Matthew 22

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

1 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables:
2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son.
3 He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn't want to come.
4 Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, 'Tell those who are invited: Look, I've prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet. '
5 "But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business.
6 And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them.
7 The king [a] was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city.
8 "Then he told his slaves, 'The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
9 Therefore, go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.'
10 So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. [b]
11 But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding.
12 So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.
13 "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him up hand and foot, [c] and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen."

God and Caesar

15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to trap Him by what He said.[d]
16 They sent their disciples to Him, with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know that You are truthful and teach truthfully the way of God. You defer to no one, for You don't show partiality.[e]
17 Tell us, therefore, what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
18 But perceiving their malice, Jesus said, "Why are you testing Me, hypocrites?
19 Show Me the coin used for the tax." So they brought Him a denarius.
20 "Whose image and inscription is this?" He asked them.
21 "Caesar's," they said to Him. Then He said to them, "Therefore, give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left Him and went away.

The Sadducees and the Resurrection

23 The same day some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up to Him and questioned Him:
24 "Teacher, Moses said, if a man dies, having no children, his brother is to marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. [f]
25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first got married and died. Having no offspring, he left his wife to his brother.
26 The same happened to the second also, and the third, and so to all seven.[g]
27 Then last of all the woman died.
28 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had married her."[h]
29 Jesus answered them, "You are deceived, because you don't know the Scriptures or the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like [i] angels in heaven.
31 Now concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven't you read what was spoken to you by God:
32 I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob ? [j] He [k] is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
33 And when the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

The Primary Commandments

34 When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together in the same place.
35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him:
36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"[l]
37 He said to him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. [m]
38 This is the greatest and most important [n] commandment.
39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. [o]
40 All the Law and the Prophets depend [p] on these two commandments."

The Question about the Messiah

41 While the Pharisees were together, Jesus questioned them,
42 "What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?" "David's," they told Him.
43 He asked them, "How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, [q] calls Him 'Lord':
44 The Lord declared to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet' ? [r] [s]
45 "If David calls Him 'Lord,' how then can the Messiah be his Son?"
46 No one was able to answer Him at all,[t] and from that day no one dared to question Him any more.

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Matthew 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

The parable of the marriage feast. (1-14) The Pharisees question Jesus as to the tribute. (15-22) The question of the Sadducees as to the resurrection. (23-33) The substance of the commandments. (34-40) Jesus questions the Pharisees. (41-46)

Verses 1-14 The provision made for perishing souls in the gospel, is represented by a royal feast made by a king, with eastern liberality, on the marriage of his son. Our merciful God has not only provided food, but a royal feast, for the perishing souls of his rebellious creatures. There is enough and to spare, of every thing that can add to our present comfort and everlasting happiness, in the salvation of his Son Jesus Christ. The guests first invited were the Jews. When the prophets of the Old Testament prevailed not, nor John the Baptist, nor Christ himself, who told them the kingdom of God was at hand, the apostles and ministers of the gospel were sent, after Christ's resurrection, to tell them it was come, and to persuade them to accept the offer. The reason why sinners come not to Christ and salvation by him, is, not because they cannot, but because they will not. Making light of Christ, and of the great salvation wrought out by him, is the damning sin of the world. They were careless. Multitudes perish for ever through mere carelessness, who show no direct aversion, but are careless as to their souls. Also the business and profit of worldly employments hinder many in closing with the Saviour. Both farmers and merchants must be diligent; but whatever we have of the world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it come between us and Christ. The utter ruin coming upon the Jewish church and nation, is here represented. Persecution of Christ's faithful ministers fills up the measure of guilt of any people. The offer of Christ and salvation to the Gentiles was not expected; it was such a surprise as it would be to wayfaring men, to be invited to a royal wedding-feast. The design of the gospel is to gather souls to Christ; all the children of God scattered abroad, Joh. 10:16 Joh. 11:52 . The case of hypocrites is represented by the guest that had not on a wedding-garment. It concerns all to prepare for the scrutiny; and those, and those only, who put on the Lord Jesus, who have a Christian temper of mind, who live by faith in Christ, and to whom he is all in all, have the wedding-garment. The imputed righteousness of Christ, and the sanctification of the Spirit, are both alike necessary. No man has the wedding-garment by nature, or can form it for himself. The day is coming, when hypocrites will be called to account for all their presumptuous intruding into gospel ordinances, and usurpation of gospel privileges. Take him away. Those that walk unworthy of Christianity, forfeit all the happiness they presumptuously claimed. Our Saviour here passes out of the parable into that which it teaches. Hypocrites go by the light of the gospel itself down to utter darkness. Many are called to the wedding-feast, that is, to salvation, but few have the wedding-garment, the righteousness of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit. Then let us examine ourselves whether we are in the faith, and seek to be approved by the King.

