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Monday, June 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 22

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-46

Chapter 22

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables ( Matthew 22:1 ),

Now He is still there, and He is laying on them these parables.

And He said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. And he sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come ( Matthew 22:1-3 ).

There was first of all those who were bidden to the wedding. His son is getting married, and the servants were sent to those that were bidden. They would not come.

Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I've prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took the servants, and entreated them spitefully and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was angry: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So the servants went out in the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he said unto him, Friend, how is it that you came in not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. And then the king said to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are choice ( Matthew 22:4-14 ).

Now herein is a very descriptive parable, which is prophetic in its nature for the wedding feast of the son. First of all, the servants sent to those who were bidden, the guests, and they refused to come. The gospel was first brought by Jesus Christ to the Jews. They refused it. Now the wedding is all set. Everything is ready. The sacrifice has been made. Now the servants are to go out and to bid them, come, but they begin to go to their farm and to merchandise. And this is the preaching by the apostles to the Jews, after the death of Jesus, but still their refusal to come. Then the Lord commanded that they go.

And first of all, the king was angry at those bidden guests. And he sent his armies, and they destroyed them, and burned the city. This of course is what happened when Titus came and burned the city of Jerusalem, and destroyed the people because they refused to come; thus, the judgement of God through Titus. And Jesus is predicting that particular event, the burning of the city of Jerusalem.

When I was there I was taken on some archaeological digs, where this man has dug down under his house through several centuries, really of archaeological artifacts. And partway down, there is a layer of ash, about six inches thick, which is the ash from the burning of the city of Jerusalem in 70A. D. by Titus. And it's quite remarkable to look at that layer of ashes, and to realize what it does represent.

Now Jesus predicted that, the burning of the city and then sent them out to the highways and byways, out unto the Gentiles, bid them all, whoever to come in. And so the gospel coming to us.

Now even though we are bid on to come to the feast, it is necessary that we have on the wedding garments. It's necessary that we'll be clothed in the righteousness, which is of Christ, through faith. There are some who are trying to come without the proper clothing. There are some who have not put on that righteousness through faith of Christ, but are trying to come in their own righteousness, or by their own efforts, or by their own good works. They'll never make it, when the king makes the examinations of the guest. If you are not clothed in that robe of righteousness, through the faith of Christ, you will be cast out. But that's just a plain, straight warning of the Lord.

Then the Pharisees, took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out to him their disciples with the Herodians. They said unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, you teach the way of God in truth, neither do you care for any man, [that is, you're not a respecter of men] nor do you regard the person of men ( Matthew 22:15-16 ).

You don't bow and scrape to the rich and all, no respecter of people's persons. "We know that what you say is true. You are a man of truth. You are a straight shooter. Tell us therefore, What do you think? Is it lawful to give tribute or pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and he said, Why do you tempt me, you hypocrites? ( Matthew 22:18 )

They figured that the question, and it was a very sharp and shrewd question, if Jesus said "yes, it is lawful to pay tribute to Caesar", then all of the Jews would have hated Him. They would have turned from Him. They would have said, "He is a traitor. He is a collaborator with the Romans. And they would have turned against Him. You remember they had said to Jesus earlier, "We are not under bondage to any men." I mean they really didn't consider themselves the slaves of Rome. Even though they were subject to Rome, they didn't consider it and they hated paying those taxes.

If Jesus said, "No, it is not lawful," then they would have gone right on down and reported Him to the Roman officials and had Him arrested, and imprisoned for advocating a tax revolt. So Jesus recognizing that they were trying to trap Him, that it is a trick, He said, "Why are you trying to trap me, you hypocrites?" He said,

Give me a coin, one of your tribute money. And so they brought him a denarius. And He said unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? [And in no doubt held it up, and showed them that inscription of Caesar that was on the coin.] They said unto him, Caesar's; [He flipped it back,] and he said to them, Then render therefore to Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things which are God's. When they heard these words, they marvelled, and they left him, and went their way ( Matthew 22:19-22 ).

Hey, got out of that one.

Now the same day there came to him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection ( Matthew 22:23 ),

They do not believe in the resurrection, angels, spirits. They were the materialists, the rationalists of their day.

and they asked him, saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers: and the first, when he had married a wife, died, and did not have any children, and he left his wife to his brother: But likewise the second also, and the third, and all the way to the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her ( Matthew 22:23-28 ).

And of course they thought that they were making the idea of the resurrection seem ludicrous. As there are those even today, who not understanding the resurrection, erring, because they do not know the scripture and the power of God, and try to make the resurrection seem ludicrous.

For instance, if you've had a heart transplant, in the resurrection, you're both Christians, which body does the heart go with? Or there have been people buried on the prairies, whose bodies have returned to dust. The chemicals went back into the soil and the grassroots went down, and drew those chemicals out of the soil that were once a part of another person's body, and the cow ate the grass with these chemicals which were part of someone else's body. And you drank the milk that came from the cow, and assimilated some of those same chemicals, that were once a part from someone else's body. So in the resurrection which body do these chemicals go in?

And they tried to make the idea of the resurrection seem ludicrous. That was the whole idea here, making the resurrection an event seemed to be a ludicrous thing.

