Matthew 19:1-26

Mark J. CongrovePastor, Bethel Baptist church

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Begin forwarded message:

From: Mark Congrove <mcongrove>
Date: September 26, 2012, 10:12:55 AM EDT
To: mcongrove
Subject: Matthew 19:1-26
Reply-To: Mark Congrove <mcongrove>

From Evernote:

Matthew 19:1-26

Getting Started:

Welcome back. Thanks to John Brush for filling in for me. Our study involves the development of key men in the future Gospel ministry and the formation of Christ’s Church.

The theme:

The blessings of Self Sacrifice or the burdens of legalistic self-denial

Questions to ponder:

  1. Which is the better goal?
  2. Which is the better teacher?
  3. Which is the better tool for building leadership?

The progress through

What does the passage say?
What does the passage mean?
What does the passage offer ?

What does the passage say?

As Jesus enters a final stage of his ministry and life, he returns to the area of Perea, a region known for its radicalized thinking and looser grasp on theology

This area of his return is overflowing in meaning for John and Jesus: John 10:41.

This the place of beginnings for a ministry and mission yet unfolding.

The text: Matthew 19 and the work of Jesus with both Pharisee and people like us become the basis for the question: and the issues if abstinence from marriage and wealth become the teaching props for the master.

Note the disciples’ reply to both questions:

  • Maybe it’s easier to abstain from marriage?
  • Maybe being wealthy makes it impossible to be saved

To be sure, both ideas crept into the (norm) of the Catholic Church early as demonstrations of a “higher level” of spiritual attainment.

Note Jesus’ response:

What does the passage mean?

An entire order if monastic denial sprang up in the church over a correct understanding of the correct place of “stuff” in our lives

What is The Lord really trying to teach the disciples?
Legalistic abstinence from family and possessions is no guarantee of identity and greatness in the kingdom but may in fact speak to the real priorities in the believer for the things of God. Simply adhering to a series of set rules is easier and eliminates the need to think but does not build character and strengthen calling.

Abraham may be the model here. What was his life like? How did he approach possessions and family?

(See also Luke 17:7ff)

What the passage offers:

From A.B. Bruce:

… These hard sayings uttered by Jesus in Peraea… To fix the attention of the disciples and all on that difficulty. He spoke so strongly, that men compasses by the cares of family and the comforts of wealth might duly lay to heart their danger, and, conscious of their own helplessness, might seek grace from God, to do that which, though difficult, is not impossible…while married to be as unmarked, caring for the things of The Lord; and while rich, to be humble in mind, free in spirit, and devoted in heart to the service of Christ. (261)

Going Further: Matthew 19:27-30.
So what do you think if Peter’s response to Jesus?


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