Verses 15-22 The Pharisees sent their disciples with the Herodians, a party among the Jews, who were for full subjection to the Roman emperor. Though opposed to each other, they joined against Christ. What they said of Christ was right; whether they knew it or not, blessed be God we know it. Jesus Christ was a faithful Teacher, and a bold reprover. Christ saw their wickedness. Whatever mask the hypocrite puts on, our Lord Jesus sees through it. Christ did not interpose as a judge in matters of this nature, for his kingdom is not of this world, but he enjoins peaceable subjection to the powers that be. His adversaries were reproved, and his disciples were taught that the Christian religion is no enemy to civil government. Christ is, and will be, the wonder, not only of his friends, but of his enemies. They admire his wisdom, but will not be guided by it; his power, but will not submit to it.

Verses 23-33 The doctrines of Christ displeased the infidel Sadducees, as well as the Pharisees and Herodians. He carried the great truths of the resurrection and a future state, further than they had yet been reveled. There is no arguing from the state of things in this world, as to what will take place hereafter. Let truth be set in a clear light, and it appears in full strength. Having thus silenced them, our Lord proceeded to show the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection from the books of Moses. God declared to Moses that he was the God of the patriarchs, who had died long before; this shows that they were then in a state of being, capable of enjoying his favour, and proves that the doctrine of the resurrection is clearly taught in the Old Testament as well as in the New. But this doctrine was kept for a more full revelation, after the resurrection of Christ, who was the first-fruits of them that slept. All errors arise from not knowing the Scriptures and the power of God. In this world death takes away one after another, and so ends all earthly hopes, joys, sorrows, and connexions. How wretched are those who look for nothing better beyond the grave!

Verses 34-40 An interpreter of the law asked our Lord a question, to try, not so much his knowledge, as his judgment. The love of God is the first and great commandment, and the sum of all the commands of the first table. Our love of God must be sincere, not in word and tongue only. All our love is too little to bestow upon him, therefore all the powers of the soul must be engaged for him, and carried out toward him. To love our neighbour as ourselves, is the second great commandment. There is a self-love which is corrupt, and the root of the greatest sins, and it must be put off and mortified; but there is a self-love which is the rule of the greatest duty: we must have a due concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies. And we must love our neighbour as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves; in many cases we must deny ourselves for the good of others. By these two commandments let our hearts be formed as by a mould.

Verses 41-46 When Christ baffled his enemies, he asked what thoughts they had of the promised Messiah? How he could be the Son of David and yet his Lord? He quotes ( Psalms 110:1 ) . If the Christ was to be a mere man, who would not exist till many ages after David's death, how could his forefather call him Lord? The Pharisees could not answer it. Nor can any solve the difficulty except he allows the Messiah to be the Son of God, and David's Lord equally with the Father. He took upon him human nature, and so became God manifested in the flesh; in this sense he is the Son of man and the Son of David. It behoves us above all things seriously to inquire, "What think we of Christ?" Is he altogether glorious in our eyes, and precious to our hearts? May Christ be our joy, our confidence, our all. May we daily be made more like to him, and more devoted to his service.

Footnotes 20

Matthew 22 Commentaries