet; but he kept on shouting out all the more, “Son of David (Messiah), have mercy on me!” 49Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, telling him, “Take courage, get up! He is calling for you.” 50Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51And Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni (my Master), let me regain my sight.” 52Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith [and confident trust in My power] has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Jesus on the road.