Matthew 22:1-46 - Outline of Matthew (Book Notes menu page)
The Parable of the Marriage Feast (v.1-14).
This is the third of three parables, by which Jesus answered the religious leaders, who confronted Him as He taught in the Temple (21:23-46).
22:1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king,
which made a marriage for his son,
22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding:
and they would not come.
22:4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying,
Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner:
my oxen and [my] fatlings [are] killed, and all things [are] ready:
come unto the marriage.
22:5 But they made light of [it],
and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
22:6 And the remnant took his servants,
and entreated [them] spitefully, and slew [them].
22:7 But when the king heard [thereof],
he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies,
and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
22:8 Then saith he to his servants,
The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways,
and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
22:10 So those servants went out into the highways,
and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good:
and the wedding was furnished with guests.
22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests,
he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
22:12 And he saith unto him,
Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?
And he was speechless.
22:13 Then said the king to the servants,
Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer darkness;
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
22:14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen.
This parable confronts the rulers with the consequences of...
- - rejecting God's Son, and
- - rejecting God's provision of true righteousness.
The elements of the parable - (cp. Luk 14:16-24)
  • the kingdom of heaven (v.2) - refers, here (as in ch. 13), to the realm of religious profession,
    where the good and bad are mingled together, until they are separated at the end of the age.
  • a certain king - represents God the Father.
  • the marriage feast for his son - cp. Joh 3:29; 2Cor 11:2; Eph 5:25-27; Rev 19:7-9
  • the servants - represent the prophets, apostles, and all who proclaim the Gospel.
  • those who were bidden (v.3) - represent Israel, to whom the message of redemption came first.
    cp. Psa 81:10-12; Mat 10:5-7; Luk 13:34; Joh 5:39,40; Rom 10:17-21
  • But they refused the invitation.-
    1. they would not come.- v.3
    2. they made light of it.- v.5
    3. they went their {own} ways.- v.5
      Their little regard for the King's invitation, or for His Son, is seen by comparison of -
      - their foolish pre-occupations:- His costly preparations: (v.4)
      a farm -
      (property purchased sight unseen, Luk 14:18)
      my oxen and my fatlings are killed...
      merchandise -
      (oxen purchased prior to evaluation, Luk 14:19)
      I have prepared my dinner...
      all things are ready. cp. Rom 8:32
      ''I'' have married... - Luk 14:20
      (my affairs are more important than Yours.)
      the marriage of ''my Son.''
  • they treated His servants shamefully, and killed some of them.
    All of the above speak of their rejection of God's Word and His Christ (very similar to the Parable of the Householder and his Vineyard, 21:33-46).
the King's evaluation (v.8) -
those who were bidden were not worthy- cp. Acts 13:46
The consequences of Israel's rejection:
  1. The King was angry... (v.7)
    • and destroyed those murderers-
      This is prophetic of the eternal devastation of individuals responsible for Christ's death. Mat 21:40,41
    • and {destroyed} their city-
      This is prophetic of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Luk 19:41-44
  2. The King broadens the invitation (v.9,10)...-
    to include those previously unbidden, and all who will respond.
    ''Go...'' Mat 28:18-20; ''Come...'' Rev 22:17
  3. The wedding was furnished with {other} guests... cp. Isa 49:5,6
    ...both good and bad- v.10; cp. Mat 13:30,47,48
    Salvation has been made available to everyone. The true Church is the bride of Christ.
    But many under the umbrella of 'Christendom,' while professing faith in Christ, are not truly His, as illustrated by...
the man without a wedding garment -
In the remainder of ch. 22, Jesus answers questions from the three major Jewish sects of His day.
His answers amazed and silenced each group, as they attempted to entrap Him, in His words. Yet, they would not turn to Him in repentance.
22:15 Then went the Pharisees,
and took counsel how they might entangle him in [his] talk.
22:16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying,
Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth,
neither carest thou for any [man]: for thou regardest not the person of men.
22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou?
Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said,
Why tempt
{ie., test} ye me, [ye] hypocrites?
22:19 Shew me the tribute money.
And they brought unto him a penny.
22:20 And he saith unto them, Whose [is] this image and superscription?
22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's.
Then saith he unto them,
Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's;
and unto God the things that are God's.
22:22 When they had heard [these words],
they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
(cp. Mark 12:13-17; Luk 20:20-26)
The Pharisees and the Herodians were political enemies, but they joined forces against Jesus.
  • Pharisees - stood for Israel's biblical right to the land.
    They desired the re-establishment of Israel's rule over it.
  • Herodians - were Jews who supported King Herod, who was a puppet of the Roman government.
ye hypocrites - Jesus saw through their pretentious approach to Him (v.16).
Their question (v.16,17) was carefully crafted to deceive and entrap Jesus,
into declaring Himself as an enemy of either Israel, or Rome.
His answer (v.18-21) -
22:23 The same day came to him the Sadducees,
which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
22:24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children,
his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
{Deu 25:5,6}
22:25 Now there were with us seven brethren:
and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased,
and, having no issue
{ie., no children}, left his wife unto his brother:
22:26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.
22:27 And last of all the woman died also.
22:28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven?
for they all had her.
22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them,
Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage,
but are as the angels of God in heaven.
22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead,
have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
{Ex 3:6}
God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
22:33 And when the multitude heard [this], they were astonished at his doctrine.
(cp. Mark 12:18-27; Luk 20:27-38)
The Sadducees - were religious rationalists who denied spiritual reality.
  • They discounted, as myth, such concepts as the possibility of resurrection, or the existence of angels. cp. v.23; Acts 23:6-8
  • They regarded, as authoritative scripture, only the five books of Moses (the first 5 books of the OT, called 'the Torah,' or 'the Pentateuch'), since these books make no mention of resurrection, and little mention of angels.
