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Matthew 19 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Jesus Teaches About Divorce

19 After Jesus ·said all these things [L finished these words; see 7:28], he left Galilee and went into the ·area [region] of Judea ·on the other side of [beyond] the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

Some Pharisees came to Jesus ·and tried to trick [to trap/test] him. They asked, “Is it ·right [lawful; C according to the law of Moses] for a man to divorce his wife for any reason he chooses?”

Jesus answered, “·Surely you have [L Haven’t you…?] read in the Scriptures: ·When God made the world, ‘he [L From the beginning, the Creator] made them male and female’ [Gen. 1:27; 5:2]. And God said, ‘So a man will leave his father and mother and be ·united with [joined to] his wife, and the two will become ·one body [as though they were one person; T one flesh; Gen. 2:24].’ So they are no longer two, but one. God has joined the two together, so no one should separate them.”

The Pharisees asked, “Why then did Moses give a command for a man to divorce his wife by giving her ·divorce papers [a certificate of divorce/dismissal; Deut. 24:1]?”

Jesus answered, “Moses ·allowed [permitted] you to divorce your wives because ·you refused to accept God’s teaching [L of your hard-heartedness], but ·divorce was not allowed in the beginning [or this was not God’s intention at creation; L from the beginning it was not like this]. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman ·is guilty of [commits] adultery.[a] ·The only reason for a man to divorce his wife is if his wife has sexual relations with another man [L  …except in the case of sexual immorality].”

10 The ·followers [disciples] said to him, “If that is the ·only reason a man can divorce his wife [situation/case between a husband and wife], it is better not to marry.”

11 Jesus answered, “Not everyone can accept this ·teaching [word], but ·God has made some able to accept it [or only those given this gift of celibacy; L only to those whom it has been given]. 12 ·There are different reasons why some men cannot marry [L For…]. Some men were born ·without the ability to become fathers [L as eunuchs]. Others were made ·that way later in life [L eunuchs] by other people [C males would sometimes be castrated as punishment, or to serve in harems]. And some men have ·given up marriage because [L made themselves eunuchs for the sake] of the kingdom of heaven [C through abstinence, not necessarily castration]. ·But the person who can marry should accept this teaching about marriage [or The person who can accept this teaching about not marrying should accept it].”

Jesus Welcomes Children

13 Then the people brought their little children to Jesus so he could ·put [lay] his hands on them [C an act of blessing] and pray for them. [L But] His ·followers [disciples] ·told them to stop [scolded/rebuked them], 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t ·stop [hinder] them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people who are like these children [C meaning humble and dependent].” 15 After Jesus ·put [lay] his hands on the children [C a sign of blessing; Mark 10:16], he left there.

A Rich Young Man’s Question

16 [At that time; L And look/T behold] A man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what ·good thing [good deed; L good] must I do to have ·life forever [eternal life]?”

17 Jesus answered, “Why do you ask me about what is good? Only ·God [L one] is good. But if you want to ·have life forever [have eternal life; L enter life], ·obey [keep] the ·commands [commandments].”

18 The man asked, “Which commands?”

Jesus answered, “‘You must not murder anyone; you must not ·be guilty of [commit] adultery; you must not steal; you must not ·tell lies about your neighbor [testify falsely; T bear false witness]; 19 honor your father and mother [Ex. 20:12–16; Deut. 5:16–20]; and love your neighbor as you love yourself [Lev. 19:18].’”

20 The young man said, “I have ·obeyed [kept carefully; guarded] all these things. What ·else do I need to do [L do I still lack]?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be ·perfect [complete], then go and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.”

22 But when the young man heard this, he left ·sorrowfully [grieving], because he ·was rich [had many possessions].

23 Then Jesus said to his ·followers [disciples], “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 ·Yes [L Again], I tell you that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God [C meaning it is impossible, by human effort; see v. 26].”

25 When Jesus’ ·followers [disciples] heard this, they were ·very surprised [astonished] and asked, “Then who can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “·For people [Humanly speaking,] this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

27 Peter said to Jesus, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. So what will we ·have [get]?”

28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, ·when the age to come has arrived [at the renewal of the world; L in the regeneration], the Son of Man [Dan. 7:13–14] will sit on his ·great [glorious] throne. All of you who followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And all those who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother,[b] children, or ·farms [fields] ·to follow me [L for my name’s sake] will ·get much more than they left [L receive a hundred times as much], and they will ·have life forever [L inherit eternal life]. 30 [L But] Many who are first now will be last in the future. And many who are last now will be first in the future.


  1. Matthew 19:9 adultery Some Greek copies continue, “And anyone who marries a divorced woman is guilty of adultery.” Compare Matthew 5:32.
  2. Matthew 19:29 mother Some Greek copies continue, “or wife.”
Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.


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