Matthew 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)

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; 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.
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.
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!
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.
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 #Ps 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.
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