When Jesus had finished these discourses, He removed from galilee and came into that part of judaea which lay beyond the Jordan.
And a vast multitude followed him, and He cured them there.
Then came some of the pharisees to Him to put Him to the proof by the question, “Has a man a right to divorce his wife whenever he chooses?”
“Have you not read,” He replied, “that He who made them <`made them’> from the beginning <`male and female,
and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall be one’?>
Thus they are no longer two, but `one’! What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
“Why then,” said they, “did Moses command the husband to give her `a written notice of divorce,’ and so put her away?”
“Moses,” He replied, “in consideration of the hardness of your nature permitted you to put away your wives, but it has not been so from the beginning.
And I tell you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except her unfaithfulness, and marries another woman, commits adultery.”
“If this is the case with a man in relation to his wife,” said the disciples to Him, “it is better not to marry.”
“It is not every man,” He replied, “who can receive this teaching, but only those on whom the grace has been bestowed.
There are men who from their birth have been disabled from marriage, others who have been so disabled by men, and others who have disabled themselves for the sake of the Kingdom of the Heavens. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”
Then young children were brought to Him for Him to put His hands on them and pray; but the disciples interfered.
Jesus however said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for it is to those who are childlike that the Kingdom of the heavens belongs.”
So He laid His hands upon them and went away.
“Teacher,” said one man, coming up to Him, “what that is good shall I do in order to win the life of the Ages?”
“Why do you ask me,” He replied, “about what is good? There is only One who is truly good. But if you desire to enter into Life, keep the Commandments.”
“Which Commandments?” he asked. Jesus answered, <“`Thou shalt not kill;’ `Thou shalt not commit adultery;’ `Thou shalt not steal;’ `Thou shalt not lie in giving evidence;’
`Honour thy father and thy mother’; and `Thou shalt love thy fellow man as much as thyself.’”>
“All of these,” said the young man, “I have carefully kept. What do I still lack?”
“If you desire to be perfect,” replied Jesus, “go and sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have wealth in Heaven; and come, follow me.”
On hearing those words the young man went away much cast down; for he had much property.
So Jesus said to His disciples, “I solemnly tell you that it is with difficulty that a rich man will enter the Kingdom of the Heavens.
Yes, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”
These words utterly amazed the disciples, and they asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With men this is impossible, but with God everything is possible.”
Then Peter said to Jesus, “See, *we* have forsaken everything and followed you; what then will be *our* reward?”
“I solemnly tell you,” replied Jesus, “that in the New Creation, when the Son of Man has taken His seat on His glorious throne, all of you who have followed me shall also sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
And whoever has forsaken houses, or brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children or lands, for my sake, shall receive many times as much and shall have as his inheritance the Life of the Ages.
“But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first.