Matthew 22* The parable of the marriage feast. (1-14) The Phariseesquestion Jesus as to the tribute. (15-22) The question of theSadducees as to the resurrection. (23-33) The substance of thecommandments. (34-40) Jesus questions the Pharisees. (41-46)1-14 The provision made for perishing souls in the gospel, isrepresented by a royal feast made by a king, with easternliberality, on the marriage of his son. Our merciful God has notonly provided food, but a royal feast, for the perishing soulsof his rebellious creatures. There is enough and to spare, ofevery thing that can add to our present comfort and everlastinghappiness, in the salvation of his Son Jesus Christ. The guestsfirst invited were the Jews. When the prophets of the OldTestament prevailed not, nor John the Baptist, nor Christhimself, who told them the kingdom of God was at hand, theapostles and ministers of the gospel were sent, after Christ'sresurrection, to tell them it was come, and to persuade them toaccept the offer. The reason why sinners come not to Christ andsalvation by him, is, not because they cannot, but because theywill not. Making light of Christ, and of the great salvationwrought out by him, is the damning sin of the world. They werecareless. 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 manyin closing with the Saviour. Both farmers and merchants must bediligent; but whatever we have of the world in our hands, ourcare must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it come betweenus and Christ. The utter ruin coming upon the Jewish church andnation, is here represented. Persecution of Christ's faithfulministers fills up the measure of guilt of any people. The offerof Christ and salvation to the Gentiles was not expected; it wassuch a surprise as it would be to wayfaring men, to be invitedto a royal wedding-feast. The design of the gospel is to gathersouls to Christ; all the children of God scattered abroad, #Joh10:16; 11:52|. The case of hypocrites is represented by theguest that had not on a wedding-garment. It concerns all toprepare for the scrutiny; and those, and those only, who put onthe Lord Jesus, who have a Christian temper of mind, who live byfaith in Christ, and to whom he is all in all, have thewedding-garment. The imputed righteousness of Christ, and thesanctification of the Spirit, are both alike necessary. No manhas the wedding-garment by nature, or can form it for himself.The day is coming, when hypocrites will be called to account forall their presumptuous intruding into gospel ordinances, andusurpation of gospel privileges. Take him away. Those that walkunworthy of Christianity, forfeit all the happiness theypresumptuously claimed. Our Saviour here passes out of theparable into that which it teaches. Hypocrites go by the lightof the gospel itself down to utter darkness. Many are called tothe wedding-feast, that is, to salvation, but few have thewedding-garment, the righteousness of Christ, the sanctificationof the Spirit. Then let us examine ourselves whether we are inthe faith, and seek to be approved by the King. 15-22 The Pharisees sent their disciples with the Herodians, aparty among the Jews, who were for full subjection to the Romanemperor. Though opposed to each other, they joined againstChrist. What they said of Christ was right; whether they knew itor not, blessed be God we know it. Jesus Christ was a faithfulTeacher, and a bold reprover. Christ saw their wickedness.Whatever mask the hypocrite puts on, our Lord Jesus sees throughit. Christ did not interpose as a judge in matters of thisnature, for his kingdom is not of this world, but he enjoinspeaceable subjection to the powers that be. His adversaries werereproved, and his disciples were taught that the Christianreligion is no enemy to civil government. Christ is, and willbe, 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 greattruths of the resurrection and a future state, further than theyhad yet been reveled. There is no arguing from the state ofthings in this world, as to what will take place hereafter. Lettruth be set in a clear light, and it appears in full strength.Having thus silenced them, our Lord proceeded to show the truthof the doctrine of the resurrection from the books of Moses. Goddeclared to Moses that he was the God of the patriarchs, who haddied long before; this shows that they were then in a state ofbeing, capable of enjoying his favour, and proves that thedoctrine of the resurrection is clearly taught in the OldTestament as well as in the New. But this doctrine was kept fora more full revelation, after the resurrection of Christ, whowas the first-fruits of them that slept. All errors arise fromnot knowing the Scriptures and the power of God. In this worlddeath takes away one after another, and so ends all earthlyhopes, joys, sorrows, and connexions. How wretched are those wholook for nothing better beyond the grave! 34-40 An interpreter of the law asked our Lord a question, totry, not so much his knowledge, as his judgment. The love of Godis the first and great commandment, and the sum of all thecommands of the first table. Our love of God must be sincere,not in word and tongue only. All our love is too little tobestow upon him, therefore all the powers of the soul must beengaged for him, and carried out toward him. To love ourneighbour as ourselves, is the second great commandment. Thereis a self-love which is corrupt, and the root of the greatestsins, and it must be put off and mortified; but there is aself-love which is the rule of the greatest duty: we must have adue concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies. And wemust love our neighbour as truly and sincerely as we loveourselves; in many cases we must deny ourselves for the good ofothers. By these two commandments let our hearts be formed as bya mould. 41-46 When Christ baffled his enemies, he asked what thoughtsthey had of the promised Messiah? How he could be the Son ofDavid and yet his Lord? He quotes #Ps 110:1|. If the Christ wasto be a mere man, who would not exist till many ages afterDavid's death, how could his forefather call him Lord? ThePharisees could not answer it. Nor can any solve the difficultyexcept he allows the Messiah to be the Son of God, and David'sLord equally with the Father. He took upon him human nature, andso became God manifested in the flesh; in this sense he is theSon of man and the Son of David. It behoves us above all thingsseriously to inquire, "What think we of Christ?" Is healtogether glorious in our eyes, and precious to our hearts? MayChrist be our joy, our confidence, our all. May we daily be mademore like to him, and more devoted to his service.
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