Reading Matthew 17 thru 19: It is loaded! From chapter 17, we have rounded that corner first turned in chapter 16. Jesus is openly telling His disciples of #5, the 2 elements of the Gospel; His death and resurrection. We see this in verses 9 thru 12, but most clearly in verses 22 and 23.
Things really pick up with chapter 18. There’s so much in just the first 9 verses! The issue is seen in verse 1, and that is #10, the Kingdom. Jesus says in verse 3 that this will require a change, which is #8, the New Birth. This comes about by the #6, humbling oneself in repentance. Further, He relates the #6, repentance just spoken of in verse 4, with #7, believing on Him in verse 5, and how that causing a believer to #2, sin, will result in #3, judgment in verse 6. Not content to say it once, Jesus says it again, in verse 7, that causing people to #2, sin will beget #3, severe judgment. Verses 8 and 9 further strengthens His argument, and continues to make the case. Twice Jesus says, in so many words right here, #6, repent, or #3, be thrown into the eternal fire of hell!
We then come to a mother lode, which is chapter 19. We want to sit on verses 16 thru 29 for the remainder. First, at issue again is #10, Kingdom. But note all that is associated with it. From verse 16, we are speaking of eternal life. Verse 21 says this is also heaven. Verses 23 and 24 equate eternal life v.16, and heaven v.21, with the twin expressions, kingdom of heaven v.23, and the kingdom of God v.24. And just so we are not mistaken, entrance into all of this has been grasped by His disciples, as they ask Jesus in verse 25, “Who then can be saved?” This can be equated with #8, the New Birth, and from verse 26, we learn of the supernatural origin and divine nature of God’s salvation by the New Birth.
And, for all that, we still are not done! Not only have we been told that it is all of #10, entrance into the Kingdom, and that it has everything to do with #8, the New Birth, given by God. We are also told that this has everything to do with #1, righteousness, when Jesus relates the mention of #10, eternal life and entrance into the Kingdom, with #1, righteousness, or the perfection of which He speaks, in verse 21! With this, we come full circle. In order to enter #10, the Kingdom, one must possess #1, the perfection of righteousness! This is only attained by means of the salvation v.25, of #8, the New Birth, which can only come from God v.26. Jesus closes the passage by again relating it all to the eternal life to be experienced and enjoyed in#10, the Kingdom, with verse 29. But, note also this one last thing: Jesus stated when all of this would come to its entire fruition! The #10, Kingdom will come to this earth, and begin to be fully realized by all those who have #8, saved by means of the New Birth, and will then experience #1, that righteousness with which they have been given by God, when He returns to sit on his glorious throne at the renewal of all things… Or, at His the Return of His Second Coming, v.28! We will be perfect at last, in the Kingdom! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell