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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Matthew 22



Verses 1-14

The Parable of the Wedding Feast ( Luke 14:15-24) - Matthew 22:1-14 records the Parable of the Wedding Feast. This parable reveals that many will hear the testimonies of God's prophets and servants, but few will heed their message of accept God's call.

Matthew 22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

Matthew 22:3Comments- These servants are Christians who witness for the kingdom of God.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 22:10Comments - Matthew 22:10 is an excellent verse to use to justify street ministry work.

Matthew 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Matthew 22:12Comments- The wedding garment represents salvation and righteousness, according to Scripture. The priestly garments of the Tabernacle represent a two-fold function of the priest. According to the book of Psalm , they represent salvation and righteousness. The role of the priest as a type and figure of the Lord Jesus Christ is to intercede for the people of God, bringing them salvation from God and a right standing with Him.

Psalm 132:9, "Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy."

Psalm 132:16, "I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy."

We, too, have been made priests and kings to our God.

Revelation 1:6, "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

Revelation 5:10, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."

Those who enter heaven are those who have served the Lord.

Romans 2:13, "(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."

Matthew 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.

Matthew 22:13Comments- The phrase "outer darkness" is used three times in the Scriptures and is unique to the Gospel of Matthew ( Matthew 8:12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 25:30). The identification of this place does not necessarily refer to Hell. The Parable of the Talent ( Matthew 25:14-30) tells us that the Lord gave one talent unto one of his servant. This would represent a believer and not a sinner, but an unfaithful believer with the goods that God had given to this servant to use in the work of the kingdom. This unprofitable servant was cast into outer darkness, where that shall be weeping an gnashing of teeth.

In his book The Final Quest Rick Joyner likens the five foolish virgins to those Christians who get saved, but do not live for the Lord ( Matthew 25:1-13). They live for themselves and do know the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This is like the unprofitable servant ( Matthew 25:30). When these lazy people appear before the judgment seat of Christ, they will suffer tremendous grief for not having served the Lord through the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is meant by the statement, "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." They will suffer the loss of all things, except their souls, according to 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. Rick Joyner met them on the way to the throne in a place distant from the throne called "outer darkness." One witness to him called it the "lowest part of Heaven." After this witness experienced the Judgment Seat of Christ, his sins were forgiven, and he no longer felt the guilt and shame of his former sins, although he remembered them. 529]

529] Rick Joyner, The Final Quest (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1977), 86-90.

However, we find the phrase "outer darkness" in the New Testament Apocrypha writing The Revelation of Paul. In this ancient writing it is used to describe the place where scornful sinners are taken after death to be tormented by the angel Tartaruch.

"Let him therefore be handed over to the angel Tartaruch, who is set over the punishments, and let him place him in outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, and let him be there till the great day of judgment. And after these things I heard the voice of angels and archangels saying: Thou art just, Lord, and thy judgment is just." (The Revelation of Paul 16) (ANF 8)

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Matthew 22:14Comments- Jesus calls many disciples to labour in the harvest fields. Of those labourers, many are not faithful with what they have been entrusted. It is only those who are faithful who will be chosen and entrusted with greater gifts and callings. Others become consumed with the affairs of this life. One minister said that this phrase means that many are called, but few are willing to take the responsibility of their calling.

We can find this reference to faithfulness within the context of being called and chosen in Revelation 17:14.

Revelation 17:14, "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful."

Many will come to the wedding feast, but few will become the bride at this wedding. This is because few disciples who start out exercise the discipline to prepare themselves for the bridegroom.

Verses 15-40

Three Testimonies of the Authority of God the Father - Matthew 22:15-40 emphasizes the authority of God the Father through three testimonies, the authority of civil government ( Matthew 22:15-22), the testimony of the faith of the patriarchs ( Matthew 22:23-33), and the testimony of the Law ( Matthew 22:34-40).

Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Question Concerning Paying Taxes unto Caesar — Matthew 22:15-22

2. The Question Concerning the Resurrection — Matthew 22:23-33

3. The Question Concerning the Greatest Commandment — Matthew 22:34-40

Matthew 22:15-22 — The Question Concerning Paying Taxes unto Caesar ( Mark 12:13-17, Luke 20:20-26) - In Matthew 22:15-22 Jesus is tempted by the Pharisees regarding whether it is lawful for Jews to pay taxes unto Caesar or not. Jesus reveals that civil government testifies of the need to obey God the Father.

Matthew 22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

Matthew 22:17Comments- The Jewish people despised their Roman oppressors. Although a few Rabbis advised the Jews to submit and accept this rule, the masses of the people hated the idea of Roman authority over them. The Jews knew that this was a tricky question for the Lord Jesus. They felt that either way He answered the question he would be in trouble. If he told the people to give tribute unto Caesar, they felt that Jesus would loose popularity with the people knowing that they hated paying taxes to Caesar. On the other hand, if Jesus told the people to withhold their tribute money to Caesar, the Jewish leaders could then have Jesus arrested for inciting rebellion against Roman rule. These Jewish rebellions were not uncommon in the periods of history when Jews were under foreign rule. Such rebellions always ending with the arrest or death of the leader of such rebellions. The Jews that asked Jesus this question hoped for one of these two outcomes.

Matthew 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

Matthew 22:18 — "Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites" - Comments- They were hypocrites in the sense that they appeared to be asking an innocent question, but their motive was to cause problems for the Lord Jesus. Their hearts were deceptive.

Matthew 22:21 — "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar"s" - Comments- Other verses in the Holy Bible show that those leaders in authority are due tribute and honor:

1. Taxes:

Matthew 17:24-27, "And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee."

Romans 13:7, "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

2. Honor:

Romans 13:7, "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

3. Prayer:

1 Timothy 2:1-3, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

4. Obedience to the laws of the land:

Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."

Matthew 22:21 — "and unto God the things that are God"s" - Comments- What do we render unto God?

1. Titles

2. Obedience

3. Fear

Matthew 22:21Comments- Matthew 22:21 clearly declares that we should not only pay our government taxes, but that we should pay our church tithes.

Matthew 22:22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

Matthew 22:23-33 — The Question Concerning the Resurrection ( Mark 12:18-27, Luke 20:27-40) - In Matthew 22:23-33 Jesus answers the question about the resurrection from the dead. Jesus reveals that the faith of the patriarchs testify of the resurrection through obedience to God the Father.

Matthew 22:30 — "they neither marry, nor are given in marriage" - Comments- In this time, as in many cultures today and in the past, it was the man that married, and the woman was taken in marriage. In the East African language called Luganda, there are even two distinct words for "marry" and "given in marriage." That Isaiah , the woman cannot marry. She can only be given in marriage.

Matthew 22:30Comments- Now Matthew 22:30 does not say that humans will become like the angels in every respect, for there will always be a distinction between the natures of men and angels. However, in Heaven we will become like them in respect that we will not be marrying and giving in marriage to one another.

Matthew 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

Matthew 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Matthew 22:33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

Matthew 22:34-40 — The Question Concerning the Greatest Commandment ( Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28) - In Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus responds to the question about the greatest commandment. Jesus reveals that the Law testify of the need to obey God the Father.

The Shema- The Ten Commandments can be grouped into two sections. The first four commandments refer to our relationship to God, while the last six refer to our relationships with men. In the parallel passage in Mark 12:29-31, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:4-5, which was a part of the Jewish "creed" called "the Shema" ( שָׁמַע), a name derived from the first Hebrew word in this biblical text. 530] The Shema was a passage of Scripture that every scribe knew by heart. Jesus was summarizing the first four commandments when He told the scribe to love the Lord thy God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. The first commandment refers to serving the Lord with our heart. The second commandment refers to serving the Lord with all of our soul, where our emotions, feelings and will exist. The third commandment refers to serving the Lord with all of our mind, and deals with the words of our mouth. The fourth commandment refers to serving the Lord with all of our strength, or bodies. He then summarized the last six commandments when He said to love our neighbour as ourselves. Perhaps the difference between the soul and the mind would be that one emphasizes our thoughts and attitudes, while the other emphasizes our words that we speak. Thus, our soulish realm has a two-fold aspect of thoughts and confession.

530] Alfred Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ (New York: Hodder & Stoughton, n.d.), 268.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

Matthew 22:36Comments - This Jewish lawyer asked Jesus a question, probably expecting Him to quote one of the "Thou shalt not" commandments. Instead, Jesus says, "Thou shalt…" The Law condemned Prayer of Manasseh , and the lawyer lived with a mindset of condemnation. Jesus came to set men free, free from condemnation and restored to fellowship with God so that he could love God and his neighbor.

Matthew 22:40Comments- Creflo Dollar said that love is like a curtain rod, and faith is like the curtain hooks. God's blessings hang on all of these. 531]

531] Creflo Dollar, "Sermon," (Fort Worth, Texas: Kenneth Copeland's Southwest Believer's Conference), 7 August 2007.

Verses 41-46

Jesus Testifies of His Own Deity ( Mark 12:35-37, Luke 20:41-44) - In Matthew 22:41-46 Jesus concludes this time of confrontation with Jewish leaders by testifying concerning His own deity using the Scriptures as evidence that prophesied the deity of the Son of David. This statement serves as a fitting conclusion to the opening question of the Jewish leaders concerning His authority ( Matthew 21:23).

Matthew 22:42 — "The son of David" - Comments- Perhaps no other name, or title, described the coming Messiah in the minds of the Jews than this title, which signified a king. All thru the Gospel of Matthew , Christ is called the son of David. With this focus, it was easy for the scholars of their day to misinterpret a man from Nazareth as being unable to fulfill the prophecy of the coming Messiah, the son of a carpenter, with no royalty attached.


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 22:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 25th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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