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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 19 - Verse 30

Verse 30. This verse should have been connected with the following chapter. The parable there spoken is expressly to illustrate this sentiment. See its meaning, Mt 20:16.

{v} "But many that" Mt 20:16; 21:31,32; Mr 10:31; Lu 13:30; Ga 5:7

 

Heb 4:1

 

REMARKS ON MATTHEW CHAPTER 19

(1.) We should not throw ourselves unnecessarily in the way of the enemies of religion, Mt 19:1. Jesus, to avoid the Samaritans, crossed the Jordan, and took a more distant route to Jerusalem. If duty calls us in the way of the enemies of religion, we should go. If we can do them good, we should go. If our presence will only provoke them to anger and bitterness, then we should turn aside. Comp. See Barnes "Mt 10:23".

 

(2.) Men will seek every occasion to ensnare Christians, Mt 19:3. Questions will be proposed with great art, and with an appearance of sincerity, only for the purpose of leading them into difficulty. Cunning men know well how to propose such questions, and triumph much when they have perplexed believers. This is often the boast of men of some standing, who think they accomplish the great purposes of their existence, if they can confound other men; and think it signal triumph if they can make others as miserable as themselves.

(3.) We should not refuse to answer such persons with mildness, when the Bible has settled the question, Mt 19:4-6. Jesus answered a captious question, proposed on purpose to ensnare him. We may often do much to confound the enemies of religion, and to recommend it, when without passion we hear their inquiries, and deliberately inform them that the question has been settled by God. We had better however, far better, say nothing in reply, than to answer in anger, or to show that we are irritated, All the object of the enemy is gained, if he can make us mad.

(4.) Men will search and pervert the Bible for authority to indulge their sins, and to perplex Christians, Mt 19:7. No device is more common than to produce a passage of Scripture, known to be misquoted or perverted, yet plausible, for the purpose of perplexing Christians. In such cases, the best way is often to say nothing. If unanswered, men will be ashamed of it; if answered, they gain their point, and are ready for debate and abuse.

(5.) We learn from this chapter that there is no union so intimate as the marriage connexion, Mt 19:6. Nothing is so tender and endearing as this union appointed by God for the welfare of man.

(6.) This union should not be entered into slightly or rashly. It involves all the happiness of this life, and much of that to come. The union demands,

(1.) congeniality of feeling and disposition;

(2.) of rank or standing in life;

(3.) of temper;

(4.) similarity of acquirements;

(5.) of age;

(6.) of talent;

(7.) intimate acquaintance. It should also be a union on religious feelings and opinions:

 

(1.) Because religion is more important than anything else.

 

(2.) Because it will give more happiness in the married life than

anything else.

 

(3.) Because where one only is pious, there is danger that religion

will be obscured and blighted.

 

(4.) Because no prospect is so painful as that of eternal separation.

 

(5.) Because it is heathenish, brutal, and mad, to partake the gifts

of God in a family, and offer no thanksgiving; and inexpressibly wicked

to live from day to day as if there were no God, no heaven, no hell.

 

(6.) Because death is near, and nothing will soothe the pangs of

parting but the hope of meeting in the resurrection of the just.

(7.) No human legislature has a right to declare divorces, except in one single case, Mt 19:9. If they do, they are accessaries to the crime that may follow, and presume to legislate where God has legislated before them.

(8.) Those thus divorced, or pretended to be divorced, and marrying again, are, by the declaration of Jesus Christ, living in adultery, Mt 19:9. It is no excuse to say that the law of the land divorced them. The law had no such right. If all the legislatures of the world were to say that it was lawful for a man to steal, and commit murder, it would not make it so; and in spite of human permission, God would hold a man answerable for theft and murder. So also of adultery.

(9.) The marriage union demands kindness and love, Mt 19:6. Husband and wife are one, Love to each other is love to a second self. Hatred, and anger, and quarrels, are against ourselves. And the evils and quarrels in married life will descend on ourselves, and be gall and wormwood in our own cup.

(10.) Infants may be brought to Jesus to receive his blessing, Mt 19:13-15. While on earth, Jesus admitted them to his presence, and blessed them with his prayers. If they might be brought then, they may be brought now. Their souls are as precious; their dangers are as great; their salvation is as important. A parent should require the most indubitable evidence that Jesus will not receive his offspring, and will be displeased if the offering is made, to deter him from this inestimable privilege.

(11.) If children may be brought, they should be brought. It is the solemn duty of a parent to seize upon all possible means of benefiting his children, and of presenting them to God, to implore his blessing. In family prayer, and in the sanctuary, the ordinance of baptism, the blessing of the Redeemer should be sought early and constantly on their precious and immortal souls.

(12.) Earnestness and deep anxiety are proper in seeking salvation, Mt 19:16. The young man came running; he kneeled. It was not form and ceremony; it was life and reality. Religion is a great subject. Salvation is beyond the power of utterance in importance. Eternity is near; and damnation thunders along the path of the guilty. The sinner must be saved soon, or die for ever. He cannot be too earnest. He cannot press with too great haste to Jesus. He should come running, and kneeling, and humbled, and lifting the agonizing cry, "What shall I do to be saved ?"

