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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament
Matthew 22

 

 

Verse 1

Jesus again used parables. The Jewish leaders had gone away (Mark 12:12). So what he says is not directly to the leaders, but to the people.


Verse 2

The Kingdom of heaven is like a king. What he says here, is like the parable in Luke 14:16-24, but changed to fit the people who hear. It is a king who gives the wedding feast in Matthew. The invitation is a command when the king gives it. Those who do not come, are not simply left out, but punished severely. Who prepared a wedding feast for his son. By Jewish custom, the "promise of marriage" came about twelve months before the official wedding. It was more than our "engagement," because it was considered that the two were legally married from that time (See Deuteronomy 23:22-25), even though the official ceremony had not been performed. [In view of this, read Matthew 1:18-24.] The official wedding feast was a bigger celebration than is the custom in our society. [See the wedding feast in John 2.]


Verse 3

He sent his servants to tell. Custom was to invite the guests, then just before the Wedding feast, to send messengers to tell them to come.


Verse 4

So he sent others servants. Still a further invitation to come to the feast. Everything is ready. There can be no excuse for their delay.


Verse 5

But the invited guests paid no attention. Two types of people refused to come. These pay no attention to the call, but continue their business activities.


Verse 6

While others grabbed the servants. The first type were not loyal to their king. The second type are violently opposed to the king. This was true of the Jewish leaders, who persecuted the messianic community [after Christ had been raised to glory].


Verse 7

The king was very angry. To insult the king's servants is to insult the king himself. Who killed those murderers. God used the Roman armies to punish the Jewish Nation (See Matthew 21:40-41). [Note the Christian Jews escaped this.]


Verse 8

The people I invited did not deserve it. Those who will not respond to the Good News of Christ, are not worthy of Eternal Life (Acts 13:46).


Verse 9

As many people as you find. They are to invite everyone they meet! This came true when the Good News of Christ was preached to everybody in the world (Colossians 1:23).


Verse 10

Good and bad alike. God is not prejudiced as we are. The bad are invited, not to continue to be bad, but to be holy (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).


Verse 11

A man who was not wearing wedding clothes. It was the custom for the host to furnish special clothes to be worn in honor of the feast. Alford (Greek Testament) says: "The garment is the imputed and inherent righteousness of the Lord Jesus, put on symbolically in Baptism (Galatians 3:27), and really by a true and living faith (Galatians 3:26)." No one can appear before God in the Kingdom of his Glory without this.


Verse 12

How did you get in here? He had no wedding clothes, which proved he had no right to be there. Both good and bad were called, but ALL must have the imputed [credited— Romans 8:1-4] righteousness of Christ to be the friends of God.


Verse 13

Then the king told the servants. It is the king's right to eject all who do not belong there.


Verse 14

For many are invited, but few are chosen. The invitation is to everyone in the world! But only those who respond and put on the wedding clothes (Titus 3:4-5; Colossians 2:12) become "chosen" by choosing him. [The "few" cannot be counted (Revelation 7:9).]


Verse 15

Made a plan to trap Jesus. The Jews [Pharisees, teachers of the Law, etc.] were fierce enemies of Jesus.


Verse 16

Then they sent some. Some of their junior members who were not so well known, hoping to fool Jesus. Teacher. A title of respect. They wanted to get him off guard.


Verse 17

Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor? [Caesar is the title of the Roman Emperor.] If he said "no," they could turn him in to the Romans. If he said "yes," it would make the people turn against him. They thought he was caught, whatever he said.


Verse 18

You hypocrites! Jesus knew what they were trying to do.


Verse 19-20

19-20. Show me the coin. A silver denarius [worth perhaps $180 in 1974 dollars]. It had the face and name of Tiberius Caesar on it.


