I have meditated on Matthew 19:12 (of the eunuchs). And I doubt whether I will find myself a wife or, like the Apostle Paul, I willstay single.
Tell me, what do you think of this New Testament passage and what can you suggest to me? (Efim)
Answered by Messianic teacher Dmitry Y .:
What do I think? I think it is worth starting not with Matthew 19, 12, but a little earlier to understand what it is all about.
Matthew 19: 3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” NKJV
Apparently, the question posed is similar to a question that was once asked in another Scripture: Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3: 1b)NKJV
The questioners knew for sure that “not just for any reason”. They teased Yeshua. They received an answer:
But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for [b]sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Russian Bible)
The form of the answer is already striking – “but I tel lto you”. The same form that sounded in Sermon on the Mount – “But I tell you.” Yeshua is enacting a new, perfect law, a law of love and freedom, and the moral requirements of this new law are far higher than the requirements of the law communicated to the people through Moses on Mount Sinai.
And what was said struck not only the Pharisees but also the disciples.
10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man withhis wife, it is better not to marry.” NKJV
The first conclusion that came to their minds was “well, if such requirements exist, teacher, that if this marriage is a one-way ticket, one attempt for life, and we realize that the attempt may not be successful, it may be better not to try at all, otherwise if it suddenly fails then you suffer for a lifetime, such a prospect… No thank you, it is better not to get married. “
11 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but onlythose to whom it has been given:
Yeshua says that not everyone understands the word.
And He continued His explanation. But He did not explain to them the responsibilities of marriage, but perhaps explained to them what they said:
12 For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”
The disciples said, “It is better not to marry.” He answers – there are three categories of people who do not marry: the first, who are actually born without the need to marry; the other is that people have made them so that they do not need it; but there are others who choose to voluntarily not to marry and it is not because they fear responsibility, but because they made such a decision on behalf of the kingdom of heaven.
So you have no obligation to marry, but not for a reason, as the disciples said, but for a different reason, for the sake of the kingdom. And then He warns again, “who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”
So that’s a complicated answer.
Paul later wrote about it. Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 7:
7 For I would that all men were like me; but each has his own gift from God, one in one way, the other in another.
8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, It is good for them to remain as I am.
But if that doesn’t work, there’s nothing to worry about.
28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh,and I feel sorry for you.
In other words, it is allowed if you choose so, Paul says, “I am sorry for you, but if you do not know otherwise, then of course marry and you will not sin.”
36 But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his[virgin, if she is past the flower of youth, and thus it must be, let him do what he wishes. He does not sin; let them marry.
This means that there is a freedom of choice, marriage is not forbidden.
This idea was groundbreaking for the religious environment of the time — that it was better not to marry but to dedicate one’s life to the Kingdom of God. The Jews complied with the commandment to “be fruitful and multiply,” and the absence of children in marriage was certainly not a sign of blessing.
And when Yeshua said that there was a category of people who could choose celibacy on behalf of the kingdom, not everyone could grasp the idea.
Paul explained the same idea to the Corinthians.
So this option is better – as the Apostle Paul said, if you have is such a call. But if that doesn’t work, the Apostle Paul is sorry for you :)