19 When Jesus finished saying these things, he left Galilee. He went into the area of Judea on the other side of the Jordan River. 2Large crowds followed him. He healed them there.
3Some Pharisees came to put him to the test. They asked, “Does the Law allow a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?”
4Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read that in the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’? (Genesis 1:27) 5He said, ‘That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two will become one.’ (Genesis 2:24) 6They are no longer two, but one. So a man must not separate what God has joined together.”
7They asked, “Then why did Moses command that a man can give his wife a letter of divorce and send her away?”
8Jesus replied, “Moses let you divorce your wives because you were stubborn. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9Here is what I tell you. Anyone who divorces his wife and gets married to another woman commits adultery. A man may divorce his wife only if she has not been faithful to him.”
10The disciples said to him, “If that’s the way it is between a husband and wife, it is better not to get married.”
11Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept the idea of staying single. Only those who have been helped to live without getting married can accept it. 12Some men are not able to have children because they were born that way. Some have been made that way by other people. Others have made themselves that way in order to serve the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept living that way should do it.”
Little Children Are Brought to Jesus
13Some people brought little children to Jesus. They wanted him to place his hands on the children and pray for them. But the disciples told the people to stop.
14Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t keep them away. The kingdom of heaven belongs to people like them.” 15Jesus placed his hands on them. Then he went on from there.
16A man came up to Jesus. He asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to receive eternal life?”
17“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter the kingdom, obey the commandments.”
18“Which ones?” the man asked.
Jesus said, “ ‘Do not commit murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false witness. 19Honor your father and mother.’ (Exodus 20:12–16; Deuteronomy 5:16–20) And ‘love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ” (Leviticus 19:18)
20“I have obeyed all those commandments,” the young man said. “What else do I need to do?”
21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have. Give the money to those who are poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.”
22When the young man heard this, he went away sad. He was very rich.
23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “What I’m about to tell you is true. It is hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is hard for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. But it is even harder for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.”
25When the disciples heard this, they were really amazed. They asked, “Then who can be saved?”
26Jesus looked at them and said, “With man, that is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.”
27Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What reward will be given to us?”
28“What I’m about to tell you is true,” Jesus said to them. “When all things are made new, the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne. Then you who have followed me will also sit on 12 thrones. You will judge the 12 tribes of Israel. 29Everyone who has left houses or families or fields because of me will receive 100 times as much. They will also receive eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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