Matthew 19:10 The disciples said to him, ?If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.? 11 Jesus replied, ?Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.?.
1. This statement about becoming eunuchs — renouncing sex and living an ascetic lifestyle — “because of the kingdom of heaven” needs to be set alongside the pearl of great price and the treasure buried in the field. In other words, what this saying tells us is that the kingdom is so valuable some choose to renounce life’s normal pleasures and relations.
2. It is hard to know if the kingdom is present or future here; since it isn’t clear, we should probably avoid thinking we can know.
3. The kingdom, impending or present, impinges so much on one’s life that one directs all of one’s passions toward it.
4. Asceticism is a choice; a desirable choice according to Jesus in Matthew 19:12 end.