And Jesus said, You err, because you don't know the scriptures ( Matthew 22:29 ),

And many people err, because they don't know the scriptures. And with them,

they did not know the power of God ( Matthew 22:29 ).

For in the resurrection, number one, as far as the cows and transplanted hearts and all, Paul said, "Some of you will say: how are the dead raised, and with what body do they come?" And he said, "Don't you realize that when you plant a seed into the ground, all you plant is a bare grain, and God gives it a body that pleases Him?"( 1 Corinthians 15:35-37 ) Actually so that that which you plant is not that which comes out of the ground, because all you plant is the bare grain. God gives it a body as pleases Him.

We'll have new bodies. We know that when this earthly tent, or tabernacle, the body in which we live is dissolved, we have a building of God not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. But people don't know the scriptures and so they make all kinds of hypothetical problems. Now they were doing the same things. Jesus said,

For in the resurrection they neither marry, or are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven ( Matthew 22:30 ).

Now the purpose, of course, of marrying is to establish a good, secure environment in which to raise the children. That's God's purpose for marriage. To bring two lives together in love, in order that they might provide a good, healthy environment for the children to grow up in, an environment that is secure, an environment that is filled with love. Inasmuch as we will not be having children in heaven, we will be as the angels, who neither marry nor are given in marriage.

Just what we will be like, the Lord has left a few surprises for us. And we really don't know. Anything that we offer would be sheer speculation, and that's worthless.

But as touching the resurrection of the dead ( Matthew 22:31 ),

Now they didn't believe in that. Jesus said,

have you not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? ( Matthew 22:31-32 )

God said this in Exodus 3:6 ,after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were physically dead, He said:

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living ( Matthew 22:32 ).

So they were still living. They were resurrected, living in their resurrected bodies. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at His doctrine.

But when the Pharisees heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, [He really shut them up] they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master which is the great commandment in the law? And Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets ( Matthew 22:34-40 ).

Paul said, "The law is fulfilled in love." And he that loveth has fulfilled the law. All of the law and the prophets basically comprehended the word "love", understood by the word, "love".

The law was set forth in negatives. Thou shalt have no other gods. Thou shalt not, thou shalt not. Jesus put it in a very positive way, just love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, love your neighbor as yourself. And this is the law. This is basically what the law is declaring, that we should have a loving relationship with God first; that is reflected in a loving relationship with fellow man. This is what the whole Old Testament was all about; the law and the prophets hang on these two.

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of the Messiah, whose son is he? ( Matthew 22:41-42 )

Now they did not except Jesus as the Messiah, so He is just talking to them, their opinion when the Messiah comes. What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?

And they said unto him, The son of David ( Matthew 22:42 ).

Now they were anticipating a man. They are still anticipating a man. They do not believe the Messiah is going to be the Son of God. They rejected Jesus because He said He was the Son of God. They were ready to stone Him one day. He said, "I've done a lot of good, for which of those works are you going to stone me?"( John 10:32 ). "Not for the good works you've done," they said, "but because you being a man, are continually making yourself God."

When He was brought before Pilate, Pilate said, "I will not crucify Him. I don't find any cause of death in Him"( Mark 15:14 ). And they said, "We have a law, and by our law He ought to die because He being a man is trying to make Himself the Son of God." Declaring that He is the Son of God, and this was the thing that offended them, and of course this is what provoked this question. "What is the greatest commandment?"

Their Schima is "The Lord our God is one Lord. And thy shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength". In the Schima, the Lord our God is one Lord. It is interesting that the word "achad" is used for one. The Lord our God is one Lord. The word "achad" is used. The word "achad" is an interesting word in Hebrew, because it is a word for compound unity.

Now there is another Hebrew word, "yachad" which is absolute unity. an absolute one. Achad is a compound unity. So, that we say that we are one congregation here tonight, but yet it is a compound unity. It is a compound one because there are many of us here, making up the one congregation. Now yachad, the absolute unity, is where it stands alone, complete by itself. Had in the great Schima of Exodus it declared, "The Lord our God is Yachad, one Lord", then there would be absolutely no basis for the teaching of the three persons of the one Godhead. But because the word "achad" is used of compound unity, it has within it the hint of the tri-unity of God, the compound unity, the more than one, and yet the unity within one, one God, manifested in three persons.

But this they could not accept, would not accept, and they were offended with Jesus because He was declaring to them His divinity. And they were ready to stone Him on more than one occasion, as He declared it to them. So the question, "What do you think of Christ, whose son is He?" "He is the son of David". That is, He is a man. He is not the Son of God. He is the son of David.

Now God promised to David that He would give to him a son to sit upon the throne forever. And so the son of David was a common title for the Messiah. You remember the blind men were saying, "Jesus thou son of David, have mercy on us." Common title for the Messiah. But though He was the son of David, He was much more, He was also the Son of God.

Paul the apostle, as he opens his epistle to the Romans, declares unto them, as he is writing verse three, "Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead"( Romans 1:3-4 ). Yes, coming from Mary, He was of the seed of David, but coming from God, He was the Son of God declared to be the Son of God, with power by His resurrection from the dead.

