Matthew 22

The gospel call bids all to the great marriage feast. Some wickedly reject Christ’s invitations. Some think to intrude in the rags of their hypocrisy (See Rom. 3:22) but the humble gladly accept and are satisfied. It is not wit and reason that makes one acceptable to God, but humble acceptance of His call and partaking of the feast He has provided.

1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

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

4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

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.

11 ¶ And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

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

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.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

15 ¶ Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

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

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

19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

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

23 ¶ The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,

24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:

26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.

27 And last of all the woman died also.

28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

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

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.

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

34 ¶ But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

41 ¶ While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,

42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.

43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,

44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?

45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Matthew 22:1-14 – The Penalty of Slighting the Invitation

   We have here a continuation of our Lord’s teaching on that last great day in the Temple. This day seems to have begun with Matthew 21:23, and it continued to Matthew 25:46. What wonder that His strength was prematurely exhausted, and that He succumbed so soon under the anguish of His cross!
   In this parable He describes His union with His people under the symbolism of marriage. This must have suggested the allusions of Ephesians 5:23-32, where the Apostle tells us that Christ loved the Church as His bride; and of Romans 7:1-4, where He encourages us to believe that we may be married to Him who was raised from the dead. We can never forget Revelation 21:2, 9. Messenger after messenger was sent to the Hebrew people, but as they would not come, the Church was called from the highways and byways of the world to occupy the vacant space. But let us see to it that we are clothed in the spotless robe of His righteousness, in which alone we can stand in the searching light of eternity. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 22:15-22 – ​Duties to God and Society

   This reading begins a marvelous cycle of interviews between our Lord and His questioners. First the Herodians, then the Sadducees, and finally the Pharisees were answered and silenced. What inimitable wisdom there was in His replies! How masterfully He turned the battle from the gate and slew them with their own swords!
   Theoretically God was King in Israel. Were, then, the Jews justified in paying tribute to Caesar? If our Lord had said so, His enemies would have accused Him of treachery to the theocracy. If He had forbidden it, they would have accused Him of treachery to their Roman conquerors. Our Lord answered with marvelous wisdom. He tore aside the veil and revealed their hypocrisy. That coin indicated that the Romans were responsible for maintaining law and order. It was surely right that Caesar’s dues should be paid. But it was equally right to give to God the souls that He had redeemed. Are we as careful in rendering to God our hearts and lives as we are in paying our taxes and serving the state? —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 22:23-33 – ​The Scriptures Teach the Resurrection

   The Sadducees professed themselves to be bound by the Pentateuch, and to have searched in vain for evidences of a life beyond. They were greatly startled, therefore, when our Lord proved human immortality from the book of Exodus. He had never passed through their schools and sat at the feet of their great teachers, but He showed them that “at the Bush” the voice of God attested eternal life.
   The great I AM would never have spoken of Himself as the God of the patriarchs, centuries after their earthly career had closed, unless they had been living somewhere still. It was certain that they were all alive; otherwise God would have said, “I was their God.” Death is not a chamber, but a passage; not an abiding-place, but a crossing over; not a state, but an act, an experience, a crossing of the bar, a going within the veil. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the myriads who have warred and stormed over the earth, are living as intensely as ever. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 22:34-46 – ​The Summary of the Law

   Our Lord seemed to say: “Here is all Scripture in a nutshell; the whole range of human duty in a portable pocket form.” We are reminded of Ecclesiastes 12:13. But what a magnificent definition is here given of pure and undefiled religion! The whole Law is gathered up in that one word love! See Romans 13:8-10.
   In Mark 12:33 the word strength is added. There are four channels of love. The heart stands for our emotions; the soul for our will and general individuality; the mind for our intellect; and strength for the activities and energies of our service. Often we cannot feel love, but we can always use our strength for God and show our love by doing things which we would never do except for His sake.
   The question which the Master propounded to the scribes can be solved only by the admission of His two natures—divine and human—as existing in His one person. As David’s Lord He is divine; as his son, He was born of the Virgin. See Matthew 1:1. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 22:37—Thou shalt love the Lord thy God… with all thy mind.

   This was Adam’s blessed privilege in Eden; but he missed it. The love of self took the place of the love of God. It is the aim of our blessed Lord to bring us back to that position. Perfect love is the sunlit peak to which his whole redemption tends. And perfect love would be perfect holiness. If a man were to love God and his neighbor as his first and chief and all-absorbing passion, there would be no room for sin to establish itself in his heart.
   But does not this command seem altogether impracticable? It does; and it is impracticable to our mortal flesh. It is high; we cannot attain to it. Yet the very sublimity of the demand is intended to drive us to the Holy Ghost. He sheds abroad the love of God in hearts which are fully yielded to Him. If you desire that this love should be your privilege, lie down low before the flow of the River of Life, and it will fill every gully and inlet of your nature.
   But, perhaps you are not of an emotional nature; you cannot gleam and flash, and shed tears, and light up with smiles. You cannot love God with your heart! Then see, the Lord says that you can love Him with your mind, i.e., with your intellect, your choice, your will. Probably this is where you have to begin. Give your mind, your will, your power of choice to God. Make Him first. Ask Him to take the helm of your life, and to control, inspire, and direct its every movement. Crown Him King. And when the will, which is the high priest of your nature, has put its crown of life on the head of Christ, who is God Incarnate, all the emotions and affections and faculties of heart and Life will come in to swell the court with their homage and acclaim. —Our Daily Homily