(13.) He should come young, Mt 19:20. He cannot come too young. God has the first claim on our affections. He made us; he keeps us; he provides for us; and it is right that we should give our first affections to him. No one who has become a Christian ever yet felt that he had become one too young. No young person that given his heart to the Redeemer ever yet regretted it. They may give up the gay world to do it; they may leave the circles of the dance and the song; they may be exposed to contempt and persecution, but no matter. He who becomes a true Christian, no matter of what age or rank, blesses God that he was inclined to do it, and the time never can come when for one moment he will regret it. Why, then, will not the young give their hearts to the Saviour, and do that which they know they never can for one moment regret?

(14.) It is no dishonour for those who hold offices, and who are men of rank, to inquire on the subject of religion, Lu 18:18. Men of rank often suppose that it is only the weak, and credulous, and ignorant, that ever feel any anxiety about religion. Never was a greater mistake. It has been only profligate, and weak, and ignorant men, that have been thoughtless. Two-thirds of all the profound investigations of the world have been on this very subject. The wisest and best of the heathens have devoted their lives to inquire about God, and their own destiny. So in Christian lands. Were Bacon, Newton, Locke, Milton, Hale, and Boerhaave men of weak minds? Yet their deepest thoughts and most anxious inquiries were on this very subject. So in our own land. Were Washington, Ames, Henry, Jay, and Rush men of weak minds? Yet they were profound believers in revelation. And yet young men of rank, and wealth, and learning, often think they show great independence in refusing to think of what occupied the profound attention of these men, and fancy they are great only by refusing to tread in their steps. Never was a greater or more foolish mistake. If anything demands attention, it is surely the inquiry whether we are to be happy for ever, or wretched; whether there is a God and Saviour; or whether we are "in a forsaken and fatherless world."

(15.) It is as important for the rich to seek religion as the poor. They will as certainly die; they as much need religion. Without it, they cannot be happy, Riches will drive away no pain on a death-bed; they will not go with us; they will not save us.

(16.) It is of special importance that wealthy young persons should be Christians. They are exposed to many dangers. The world—the gay and flattering world—will lead them astray. Fond of fashion, dress, and amusement, they are exposed to a thousand follies, from which nothing but religion can secure them. Besides, they may do much good; and God will hold them answerable for all the good they might have done with their wealth.

(17.) The amiable, the lovely, the moral, need also an interest in Christ. If amiable, we should suppose they would be ready to embrace the Saviour. None was ever so moral, so lovely, so pure, as he. If we really loved amiableness, then we should come to him. We should love him. But alas! how many amiable young persons turn away from him, and refuse to follow him! Can they be really lovers of that which is pure and lovely? If so, then why turn away from the Lamb of God ?

(18.) The amiable and the lovely need a better righteousness than their own. With all this, they may make an idol of the world; they may be proud, sensual, selfish, prayerless, and thoughtless about dying. Externally they appear lovely; but oh, how far is the heart from God!

(19.) Inquirers about religion depend on their own works, Mt 19:16 They are not willing to trust to Jesus for salvation; and they ask what they shall do. This is always the case. And it is only when they find that they can do nothing—that they are poor, and helpless, and wretched—that they cast themselves on the mercy of God, and find peace.

(20.) Compliments and flattering titles are evil, Mt 19:17. They ascribe something to others which we know they do not possess. Often beauty is praised, where we know there is no beauty; accomplishment where there is no accomplishment; talent, where there is no talent. Such praises are falsehood. We know them to be such. We intend to deceive by them; and we know that they will produce pride and vanity. Often they are used for the purpose of destruction. If a man praises us too much, we should look to our purse, or our virtue. We should feel that we are in danger, and the next thing will be a dreadful blow, the heavier for all this flattery. They that use compliments much, expect them from others; are galled and vexed when they are not obtained, and are in danger when they are.

(21.) If we are to be saved, we must do just what God commands us, Mt 19:17,18. This is all we have to do. We are not to invent anything of our own. God has marked out the course, and we must follow it.

(22.) We are easily deceived about keeping the law, Mt 19:17. We often think we observe it, when it is only the outward form that we have kept. The law is spiritual; and God requires the heart.

(23.) Riches are a blessing, if used aright; if not, they are deceitful, dangerous, ruinous, Mt 19:23,24. Thousands have lost their souls by the love of riches. None have ever been saved by them.

(24.) It is our duty to forsake all for Christ, Mt 19:27-29. Be it little or much, it is all the same to him. It is the heart that he looks at; and we may as well show our love by giving up a fishing. boat and net, as by a palace or a crown. If done in either case, it will be accepted.

(25.) Religion has its own rewards, Mt 19:28,29. It gives more than it takes. It more than compensates for all that we surrender. It gives peace, joy, comfort in trial and in death, and heaven beyond. This is the testimony of all Christians of all denominations; of all that have lived, and of all that do live, that they never knew true peace till they found it in the gospel. The testimony of so many must be true. They have tried the world in all its forms of gaiety, folly, and vice, and they come and say with one voice, here only is true peace. On any other subject they would be believed. Their testimony here must be true.

(26.) Those eminent for usefulness here, will be received to distinguished honours and rewards in heaven, Mt 19:28. They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as stars in the firmament for ever, Da 12:3.

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