0 Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18-19)

Episode 243: Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven

Matthew 18-19

Who is the greatest?

18 1 The disciples came up to Jesus and asked him, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

2 Jesus called a little child to him, and said,

Unless you convert and become like a little child, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 And whoever receives such a little child in my name receives me.

6 But whoever offends a little one who believe in me would be better to have a millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in the sea.

Cut off your hand and pluck out your eye (if they offend you)

8 If your hand or foot offend you, cut them off. It’s better to enter life maimed than be cast into everlasting fire with two hands or two feet.

9 And if your eye offends you, pluck it out. It’s better to enter life with one eye than be cast into everlasting fire with two eyes.

The lost sheep

11 The Son of man has come to save the lost.

12 If a man has 100 sheep and one goes astray, doesn't he leave the 99 and go find the one that has gone astray?

13 And if he finds it, he rejoices more for that sheep than for the 99 that didn't go astray.

14 Likewise, it isn't the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

What to do with someone who trespasses against you

15 If your brother does something wrong to you, go tell him to his face. If he hears you, you have gained a brother.

16 But if he won't hear you, then take one or two others, so that there will be two or three witnesses.

17 If he won't hear them, tell it to the church. If he won't listen to the church, treat him like a heathen or publican.

Special powers given to believers

18 Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven. And whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.

19 If two of you agree to ask for something, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

20 Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them.

How many times must we forgive? (490)

21 Peter said to Jesus,

Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother for sinning against me? Seven times?

22 Jesus answered, "Not seven times, but seventy times seven."

The parable of the cruel master

23 The kingdom of heaven is like a king who was taking account of his servants.

24 One of his servants owed him 10,000 talents.

25 Since he couldn't pay, the king sold him, his wife, his children, and all that he owned as payment.

26 The servant fell down and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, have patience with me, and I'll pay you all that I owe."

27 His master had mercy on him, set him free, and forgave his debt.

28 Then the servant found a fellow servant who owed him one hundred pence, and grabbed him by the throat, saying, "Pay me what you owe me."

29 And his fellow servant fell down at his feet and said, "Have patience with me and I will pay you all that I owe you."

30 But he threw him into prison until he paid the debt.

31 When his fellow servants saw what he did, they came and told their lord.

32 The lord called him and said, "You wicked servant! I forgave you all your debt because you asked me.

33 Shouldn't you have compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?"

34 And his lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he paid all that he owed.

35 My heavenly Father will do the same to you, if you don't forgive your brother his trespasses.


19 1 When Jesus finished talking, he left Galilee and went to Judea beyond the Jordan.

3 The Pharisees came to Jesus and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?"

8 Jesus said,

9 Whoever divorces his wife (unless it is for fornication) and marries another, commits adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

10 Jesus's disciples said to him, "If that's true, no one should get married."

11 Jesus said, "Not everyone can accept this teaching. Only those to whom it is given."

Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven

12 Some are born eunuchs. Some are made eunuchs by others. And some make themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. Whoever can do this, should do it.

The Church Historian Eusebius claimed that Origen castrated himself after reading Matthew 19:12.

Little children

13 Then some little children were brought to Jesus, so that he could put his hands on them and pray. The disciples told the children to go away.

14 But Jesus said,

Let the little children come to me, for such is the kingdom of heaven.

And he laid his hands on them, and then went away.

The rich young man

16 Someone came to Jesus and asked him, "Good master, what good thing should I do to have eternal life?"

17 Jesus answered,

Why do you call me good? No one is good except God.

But if you want to live, keep the commandments.

18-19 He asked Jesus, "Which?"

Jesus said,

Don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't lie, honor your parents, and love your neighbor as yourself.

20 The young man said,

I've obeyed these commandments all of my life. What am I missing?

21 Jesus said,

If you'd like to be perfect, go sell all that you have and give it to the poor.

You'll have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.

22 When the young man heard that, he went away sorrowful, because he had great possessions.

23 Jesus said to his disciples,

It's hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

24 In fact, 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.

25 When his disciples heard it, they were amazed, and said, "Then who can be saved?"

26 Jesus looked at them, and said,

With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Abandon your family for Jesus (and you'll get 100x more and live forever)

27 Peter said, "We have given up everything to follow you. What will we get for that?"

28 Jesus said,

When the Son of man sits on his throne of glory, you’ll sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29 And everyone who gives up his home, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, or lands for my name's sake, will get a hundred times as much, and will have eternal life.

30 But the first will be last, and the last will be first.

A few more words about this episode

Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. (18:9)
Is divorce ever permissible?
It is not good to marry. (18:10)
After Jesus denounces divorce, his disciples say that if divorce isn't allowed, then "it is good not to marry."

Tell it to the church. (18:17)
There was no church when Jesus supposedly said these words.
Jesus agrees by saying that it is better to make yourself a eunuch "for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."

Is marriage a good thing?

Jesus lists the "ten commandments," but his list has only six, and the sixth is not one of the ten. The commandments given by Jesus are secular, not religious, in nature.
When the Son of man sits on his throne of glory, you’ll sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (19:28)
I wonder which tribe Judas is judging.
One of his servants owed him 10,000 talents. (18:24)
A talent was a unit of money, worth about 20 years of a worker's wages. So 10,000 talents would represent an unimaginable amount of money.
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