christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

matthew 19, of such is the kingdom of heaven

Read Matthew 19 at Bible Gateway.

This chapter forms a chiastic structure with smaller structures within it:

Mat 19:1-30
1a) Mat 19:1-2, Great multitudes followed Him;
1b) Mat 19:3-12, Marriage and the kingdom;
1) Mat 19:3-9, Jesus’ hard teaching on marriage;
2) Mat 19:10, Who then can marry?;
3) Mat 19:11-12, Those to whom it is given can accept it;
central axis) Mat 19:13-15, Jesus blesses the little children;
2b) Mat 19:16-26, Riches and the kingdom;
1) Mat 19:16-24, Jesus’ hard teaching on riches;
2) Mat 19:25, Who then can be saved?;
3) Mat 19:26, With God it is possible (those to whom it is given can accept it);
2a) Mat 19:27-30, His disciples who have followed Him.

The central axis states:

Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. Mat 19:13-15

Isn’t this interesting. On the front side of this central axis, the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus in questions over the Law and what it means to keep the Law concerning marriage and divorce. On the back side of this central axis, a rich young ruler is asking Jesus what laws to keep to enter into life. In the middle of the questions of the Law, and the keeping of the Law, is Jesus’ statement, Of little children is the kingdom of heaven.

The little children were not trying to trap Jesus. They were not nit picking over points of Law. They were not even concerned whether they would enter life or not. They just wanted to be with Jesus!

This does not mean that the Law is of no value — those who walk in God’s ways, as He has revealed to men in Torah, receive blessing in this life — but let us be converted and become as little children, for of such is the kingdom of heaven!

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