1tn Grk “it happened when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

2tn “River” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity. The region referred to here is sometimes known as Transjordan (i.e., “across the Jordan”).

3tn Grk “And Pharisees.”

sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.

4tc ‡ Most mss have either ἀνθρώπῳ (anqrwpw, “for a man” [so א2 C D W Θ 087 1,13 33 ¤ latt]) or ἀνδρί (andri, “for a husband” [1424c pc]) before the infinitive ἀπολῦσαι (apolusai, “to divorce”). The latter reading is an assimilation to the parallel in Mark; the former reading may have been motivated by the clarification needed (especially to give the following αὐτοῦ [autou, “his”] an antecedent). But a few significant mss (א* B L Γ 579 [700] 1424* pc) have neither noun. As the harder reading, it seems to best explain the rise of the others. NA27, however, reads ἀνθρώπῳ here.

5sn The question of the Pharisees was anything but sincere; they were asking it to test him. Jesus was now in the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas (i.e., Judea and beyond the Jordan) and it is likely that the Pharisees were hoping he might answer the question of divorce in a way similar to John the Baptist and so suffer the same fate as John, i.e., death at the hands of Herod (cf. 14:1-12). Jesus answered the question not on the basis of rabbinic custom and the debate over Deut 24:1, but rather from the account of creation and God’s original design.

6sn A quotation from Gen 1:27; 5:2.

7sn A quotation from Gen 2:24.

8tc ‡ Although the majority of witnesses (B C W 078 087 13 33 ¤ syp,h) have αὐτήν (authn, “her”) after the infinitive ἀπολῦσαι (apolusai, “to divorce”), a variant lacks the αὐτήν. This shorter reading may be due to assimilation to the Markan parallel, but since it is attested in early and diverse witnesses (א D L Z Θ 1 579 700 pc lat) and since the parallel verse (Mark 10:4) already departs at many points, the shorter reading seems more likely to be original. The pronoun has been included in the translation, however, for clarity. NA27 includes the word in brackets, indicating reservations regarding its authenticity.

sn A quotation from Deut 24:1. The Pharisees were all in agreement that the OT permitted a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce his wife (not vice-versa) and that remarriage was therefore sanctioned. But the two rabbinic schools of Shammai and Hillel differed on the grounds for divorce. Shammai was much stricter than Hillel and permitted divorce only in the case of sexual immorality. Hillel permitted divorce for almost any reason (cf. the Mishnah, m. Gittin 9.10).

9tc A few important mss (א Φ pc) have the name “Jesus” here, but it is probably not original. Nevertheless, this translation routinely specifies the referents of pronouns to improve clarity, so that has been done here.

tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10tn Grk “heart” (a collective singular).

11tc ‡ Some significant witnesses, along with the majority of later mss (25 C D L W Z 078 1,13 33 ¤ lat sy samss bo), read αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”) after μαθηταί (maqhtai, “disciples”), but this looks to be a clarifying reading. Other early and important witnesses lack the pronoun (71vid א B Θ e ff1 g1 sams mae), the reading adopted here. NA27 includes the pronoun in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

12tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

13tn Grk “from the womb of the mother” (an idiom).

14tn The verb εὐνουχίζω occurs twice in this verse, translated the first time as “made eunuchs” and the second time as “became eunuchs.” The term literally refers to castration. The second occurrence of the word in this verse is most likely figurative, though, referring to those who willingly maintain a life of celibacy for the furtherance of the kingdom (see W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, Matthew [ICC], 3:23).

15tn Grk “people.”

16tn Grk “so that he would lay his hands on them and pray.”

17tn Grk “the disciples scolded them.” In the translation the referent has been specified as “those who brought them,” since otherwise the statement could be understood to mean that the disciples scolded the children rather than their parents who brought them.

18sn The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Children are a picture of those whose simple trust illustrates what faith is all about. The remark illustrates how everyone is important to God, even those whom others regard as insignificant.

19tn Grk “went from there.”

20tn Grk “And behold one came.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1). Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

21sn A quotation from Exod 20:12-16; Deut 5:16-20.

22sn A quotation from Lev 19:18.

23tn Grk “kept.” The implication of this verb is that the man has obeyed the commandments without fail, so the adverb “wholeheartedly” has been added to the translation to bring out this nuance.

24tn Grk “these things.” The referent of the pronoun (the laws mentioned by Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn While the rich man was probably being sincere when he insisted I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws, he had confined his righteousness to external obedience. The rich man’s response to Jesus’ command – to give away all he had – revealed that internally he loved money more than God.

25tn The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

26sn The call for sacrifice comes with a promise of eternal reward: You will have treasure in heaven. Jesus’ call is a test to see how responsive the man is to God’s direction through him. Will he walk the path God’s agent calls him to walk? For a rich person who got it right, see Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10.

27tn Grk “he had many possessions.” This term (κτῆμα, kthma) is often used for land as a possession.

28tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

29tn Grk “I say to you.”

30tc A few late witnesses (579 1424 pc) read κάμιλον (kamilon, “rope”) for κάμηλον (kamhlon, “camel”), either through accidental misreading of the text or intentionally so as to soften Jesus’ words.

31sn The eye of a needle refers to a sewing needle. (The gate in Jerusalem known as “The Needle’s Eye” was built during the middle ages and was not in existence in Jesus’ day.) Jesus was saying rhetorically that it is impossible for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom, unless God (v. 26) intervenes.

32tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

33sn The assumption is that the rich are blessed, so if they risk exclusion, who is left to be saved?

34tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

35tn The plural Greek term ἄνθρωποις (anqrwpois) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women (cf. NASB 1995 update, “people”). Because of the contrast here between mere mortals and God (“impossible for men, but for God all things are possible”) the phrase “mere humans” has been used in the translation. There may also be a slight wordplay with “the Son of Man” in v. 28.

36tn Grk “Then answering, Peter said.” This construction is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified in the translation.

37sn Peter wants reassurance that the disciples’ response and sacrifice have been noticed.

38tn Grk “We have left everything and followed you.” Koine Greek often used paratactic structure when hypotactic was implied.

39tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

40tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

41sn The Greek term translated the age when all things are renewed (παλιγγενεσία, palingenesia) is understood as a reference to the Messianic age, the time when all things are renewed and restored (cf. Rev 21:5).

42sn The statement you…will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel looks at the future authority the Twelve will have when Jesus returns. They will share in Israel’s judgment.

43sn Jesus reassures his disciples with a promise that (1) much benefit in this life (a hundred times as much) and (2) eternal life will be given.