Matthew 19:21-29 “Rich People in Heaven?”

Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ The Redeemer Church, Manhattan, KS, 24 Mar. 2013


19:21 Jesus informs him, “If you want to be perfect,

go on, start selling your possessions and giving to destitute men,

and you will have a treasury in heaven.

Also, here, keep following me.”

19:22 Well, after hearing the word, the young man went away grieving,

for he was holding a lot of real estate.

19:23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “I’m telling you truly

that a rich man will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, [but] it is disagreeable.

19:24 I’m telling y’all again, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle hole

than for a rich man to go into the kingdom of God.”

19:25 Now, after the disciples heard, they were utterly astounded, saying,

“Who then is able to be saved?”

19:26 And, after looking at them, Jesus said,

“According to humans, this is impossible,

but according to God, all things are possible.”

Introduction: C.T. Studd

C.T. Studd was born into a very wealthy family in England in 1860. He became a Christian at age 18. When he went to Cambridge for college, he became a famous cricket player. He was as famous as somebody like Tim Tebow would be in the United States today. Then he made a stunning announcement: He and six of his Cambridge buddies were going to quit being sports stars, pass up their fathers’ businesses, and sail to China as missionaries to work with Hudson Taylor!


During his first year in China, C.T. inherited a large amount of money, but after much prayer, he decided to give away almost all of it. Then he met Priscilla, a fellow mis­sionary to China from Ireland. Just before the wedding he presented his bride with the remaining money from his inheritance. Her response was astonishing: “Charlie, what did the Lord tell the rich young man to do?” “Sell all,” he replied. “Well then, we will start clear with the Lord at our wedding.” And they proceeded to give the rest of the money away for the Lord's work!


Later in life, C.T. was led to do pioneering missionary work in Central Africa… Although his doctor told him he wasn’t strong enough to do it, C.T. left his wife and daughters and sailed to Africa in 1910, where he served the Lord for 21 more years until his death. In one of his last letters home, C.T. wrote, “As I believe I am now nearing my departure from this world, I have but a few things to rejoice in; they are these: 1. That God called me to China and I went in spite of utmost opposition from all my loved ones. 2. That I joyfully acted as Christ told that rich young man to act. 3. That I delib­er­ately at the call of God, when alone on the Bibby liner in 1910, gave up my life for this work, which was to be henceforth not for the Sudan only, but for the whole unevangelized World…”


Two Sundays ago, I introduced Jesus’ dialogue with the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19:16 ff. He walked up to Jesus and said, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do in order that I might have eternal life?” Jesus responds with the 10 Commandments, but the ruler says, “All these things I have kept since my youth! What am I still lacking?”

·         It’s my opinion that Jesus’ disciples were watching the conversation between Jesus and the rich young ruler and thinking, “Wow, this young ruler is a really nice guy, and he has metic­ulously followed all God’s rules. If he’s not good enough to get into heaven, and if it would be easier to thread a whole camel through a pinhole, then we’re sunk!” And they’d be right.

·         The only way we can be made right with God is for God to decide to save us and send his Son to pay the penalty of death for our sin, and send the Holy Spirit to change our rebellious heart into a heart that believes and loves God, and apply the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ to our record, and draw us into fellowship with Him, not through our earning it. That’s how we can live free of guilt, free of wondering whether God is mad at us, free of fear, and free of the burden of always having to do one more good thing. A life free to love and be loved by God forever!

·         In this sermon, I want to address another issue which Jesus raised with the young ruler, and that is the very real danger that wealth can prevent us from receiving eternal life.


19:21 Jesus informs him, “If you want to be perfect, go on, start selling your possessions and giving to destitute men, and you will have a treasury in heaven. Also, here, keep following me.”

Εφη[1] αυτῷ ‘ο Ιησους Ει θελεις τελειος ειναι ‘υπαγε πωλησον σου τα ‘υπαρχοντα και δος [2] πτωχοις και ‘εξεις θησαυρον εν ουρανω[3] και δευρο[4] ακολουθει μοι.

·         I do not believe that Jesus is telling this man to take a vow of poverty:

o       Jesus does not say, “give away ALL that you have.”

o       Furthermore, Jesus does not say that he has to give away possessions for the rest of his life. Jesus uses the Aorist tense in this command to indicate either a one-time purge, or the beginning of a lifestyle of generosity. I interpret it that the young ruler doesn’t have to sell everything first before he can follow Jesus; he just needs to start. The ancient preacher Chrysostom put it this way, “Do not then seek all at once, but gently, and by little and little, ascend this ladder, that leads thee up to Heaven.”

o       Finally, Jesus is making a link between selling possessions and following Him, as though the purpose is not to become penniless, but rather to be able to be His follower.

·         The sermon Jesus delivered earlier gives the backdrop against which this conversation is framed, “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:31-34, NASB) Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Where is this young ruler’s treasure? Where is your treasure?


19:22 Well, after hearing the word, the young man went away grieving, for he was holding a lot of real estate.

Ακουσας δε ‘ο νεανισκος τον λογον απηλθεν λυπουμενος ην γαρ εχων κτηματα πολλα.

·         The rich young ruler was listening, but /thisNIV,ESV/statementNAS/sayingKJV literally “the word” which Jesus gave him was really difficult for him to accept. It made him sorrowfulKJV/ grievingNASB/sadNIV/upset.

·         Mark 10:22 tells us that the man’s “countenance fell” at this news.

·         It’s hard to tell whether he was obeying Jesus’ first command by continuing to go on his way with the intent to follow Jesus later, or whether he was balking at following Jesus and that’s why he went away. To “go away” does seem to imply the opposite of following Jesus, but Jesus’ love for the man and Jesus’ implication that the man really did want to follow Him makes me hopeful for that man’s future, however he felt at the moment of Jesus’ word to him here.

·         The Greek word here for possessions/property/wealth (ktemata) appears to refer exclusively to real estate in the Bible[5]. This guy had a lot of land holdings, but he was not eager to sell them off in order to make himself available to follow Jesus.

·         What if you were in this man’s shoes? What might Jesus identify in your life? Is there any­thing in your life that would cause you to be grieved or upset if Jesus called you to give it up? Would you be willing to give those things up in order to be a more enthusiastic follower of Jesus?


19:23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “I’m telling you truly that a rich man will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, [but] it is disagreeable.

‘Ο δε Ιησους ειπεν τοις μαθηταις αυτου Αμην λεγω ‘υμιν ‘οτι δυσκολως πλουσιος εισελευσεται εις την βασιλειαν των ουρανων

·         In Mark 10:24 Jesus adds, “Children, how hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God.”

·         Indeed, we read in 1 Tim. 6:10 that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”

·         The Greek word Jesus uses here for hard/difficult/disagreeable is duskolws, a compound of two words: dys (like dysfunctional or dislike) + colon (like your lower intestine) – it is like food that makes your tummy upset. It goes down hard. It is disagreeable; it requires adjustments that are not pleasant.

·         I think Jesus is watching that rich young ruler walk away, and His heart goes out to him, because He knows what a bitter pill He has just given that young man to swallow. I don’t think that Jesus is saying so much that it is too hard for rich people to enter the kingdom, but more that, in order for rich people to enter the kingdom, they have to embrace what is naturally disagreeable to them.

·         What is so hard/difficult/disagreeable to wealthy people about entering the kingdom of God?

o       Wealth tends to insulate us from hardship, yet enduring hardship and finding comfort in Christ (rather than in the things of this world) is the way of Christianity. That’s why Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men hate you… for the sake of the Son of Man… for behold, your reward is great in heaven… But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.” (Luke 6:22-24, NASB)

o       Wealth also tends to also provide security for the future. “I have enough in savings that if something goes wrong, I don’t have to trust God to save me; I can just with­draw the money I need to take care of it.” That’s why Paul wrote later in the Bible, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Tim. 6:17-19, NASB)

o       Riches tend to make us feel like we don’t need God. That’s why Jesus’ words to the church in Laodicea were so strong: “[Y]ou say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked!” (Rev. 3:17, NASB) “Come to me to get what you need!”

o       And riches can even make us feel that we are not accountable to God to follow His laws. “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you... It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.” (James 5:1-6, NASB)

·         But despite the ways that riches can tend to cripple our faith, it is not impossible for a rich man to be right with God:

o       Matthew uses this same word to say that Joseph of Arimethea was a “rich” man (27:57). In fact, Joseph of Arimethea is the only other man in his entire gospel whom he labels as “rich.”

o       Joseph was also a ruler – a “prominent member of the council,”

o       and since Arimethea was not far West of where Jesus was at the time, it makes me wonder if this “rich young ruler” was perhaps Joseph of Arimethea him­self, who later came to be a follower of Jesus after all, and bravely honored Christ after His crucifixion by surrendering one of his land holdings to bury Jesus in.

o       At any rate, Joseph proved that it was possible, and Luke, in his gospel account adds another “rich” man to the list, using the same word to describe Zaccheus. Jesus said that salvation came to Zaccheus’ house (Luke 19:2-9).

