Matthew 22

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The Parable of the Wedding Feast

1 And again Jesus 1spoke to them in parables, saying,
2 2"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave 3a wedding feast for his son,
3 and 4sent his servants[a] to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.
4 5Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my 6dinner, 7my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.'
5 But 8they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,
6 while the rest seized his servants, 9treated them shamefully, and 10killed them.
7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and 11destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not 12worthy.
9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.'
10 And those servants went out into the roads and 13gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there 14a man who had no wedding garment.
12 And he said to him, 15'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.
13 Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and 16cast him into the outer darkness. In that place 17there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
14 For many are 18called, but few are 19chosen."

Paying Taxes to Caesar

15 20Then the Pharisees went and plotted how 21to entangle him in his words.
16 And they sent 22their disciples to him, along with 23the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, 24we know that you are true and teach 25the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for 26you are not swayed by appearances.[b]
17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay 27taxes to 28Caesar, or not?"
18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why 29put me to the test, you hypocrites?
19 Show me the coin for the tax." And they brought him a denarius.[c]
20 And Jesus said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?"
21 They said, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, 30"Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they 31left him and went away.

Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection

23 The same day 32Sadducees came to him, 33who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question,
24 saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 34'If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.'
25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother.
26 So too the second and third, down to the seventh.
27 After them all, the woman died.
28 In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her."
29 But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, 35because you know neither the Scriptures nor 36the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither 37marry nor 38are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, 39have you not read what was said to you by God:
32 40'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living."
33 And when the crowd heard it, 41they were astonished at his teaching.

The Great Commandment

34 42But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced 43the Sadducees, they gathered together.
35 44And one of them, 45a lawyer, asked him a question 46to test him.
36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
37 And he said to him, 47"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And 48a second is like it: 49You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 50On these two commandments depend 51all the Law and the Prophets."

Whose Son Is the Christ?

41 52Now while the Pharisees 53were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
42 saying, "What do you think about 54the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, 55"The son of David."
43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, 56in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
44 57"'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'?
45 If then David calls him Lord, 58how is he his son?"
46 59And no one was able to answer him a word, 60nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Images for Matthew 22

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.

Cross References 60

  • 1. Matthew 13:34
  • 2. For ver. 2-14, [Luke 14:16-24]
  • 3. See Revelation 19:7
  • 4. [Esther 6:14; Proverbs 9:3, 5]
  • 5. Matthew 21:36
  • 6. Luke 11:38; John 21:12, 15(Gk.)
  • 7. Proverbs 9:2
  • 8. [Hebrews 2:3]
  • 9. Luke 18:32; Acts 14:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:2
  • 10. See Matthew 21:35
  • 11. Matthew 21:41; Luke 19:27
  • 12. Matthew 10:11; Acts 13:46; Revelation 3:4; [Luke 20:35]
  • 13. See Matthew 13:47
  • 14. [Revelation 19:8; Revelation 22:14]
  • 15. Matthew 20:13; Matthew 26:50
  • 16. See Matthew 8:12
  • 17. See Matthew 8:12
  • 18. Revelation 17:14
  • 19. Revelation 17:14
  • 20. For ver. 15-32, see Mark 12:13-27; Luke 20:20-38
  • 21. [Luke 11:54]
  • 22. Mark 2:18
  • 23. Mark 3:6; [Mark 8:15]
  • 24. [John 3:2]
  • 25. Acts 18:26; [Acts 13:10]
  • 26. See Acts 10:34
  • 27. Matthew 17:25
  • 28. Luke 2:1; Luke 3:1
  • 29. See John 8:6
  • 30. Romans 13:7
  • 31. Mark 12:12
  • 32. ver. 34; Matthew 3:7; Matthew 16:1; Acts 4:1; Acts 5:17; Acts 23:6
  • 33. Acts 23:8; [Acts 4:2]
  • 34. [Deuteronomy 25:5]
  • 35. John 20:9
  • 36. 1 Corinthians 6:14
  • 37. Matthew 24:38; Luke 17:27
  • 38. Matthew 24:38; Luke 17:27
  • 39. See Matthew 21:16
  • 40. Acts 7:32; Cited from Exodus 3:6
  • 41. See Matthew 7:28
  • 42. For ver. 34-40, see Mark 12:28-33
  • 43. ver. 23
  • 44. [Luke 10:25-28]
  • 45. See Luke 7:30
  • 46. ver. 18
  • 47. Luke 10:27; Cited from Deuteronomy 6:5
  • 48. [1 John 4:21]
  • 49. Cited from Leviticus 19:18; See Matthew 19:19
  • 50. [Romans 13:8, 10]
  • 51. Matthew 7:12; [Galatians 5:14]
  • 52. For ver. 41-45, see Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44
  • 53. ver. 34
  • 54. See Matthew 1:1, 17
  • 55. See Matthew 1:1, 17
  • 56. Revelation 1:10; Revelation 4:2; [2 Samuel 23:2]
  • 57. Acts 2:34, 35; Hebrews 1:13; Cited from Psalms 110:1; [1 Corinthians 15:25; Hebrews 10:13]
  • 58. [Romans 1:3, 4]
  • 59. [Luke 14:6]
  • 60. Mark 12:34; Luke 20:40

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Greek bondservants; also verses 4, 6, 8, 10
  • [b]. Greek for you do not look at people's faces
  • [c]. A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer

Matthew 22 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.