Soon on His feet once more, He enters the district of Judaea and crosses the Jordan: again the people flock to Him, and ere long, as was usual with Him, He was teaching them once more.
Presently a party of Pharisees come to Him with the question--seeking to entrap Him, 'May a man divorce his wife?'
'What rule did Moses lay down for you?' He answered.
'Moses,' they said, 'permitted a man to draw up a written notice of divorce, and to send his wife away.'
'It was in consideration of your stubborn hearts,' said Jesus, 'that Moses enacted this law for you;
but from the beginning of the creation the rule was, 'Male and female did God make them.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cling to his wife,
and the two shall be one'; so that they are two no longer, but 'one.'
What, therefore, God has joined together let not man separate.'
Indoors the disciples began questioning Jesus again on the same subject.
He replied, 'Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman, commits adultery against the first wife;
and if a woman puts away her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.'
One day people were bringing young children to Jesus for Him to touch them, but the disciples interfered.
Jesus, however, on seeing this, was moved to indignation, and said to them, 'Let the little children come to me: do not hinder them; for to those who are childlike the Kingdom of God belongs.
In solemn truth I tell you that no one who does not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will by any possibility enter it.'
Then He took them in His arms and blessed them lovingly, one by one, laying His hands upon them.
As He went out to resume His journey, there came a man running up to Him, who knelt at His feet and asked, 'Good Rabbi, what am I to do in order to inherit the Life of the Ages?'
'Why do you call me good?' asked Jesus in reply; 'there is no one truly good except One--that is, God.
You know the Commandments--'Do not murder;' 'Do not commit adultery;' 'Do not steal;' 'Do not lie in giving evidence;' 'Do not defraud;' 'Honour thy father and thy mother.''
'Rabbi,' he replied, 'all these Commandments I have carefully obeyed from my youth.'
Then Jesus looked at him and loved him, and said, 'One thing is lacking in you: go, sell all you possess and give the proceeds to the poor, and you shall have riches in Heaven; and come and be a follower of mine.'
At these words his brow darkened, and he went away sad; for he was possessed of great wealth.
Then looking round on His disciples Jesus said, 'With how hard a struggle will the possessors of riches enter the Kingdom of God!'
The disciples were amazed at His words. Jesus, however, said again, 'Children, how hard a struggle is it for those who trust in riches to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.'
They were astonished beyond measure, and said to one another, 'Who then *can* be saved?'
Jesus looking on them said, 'With men it is impossible, but not with God; for everything is possible with God.'
'Remember,' said Peter to Him, 'that we forsook everything and have become your followers.'
'In solemn truth I tell you,' replied Jesus, 'that there is no one who has forsaken house or brothers or sisters, or mother or father, or children or lands, for my sake and for the sake of the Good News,
but will receive a hundred times as much now in this present life--houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, lands--and persecution with them--and in the coming age the Life of the Ages.
But many who are now first will be last, and the last, first.'
They were still on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were full of wonder, and some, though they followed, did so with fear. Then, once more calling to Him the Twelve, He began to tell them what was about to happen to Him.
'See,' He said, 'we are going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the High Priests and the Scribes. They will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles;
they will insult Him in cruel sport, spit on Him, scourge Him, and put Him to death; but on the third day He will rise to life again.'
Then James and John, the sons of Zabdi, came up to Him and said, 'Rabbi, we wish you would grant us whatever request we make of you.'
'What would you have me do for you?' He asked.
'Allow us,' they replied, 'to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left hand, in your glory.'
'You know not,' said He, 'what you are asking. Are you able to drink out of the cup from which I am to drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am to be baptized?'
'We are able,' they replied. 'Out of the cup,' said Jesus, 'from which I am to drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I am to be baptized you shall be baptized;
but as to sitting at my right hand or at my left, that is not mine to give: it will be for those for whom it is reserved.'
The other ten, hearing of it, were at first highly indignant with James and John.
Jesus, however, called them to Him and said to them, 'You are aware how those who are deemed rulers among the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men make them feel their authority;
but it is not to be so among you. No, whoever desires to be great among you must be your servant;
and whoever desires to be first among you must be the bondservant of all.
For the Son of Man also did not come to be waited upon, but to wait on others, and to give His life as the redemption-price for a multitude of people.'
They came to Jericho; and as He was leaving that town--Himself and His disciples and a great crowd--Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the way-side.
Hearing that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, 'Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.'
Many angrily told him to leave off shouting; but he only cried out all the louder, 'Son of David, have pity on me.'
Then Jesus stood still. 'Call him,' He said. So they called the blind man. 'Cheer up,' they said; 'rise, he is calling you.'
The man flung away his outer garment, sprang to his feet, and came to Jesus.
'What shall I do for you?' said Jesus. 'Rabboni,' replied the blind man, 'let me recover my sight.'
'Go,' said Jesus, 'your faith has cured you.' Instantly he regained his sight, and followed Him along the road.