·         Now, the disciples were not wealthy men, so why did Jesus tell them this? Chrysostom suggested that Jesus was “instructing them not to be ashamed of their poverty...”

·         Now, I want to focus on Peter’s follow-up question in v.27


19:27 Then, in reply, Peter said to Him, “Look, we ourselves have left everything and followed You; what now will there be for us?”

Τοτε αποκριθεις ‘ο Πετρος ειπεν αυτῷ Ιδου ‘ημεις αφηκαμεν παντα και ηκολουθησαμεν σοι, τί αρα εσται ‘ημιν;

·         It is a natural principle that people will forsake/ leave/ let go of other things to hang onto what they value most. This is a good diagnostic spiritual test.

o       Peter must have thought, “Jesus just told that rich ruler that he had to sell everything and follow Jesus… Hey, we have already done that! We left our homes and possessions (Luke 18:28) – our Dad, our boats, and our nets (Matt. 4:20-22) – when Jesus called us a couple of years ago, and we’ve been following Him ever since.”

o       Can we apply this diagnostic test to ourselves? What kind of things have you dropped in your life, and what were you trying to hang onto by dropping those things? The answer to that question will reveal what is truly important to you. If you have not been letting other things go in order to prioritize Jesus and the things of God, then that indicates you have idols in your life that you have put ahead of God, and it is time to repent and re-order your life.

·         Do we earn eternal life by letting other things go? No, we’ve already seen that we can’t ever do enough to merit heaven, but when we align our life with God’s priorities, we will experience fewer of the natural consequences of sin in this life.

·         “What’s in it for us?” Is there a reward for following Jesus? The disciples must have thought, “That rich young ruler is enjoying a comfortable life, financial security, and respectability before people, even if he won’t follow Jesus. What about us who have given up our livelihoods and our financial security, who have endured the hardship of having no place to lay our heads while living on the road in this itinerant speaking ministry, and who have been hounded and reviled by religious leaders from town to town? Are we going to get any benefit out of all this?”


19:28 And Jesus said to him, “I’m telling you truly that y’all who followed me, when [things] begin again – whenever the Son of Man shall sit upon His throne of glory, even you yourselves will sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel,

‘Ο δε Ιησους ειπεν αυτοις Αμην λεγω ‘υμιν ‘οτι ‘υμεις ‘οι ακολουθησαντες μοι εν τῇ παλιγγενεσιᾳ ‘οταν καθιση ‘ο ‘υιος του ανθρωπου επι θρονου δοξης αυτου καθησεσθε και ‘υμεις επι δωδεκα θρονους κρινοντες τας δωδεκα φυλας του Ισραηλ,

·         palingenesia, the Greek word in this verse translated “regenerationKJV,NAS/renewal of all thingsNIV/ new worldESV” is a compound of two Greek words: palin, which means “again,” and ginomai, which means “become,” so the idea is to be “born again,” to “re-start,” and it is set in the indefinite future.

o       The only other occurrence of this word in the Bible is Titus 3:5-7, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (NASB) In Titus 3, “regeneration” means an action of the Holy Spirit to make us born again spiritually, cleansing us from our sins and making us right with God and able to live God’s eternal life. Could this meaning apply to Matt. 19:28?

§         Certainly Jesus has been on a throne in heaven since He ascended: Hebrews 8:1 “…we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…” 12:2 “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NASB)

§         The Holy Spirit did indeed come after that, and a new chapter in God’s salvation for the nations opened, with the 12 disciples taking very promin­ent roles of leadership in the kingdom of God. So, yes, this fits if the twelve thrones are taken figuratively and if the regeneration is taken spiritually.