Verse 21

So Jesus said to them. The fact that they used Roman coins was proof they were under Roman rule. "Pay to the Emperor what belong to him" pleased the members of Herod's party. "Pay to God what belong to God" pleased the Pharisees. What Jesus says shows that civil government and God each have certain things that belong to them alone (Compare Romans 13:1-7). But, "we must obey God, not men" (Acts 5:29). Where the two clash, God must be obeyed I


Verse 22

They were filled with wonder. He was so much wiser than their own teachers.


Verse 23

Some Sadducees came to Jesus. See note on Matthew 3:7. They are the ones. This was their identifying belief—that the dead will not rise. See Acts 23:7-9.


Verse 24

Moses taught. Deuteronomy 25:5-6. This was an old custom to preserve family lines (Genesis 38:6-11).


Verses 25-28

There were seven brothers. This is a "made up" story which they think will make the "rising from death" look like a foolish idea.


Verse 29

How wrong you are! Their basic error was to say that there were no such things as spirits. So they rejected the idea of a special spiritual creation such as angels. But if man is a spirit who survives death, then the God who created him so that a "body" is necessary to his activity and happiness, would in some way restore a body to him after death. The Bible strongly teaches a "rising from death." See 1 Corinthians 15:35-49. It is because you don't know. The Scriptures proved them wrong. Jesus uses the first five books of the Old Testament [which they did believe] to prove that man is a spirit who survives death. This proves the "raising from death."


Verse 30

For when the dead rise to life. Angels are a separate type of creation. The dead do not become angels, but like the angels. Marriage, birth and death exist only in our present world. In the new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3:13) marriage will not exist.


Verse 31

Haven't you ever read? The Sadducees believed the first five books of the Bible which Moses wrote. Jesus turns to these and uses them to prove the raising from death.


Verse 32

I am the God of Abraham. Exodus 3:6. I Amos, not I WAS [Zamenhof, in his translation from the Hebrew Masoretic text translates "am" in the present continuous tense.] Jesus teaches that the spirit survives death, and that there is no "time of sleep" between death and the raising of the new body (1 Corinthians 15:44). Compare his account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).


Verse 33

They were amazed! This was a new idea to them. Some of the teachers of the Law said: "A good answer, Teacher!" (Luke 20:39).


Verse 34-35

34-35. When the Pharisees heard. The Sadducees had not been able to trap Jesus. Now the Pharisees made plans to do so.


Verse 36

Which is the greatest commandment in the Law? The teachers of the Law had divided into factions over which commandment was the most important. They had "expanded" the Law into 613 separate laws. So they argued over which was the most important, and taught that if this one was obeyed, the person would be given credit for obeying all the others as well.


Verse 37-38

37-38. You must love the Lord your God. Jesus paraphrases the command of Deuteronomy 6:5. Mark adds: "and with all your strength." Heart, soul, mind, and strength are to be lumped together as meaning "with your complete self." (Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:23.) This is the most important commandment.


Verse 39

The second most important. Leviticus 19:18. The first command sums up man's obligation to God. The second sums up man's obligation to his fellow-man. One who loves God will not rebel against him. One who loves his fellow-man will try to help him. [What happens when someone does not love himself?]


Verse 40

Depend on these two commandments. In the sense of Matthew 5:17; Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:10.


Verse 41

Jesus asked them. They had tried to trap him, yet this question which Jesus asks shows no attitude of revenge.


Verse 42

Whose descendant is he? This is to force them to think about what they already know. He is David's descendant. This is true, but not the whole truth.


Verse 43-44

43-44. Why then? The Holy Spirit caused David to speak of his descendant as "Lord." Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1 to show this is true. The Jews believed that David wrote that Psalm, and that it spoke of the Messiah.


Verse 45

How can the Messiah be? These Pharisees thought Jesus was only a human being, nothing more. The answer to this question is what Jesus wants them to understand: "Christ, the descendant of David in human terms, is the Son of God—the Eternal Logos—who has appeared in human form" (1 Timothy 3:16).


Verse 46

No one dared ask him any more. Not being able to meet his arguments, they quit trying to trap him, but continue to plot his death.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Matthew 22:4". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/matthew-22.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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