the borders of Judea across the Jordan: This apparently refers to Perea, a region on the E side of the Jordan River, and especially the parts of Perea bordering on Judea. Jesus left Galilee and only returned there after his resurrection.—See App. A7, Map 5.
stick to: The Greek verb used here literally means “to glue; to join (bind) closely together; to cling to.” Here it is used figuratively to describe the bond that is to unite man and wife as if with glue.
one flesh: This expression is a literal rendering into Greek of the Hebrew term at Ge 2:24 and could also be rendered “one body” or “one person.” It describes the closest bond possible between two humans. It not only refers to sexual relations but extends to the whole relationship, making the two individuals faithful and inseparable companions. Such a union cannot be broken up without damage to the partners bound by it.
certificate of dismissal: Or “certificate of divorce.” By requiring a man who was considering divorce to prepare a legal document and likely to consult the elders, the Law gave him time to reconsider such a serious decision. The intent of the Law was evidently to prevent rash divorces and to provide women with a measure of legal protection. (De 24:1) But in Jesus’ day, religious leaders had made divorce easy to obtain. The first-century historian Josephus, himself a divorced Pharisee, suggested that divorce was allowable “for any cause whatsoever (and many such causes happen among men).”—See study note on Mt 5:31.
whoever divorces his wife: See study note on Mr 10:12.
adultery: See Glossary.
eunuchs: In a literal sense, castrated men. In this verse, the term is used in both a literal and a figurative sense.—See Glossary, “Eunuch.”
have made themselves eunuchs: Or “have chosen to live as eunuchs.” Here “eunuchs” does not refer to males who have physically castrated themselves or have been emasculated. Instead, these voluntarily remain in a state of singleness.—See Glossary, “Eunuch.”
One there is who is good: Or “There is only one who is good,” that is, God. Jesus here recognized Jehovah as the ultimate standard of what is good. God has expressed and defined what is good by means of his Word, the Bible.—Mr 10:18; Lu 18:19.
neighbor: See study note on Mt 22:39.
Jesus said to him: Jesus saw how earnest the young man was and, according to Mr 10:21, “felt love for him.” So possibly realizing that the man would need to cultivate a greater degree of self-sacrifice in order to become a disciple, Jesus told him: sell your belongings and give to the poor. Unlike Peter and others who said that they had left everything to follow Jesus, this young man could not part with his possessions to become a disciple.—Mt 4:20, 22; Lu 18:23, 28.
perfect: The Greek term used here can mean “complete” or “faultless” according to standards set by an authority. (See study note on Mt 5:48.) In this context, material possessions were preventing this man from being perfect, or complete, in his service to God.—Lu 8:14.
Truly: See study note on Mt 5:18.
easier for a camel to get through a needle’s eye: Jesus is using hyperbole to illustrate a point. Just as a literal camel cannot go through the eye of an actual sewing needle, it is impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom if he continues to put his riches ahead of his relationship with Jehovah. Jesus did not mean that no wealthy person would inherit the Kingdom, for he went on to say: “With God all things are possible.”—Mt 19:26.
re-creation: Or “regeneration; renewal.” The Greek word pa·lin·ge·ne·siʹa is composed of elements that mean “again; anew; once more” and “birth; origin.” The ancient Jewish writer Philo used the term with reference to the renewal of the world after the Flood; Jewish historian Josephus used it regarding the reestablishment of Israel after the exile. Here in Matthew’s account, it refers to the time when the rule of Christ and his corulers will bring to the earth a renewal of the perfect conditions enjoyed by the first humans before they sinned.
Son of man: See study note on Mt 8:20.
judging: This harmonizes with other verses that indicate that Christ’s corulers will share with him in judgment. (1Co 6:2; Re 20:4) The combination of ruling and judging is in harmony with Biblical usage, which at times uses the term “judge” with the more general meaning of “ruling over” or “governing.”—Jg 2:18; 10:2; Ob 21.
inherit: See study note on Mt 25:34.