§         However, the next time Matthew uses the phrase “glorious throne” it appears to refer to judgment day in the future, not to Jesus’ ascension: Matthew 25:31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.” (NASB)

§         And the next time we see multiple thrones for judgment is in the future beyond Jesus’ ascension: Revelation 3:21 “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne… 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (NASB)[6]

o       However, there is one place in the Greek Bible where the two words which compose this one Greek word are found next to each other, and that is Job 14:14 “For if a man should die, shall he live again, having accomplished the days of his life? I will wait till I exist again.” (Brenton) This presents a second possible interpretation of the regeneration in Matthew 19:28 I think it is entirely possible that Jesus is alluding to Job 14 here, which could fit with the coming of the new heavens and the new earth when Job experiences the resurrection.

§         In this case re-generation could mean a second creation[7] of the universe after the end of the world as we know it, when the elements are destroyed by fire in God’s judgment. This is spoken of in 2 Peter 3:12-13 as the “new heavens and new earth” in which only righteousness exists.

§         Another reason I think that this “regeneration” of Matt. 19 is speaking of heaven is in the parallel passage of Luke 22:28-30, where Jesus adds that not only will the disciples judge, they will also, “eat and drink at My table in My kingdom” which sounds like the wedding feast of the Lamb in Rev. 19:9.

§         In heaven, Jesus will be on the throne of glory, the throne of God which is made glorious by the praises of His people[8]. All things will be under Jesus’ feet, obeying Him without any more rebellion. Then the disciples will no longer be dusty mendicants yelling unbelieveable messages at only-partially-responsive audiences; then they will be seated as judges over all of Israel.

§         Does this mean that the disciples will be judging the unbelieving Jews at judgment day? No, that is Jesus’ role[9]:

·         In the judgment day scenario of Matt. 25, it is Jesus judging between the sheep and the goats.

·         In 2 Cor. 5:10, it says we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, not of the 12 apostles,

·         and in James 4:12, it says that there is only one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or destroy, and that of course is Jesus.

§         Are the 12 tribes mentioned here in Matt. 19 describing ethnic Jews regathered to Christ in the end time, as Romans 11 predicts, or is it describing the totality of Christians worldwide, as it does in Rom 11:26?

§         Will there be others besides the apostles who will also judge? In Rev. 4:4, it mentions 24 thrones, perhaps combining the 12 apostles with the 12 great O.T. prophets?

§         Will the twelfth apostle’s throne be occupied by Matthias or by Paul?

§         I have spent some time puzzling over these questions, and I just can’t say for sure. I suspect that this is speaking of some kind of civil government which we will experience in heaven, and I suspect that John’s description of heaven having 12 gates inscribed with the names of the tribes of Israel and 12 foundation stones inscribed with the names of the apostles may be related to this (Rev. 21:12-14)[10].

§         I’m also aware that this reign may be considered to be at different times depending on your eschatological viewpoint, but since Jesus here treats the re-creation, His session, and His followers’ reign all in one breath, I am not going to try to pull those events apart.

·         The point is that yes, the disciples will be rewarded for their radical departure from the life of this world to follow Jesus. They will receive very prominent positions of leadership. That much information should be good enough for us for now, and we learn from this that there are blessings to be found in the future when we “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow” Christ:

o       Heb. 6:10 “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” (NASB)

o       Every sacrifice we made out of genuine love and devotion to Jesus is like a love note that goes straight to Him, and He treasures these things, eternally delighting in each expression of love.


19:29 and everyone who left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields [or farm-lands] for the sake of my name, will receive a hundred times as many, and will inherit eternal life.”

και πας ‘ος αφηκεν οικιας η αδελφους η αδελφας η πατερα η μητερα η γυναικα η τεκνα η αγρους ‘ενεκεν του ονοματος μου ‘εκατονταπλασιονα ληψεται και ζωην αιωνιον κληρονομησει

·         Now Jesus answers Peter’s question of what benefits His followers will receive:

o       First Jesus mentions the temporal benefits of 100-fold increase in family members and property.

§         The NAS “many-fold” comes from the parallel account of Luke 18:30, but I think the correct word here is “hundredfold.”

§         Mark and Luke’s parallel accounts are helpful in adding that the increased return would happen “now/in this time,” and that persecution will also come along with these blessings.

§         We were just talking about this as a family around the dinner table last week. My oldest daughter said, “Even though God has called us to live so far away from our grandparents that we only get to see them maybe once a year, we actually have a whole bunch of grandparents! Here in Kansas, there’s Grandma Ford and our neighbor Grandma Treese, when we lived in Illinois, we had Grandma George, and in Colorado we had Grandma Zeller… It’s true; when I surrendered my life to obey God, it meant living far away from my parents, but God has filled in for that by giving us other friends who have been to us like extended family who have loved our kids in all the far-flung places we’ve lived! (Cf. Mt. 12:50)

§         I could say the same of houses. My involvement in vocational ministry prevented me for many years from buying a house. As a result, we’ve lived in dozens of different homes, not to mention the hundreds more houses we’ve stayed in overnight while itinerating. That didn’t necessarily make life easy, but it did make life rich for us as we experienced many different locations and cultures.

§         Furthermore, those who follow Christ are able to enjoy the temporal things God does provide for them more than the rest of the world, because Christians have peace and contentment and thankfulness which the world does not have.

o       The second benefit Jesus mentions is the spiritual gain of “eternal life.”

§         This is the kind of life which God enjoys, which comes from God, and which is found only by being united to God. It is spiritual, and it is good, and it will last forever, unlike the biological life we experience now.

§         Of course, eternal life starts in this life when we receive God’s salvation, (“The one who has the Son has the life” 1 John 5:12a, NAW), but our present life is so short compared to eternity that most of our experience of inheriting[11] eternal life will be in the age to come (Mk. 10:30, Lk. 18:30).

·         The rich young ruler wanted riches and eternal life, but thought that he would have to choose between wealth or eternal life. He thought he would be unable to have both. We are left with the impression that he chose wealth over eternal life, although the Bible doesn’t say for sure. But we who hear Jesus all the way out on this matter discover that Jesus is saying that whoever will leave whatever He calls us to leave in order to follow Him will get both abundance in this life and eternal life! What a deal!

o       We’ve already seen this idea in the beatitudes: Mat. 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, because it is they who will inherit the earth.” (NAW)

o       And we’ll see it again in the scenario of the judgment day in Matthew 25:34, “Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (NASB) Yes, the sheep on the right fed the hungry and visited the lonely and all, but their place in the kingdom which they inherited had been prepared specifically for them “from the foundation of the world,” before they had done any of those good works.

·         Note that this is true not only of the 12 disciples, but as this verse says, “Everyone who has left [these things] will receive one hundredfold … and will inherit eternal life.” The word “everyone,” however, is limited to those who “leave… for my name’s sake.”

o       Simply bringing poverty on yourself through a stupid business deal or through an attempt to appear nice to other people, or even to try to win favor with God will not reap the benefits Jesus promises here. Only what is given up “for the sake of [Jesus’] name” will reap these benefits.

o       The parallel phrase in Mark 10:29 is “for my sake and for the gospel”
and in Luke 18:29 it is, “for the kingdom of God’s sake.”


·         C.T. Studd was someone who gave up his family, his wealth, his popularity as a sports star, his health, and the comfort of living in his native country to do pioneering mission work in China and Africa. A famous saying of his goes, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” I fully expect C.T. Studd is enjoying eternal life right now!

·         If we look at life from the perspective of eternity, the things we collect and store on earth are not important, rather it is our investments in the kingdom of God which will be of eternal significance,

·         “Therefore that we may not have superfluous sorrows, let us forsake the love of money that is ever paining, and never endures to hold its peace, and let us remove ourselves to another love, which both makes us happy, and hath great facility, and let us long after the treasures above.” ~John Chrysostom

·         “This young man, who had brought both a desire to learn and modesty, withdrew from Christ, because it was hard to part with a darling vice. The same thing will happen to us, unless the sweetness of the grace of Christ render all the allurements of the flesh distasteful to us.” ~John Calvin

·         Where is your treasure?

·         Is there anything that keeps you from following Jesus fully?

·         What would grieve you if you had to give it up?

·         Please understand that I am not saying that to follow Christ you necessarily have to leave your family and liquidate your bank account and move to Africa.

o       For Jesus’ disciples, it involved a vocational choice to leave the fishing or tax-collecting industry and become an itinerant preacher.

o       As I look at my notes from when I did quiet times on this passage 25 years ago, I applied it to myself regarding music. I added up that I had spent $1,500 of 1980’s dollars on stereo components and music albums and realized that music had become idolatrous in my life and that I needed to give it to God. I’ve been much more sparing since that time with what I spend on music, but God has filled my life with a houseful of musicians when I gave up that idol, and now my problem is getting away from all the music in my house when I need peace and quiet to prepare sermons!

o       For other people it may mean some other choice, be it financial or vocational, or a relationship that needs to be given over to the Lord; it will be different for each of us…

o       If, however, you have never felt called by God to give up something for His greater glory, you might want to check your spiritual pulse – or check your hearing. Have you indeed surrendered yourself to Jesus as Lord, and are you listening to the guidance of His spirit to direct you?