Their question (v.28) was designed to make the concept of resurrection look absurd.
Jesus' answer...
  1. identifies the cause of their misunderstanding. v.29
    Ye do err {GK=planao, lit., you deceive yourselves} -
    1. not knowing the scriptures- The OT clearly teaches the resurrection of the dead.
      eg., Job 19:25-27; Psa 16:9-11; 17:15; Isa 26:19; Dan 12:2,3
    2. {not knowing} the power of God- cp. Gen 18:14; Jer 32:17; Php 3:21
  2. corrects their misunderstanding of the resurrected state. v.30
  3. demonstrates the reality of the resurrection.-
    • citing a portion of Scripture that they claimed to accept.
      They had argued from the book of Moses (v.24).
      Jesus' answer rested on Mosaic authority (Mark 12:26,27).
    • citing that Scripture as ''spoken by God'' (not merely the words of Moses),
      by which He personally identified Himself with Israel forever (v.31,32; Ex 3:6,14-15).
      Because the eternal ''I Am'' has forever identified Himself with these three men,
      therefore, they also live. cp. Heb 11:16; Joh 14:19
22:34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence,
they were gathered together.
22:35 Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer,
asked [him a question], tempting
{ie., testing} him, and saying,
22:36 Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?
22:37 Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
{Deu 6:5; 10:12}
22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
22:39 And the second [is] like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
{Lev 19:18}
The First commandment is tested by the Second commandment. See 1Joh 4:20,21
But 'Who is my neighbor?' see Luk 10:25-37
22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. {cp. Rom 13:9,10}
See the parallel passage in Mark 12:28-34.
The Pharisees - were religious conservatives, who studied all of the OT scriptures
and also the accumulated rabbinic interpretations of the scriptures.
a lawyer - ie., a man who was well studied in the Jewish Law (the goal of every Pharisee).
The term seems equivalent to 'scribe.' cp. Luk 7:30; 14:3; Mat 23:2
a question tempting {testing} him - The question based on the Law, the focus of the Pharisees,
was meant to uncover any weakness in understanding the Law on the part of Jesus. v.35,36
Jesus' answer (v.37-40)
  1. summarized all of OT scripture (''the Law and the Prophets'').
  2. exceeded the expectation of the Pharisees (cp. Mark 12:32-33).
  3. revealed the need of the Pharisees.
    "Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34)
    1. The Law, which the Pharisees acknowledged, excluded them from the Kingdom.
      In the Pharisee's words: to fulfill the Law "is more than {superior to, greater than} all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
      But no man fulfills the Law (except Jesus). cp. Mat 5:20; Rom 3:19,20
    2. The Lamb of God, the one sacrifice to take away sin, stood before this man who answered discreetly {ie., thoughtfully, wisely, prudently}.
      Physically, that man was 'not far' from the One who is the only means of entrance into the Kingdom of God. Mentally (unlike some who were present), he had not closed his mind to considering his need for the Savior. cp. Heb 10:1-18
22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?
They say unto him, [The Son] of David.
22:43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
22:44 The LORD said unto my Lord,
Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
{Psa 110:1}
22:45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
22:46 And no man was able to answer him a word,
neither durst
{ie., dared} any [man] from that day forth ask him any more [questions].
If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? -
The question forces consideration of...
  1. The Messiah's Title: ''Lord'' (v.44; Psa 110:1)-
    In Psalm 110, ''the LORD'' {HB= Jehovah} addresses the Christ (ie., the Messiah, the King who will one day fill David's throne), whom David identifies as ''my Lord'' {HB= Adoni}.
    • In the OT, the word ''Adon'' (singular, translated: sir, master, lord, Lord) is used 334x as a title designating honor and position. It is used both of men and of God.
      ''Adoni'' (lit., ''my Lord'') is the first person possessive form of this word.
      By using this term, David acknowledged the Messiah as his Master.
    • ''Adoni'' is closely related to the word ''Adonai'' (lit., 'my lords,' an intensified plural form), which is used as a singular title 439x, but always of God (eg., ''Lord over all''; ''Lord of lords''). [WEVine]
      See also Psa 8:1,2, ''O LORD {Jehovah} our Lord {Adonai}...''
      By quoting Psa 8:2 in reference to Himself (in Mat 21:15,16), Jesus applied Psa 8:1 to Himself.
      The clear implication is that the Messiah must be more than a physical descendant of David. The Messiah must also be God the Son.
  2. The Messiah's Position: ''At the right hand of Jehovah.'' (v.44; Psa 110:1)
    Although Jesus did not argue this point on this occasion, it is evident that the elevated position of David's Lord is unique (cp. Heb 1:13).
    Implicit in this position is...
    • His parity with the Father,
      which places Him far above all earthly powers, including king David. cp. Acts 2:29-36; Eph 1:20-22; Heb 1:1-3
    • His participation in the work of salvation,
      which indicates His essential unity with the Father (cp. Isa 43:10,11).
      Upon completing the work of salvation, "He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb 1:3b).
      In Psalm 118 (portions of which were quoted in Mat 21:9 and 21:42), it is the valiant work of ''the right hand of the LORD'' in His triumph over sin and death, by which ''the LORD is become my salvation'' (Psa 118:13-23).
    (For more, see the Book Notes on Psalms 110 and 118.)
After this no one dared to ask Him more questions. (v.46; Mark 12:34)
They had planned to confound Him in His supposed ignorance of the scriptures, but found themselves confounded by His answers.
Perhaps they feared that the clarity of His answers might persuade them to follow Him.
Having failed to discredit Him with insincere questions, they must still answer to Him. Acts 17:31

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