So they answered Him, "The son of David."

He said unto them, How then does David in the spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit down on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool ( Matthew 22:43-44 ).

Now in Psalm 110 , one of those beautiful psalms prophesying the Messiah, recognized to be such, David opens that prophetic psalm with the statement, "The Lord", that is Jehovah or Yahweh, "said unto my Lord Adonai, sit down on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thou footstool"( Psalms 110:1 ). David is referring to the Messiah as his Lord.

Now if the Messiah is the son of David, then how is it that David calls Him, Lord? No father in that patriarchal society would ever call his son, "Lord". That was an absolute forbidden no, no. It was totally foreign to their whole culture and society where the father ruled until he died. Their authority and rule always went back to the father. That was as deeply engrained in their culture as anything, and never under any circumstance would a father call his son, "Lord". But that was the title by which the sons always addressed their fathers, for the father was the lord over his son, even after he was married, until the father died and the son would refer to his father as "lord".

Now, if Jesus is the son of David, then how is it that David by the spirit-- again notice that even Jesus recognizes that the writings of David were inspired by the Spirit of God? Peter when he was quoting one of David's psalms in Acts declared: "The Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spake saying"( Acts 1:16 ), so recognized that David was a prophet of God; that the Spirit of God spoke through David. How is it then that David would refer to Him as his Lord?

If David then called him Lord, how could he be his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, and after that none of them dare to ask him any more questions ( Matthew 22:45-46 ).

Now Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power. Jesus said, "My Father bears witness of me". The word "bears witness of me", the Spirit bears witness of me, and my works bear witness of me. He said, "I don't bear witness of myself. If I bore witness of myself, then you would not believe me." But He said, "the Father, He bears witness of me." When Jesus was baptized, the voice of the Father spoke from heaven saying: "This is my beloved Son." Whose Son is He? God said: "He is my Son in whom I am well pleased." When Jesus was transfigured before His disciples on the mount of transfiguration, again, out of the cloud the voice of God said, "this is my beloved Son, hear ye Him"( Matthew 17:5 ).

Now in the Old Testament God bore witness that He was His Song of Solomon 2:7 ,there the Father bears witness that Jesus is the son. And I will declare the degree, "the Lord has said unto me, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." God's declaration of Him in the psalm, "thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee."

In 2 Samuel, Matthew 7:14 ,where God to David was promising the Messiah from His seed, the Lord said, "and I will be His Father, and He shall be my son." Isaiah 9:6 ,"for unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given." That's looking at the birth of Christ from the two aspects; from the human aspect, "unto us a child is born: there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" a child is born. But from the divine side: "unto us a Son is given." God gave His only begotten Son. "And the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the prince of peace."

Definite messianic prophecy. And at the increase of His government and the peace, there shall be no end. But He is to be a Son that is given.

"Behold I give you sign," the Lord said to king Ahaz through Isaiah, "A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and thou shalt call His name, Immanuel"( Isaiah 7:14 ), which being interpreted, "God with us".

"What think ye of Christ, whose son is He?" And that's what it boils down to tonight. The question is still very relevant to each of us. What do you think of the Messiah? What do you think really now of Jesus Christ. Whose son was He? And He is either the son of some man from Nazareth, or He is the Son of God. The preponderance of evidence points to His being the Son of God.

But it's so important your opinion to that question, or your answer to that question is so important, what you personally think of Jesus Christ. Whose Son is He? Now Jesus said, "the Father bears witness of me. The father bore witness in the Old Testament scriptures. The Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spoke saying the Holy Spirit bore witness to Him. The Word bears witness to Him. His works bear witness to Him. Peter said, "we were eyewitnesses, we saw." But also more then that, we have the more sure Word of prophecy.

So that's were it stands tonight, what do you think of Christ, whose Son is He? Next week we get into some very interesting, exciting chapters. First of all twenty-three, and I love twenty-three. I personally just love the way Jesus just laid it on those guys. Now some people say, "that's not very Christ-like. Well, wait a minute; I am loving what Christ is doing. What is so unchrist-like about what Jesus did? Man, I mean He really caught them down, like Romaine never thought of doing.

Then chapter twenty-four becomes very fascinating, because the twenty-fourth chapter Jesus answers the question. "What will be the sign of your coming in the end of the age?" And as we deal with the signs of the coming again of Jesus Christ, in Matthew twenty-four, and as we look at the world around us, hey, we'll realize we're there. And then the events that will take place, when Jesus comes again, as we get into Matthew twenty-five, and the judgment of the nations and all. And so much, much good information in our next lesson.

So we encourage you, read it over carefully this week, get some commentaries; study it. And then let's gather together again next Sunday night for this very fascinating study through Matthew twenty-three through twenty-five.

May the Lord be with you and bless and keep you in His love through the power of His Holy Spirit, as you are enriched in your walk with Jesus Christ day by day as He ministers to you His strength, His power. And may you begin to experience more and more in your own life that power of God's love transforming you and changing you and making you into His image, by His Spirit which dwells within you. In Jesus' name, Amen. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Matthew 22". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/matthew-22.html. 2014.
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