·         Fight the ways that wealth tends to pull you away from God by:

o       enduring hardship and finding comfort in Christ rather than in luxuries, and looking forward to heaven,

o       fixing our “hope” on God rather than on “the uncertainty of riches,”

o       seeking to “be rich in good works and generous” (1 Tim. 6:17-19)

o       expressing our dependency upon God

o       and treating our inferiors kindly and obeying God as one who will hold us accountable for everything we do (James 5:1-6).

·         So, “No general direction about the disposal of riches, then, is here given, save that we are to sit loose to them and lay them at the feet of Him who gave them. He who does this with all he has, whether rich or poor, is a true heir of the kingdom of heaven.” ~JFB

[1] A few manuscripts (B, Θ, and f13) read the synonym legei. No difference in meaning, and not included in standard editions of the GNT.

[2] Later critical editions follow a few manuscripts (B, D, Θ) by inserting a definite article here.

[3] On the basis of four early manuscripts (B, C, D, Γ), Critical editions read plural here, but I don’t think this change from the traditional Greek text is warranted.

[4] The Greek Bible uses this adverb for “here” often as a command without a verb, as in “come here.”

[5] Following is a list of all its occurrences in the Bible: Job 20:29; 27:13; Proverbs 12:27; 23:10; 31:16; Hosea 2:15; Joel 1:11; Matthew 19:22; Mark 10:22; Acts 2:45; 5:1.

[6] CF. 2 Tim 2:12. However, there are multiple thrones mentioned back in Psalm 122:1-9 “…there are set thrones for judgment, even thrones for the house of David...” (Brenton), which seem to refer to David’s kingly successors.

John Calvin wrote, “And though the kingdom of Christ is, in some respects, manifested by the preaching of the Gospel, there is no doubt that Christ here speaks of the last day… But I rather explain regeneration as referring to the first coming of Christ; for then the world began to be renewed, and arose out of the darkness of death into the light of life.” While acknowledging that Jesus’ session began at his ascension, Vincent and A.T. Robertson saw the regeneration as the “final restitution/consumation of the kingdom/all things,” and Hendricksen as “the new heavens and the new earth.”

[7] as the second half of this word is used in Gen. 2:4

[8] Revelation 4:9 “And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever… 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’” (NASB)

[9] Chrysostom appears to support this position when he wrote, “But what is, “Judging the twelve tribes of Israel?” This is, “condemning them.” For they are not surely to sit as judges, but like as He said the Queen of the South should condemn that generation, and the Ninevites shall condemn them (Mt. 12:41-42), so now these also.” I would contend that the Queen and the Ninevites were merely testifying, not sitting on thrones judging, and Chrysostom appears to retract his position a few paragraphs later, “For neither do the thrones signify a sitting (in judgment), for He alone is the one that shall sit and judge, but honor and glory unspeakable did He intimate by the thrones.” Cf. Calvin, who noted that sitting on 12 thrones indicated, “councilors and judges, who occupy the highest seats in the royal council.”

JFB: “Ye who have now adhered to Me shall, in the new kingdom, rule, or give law to, the great Christian world, here set forth in Jewish dress as the twelve tribes, presided over by the twelve apostles on so many judicial thrones. In this sense certainly the promise has been illustriously fulfilled. But if the promise refers to the yet future glory (as may be thought from Luke 22:28-30, and as most take it), it points to the highest personal distinction of the first founders of the Christian Church.”

[10] “[J]udging [is] probably in the sense of reigning over, being resplendent above (cf. Dan. 12:3, Matt. 20:21, Rev. 3:21)” ~Wm. Hendricksen

[11] “They shall inherit them, in the present context implying that a. they are freely given to them, not earned by them; b. the gift is based upon justice: they were earned for them and are therefore theirs by right; and c. they are theirs forever.” ~Wm. Hendricksen