Matthew 22 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Matthew 22)

Verse 2

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

A king, who made a marriage feast for his son — So did God, when he brought his first - begotten into the world.

Verse 3

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

Them that were invited — Namely, the Jews.

Verse 4

[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.

Fatlings — Fatted beasts and fowls.

Verse 5

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

One to his farm, another to his merchandise — One must mind what he has; another, gain what he wants. How many perish by misusing lawful things!

Verse 7

[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.

The king sending forth his troops — The Roman armies employed of God for that purpose.

Destroyed those murderers — Primarily the Jews.

Verse 8

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

Go into the highways — The word properly signifies, the by-ways, or turnings of the road.

Verse 10

[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.

They gathered all — By preaching every where.

Verse 11

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

The guest — The members of the visible Church.

Verse 12

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

A wedding garment — The righteousness of Christ, first imputed, then implanted. It may easily be observed, this has no relation to the Lord's Supper, but to God's proceeding at the last day.

Verse 14

[14] For many are called, but few are chosen.

Many are called; few chosen — Many hear; few believe. Yea, many are members of the visible, but few of the invisible Church. Matthew 20:16.

Verse 15

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

Mark 12:13; Luke 20:20.

Verse 16

[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.

The Herodians were a set of men peculiarly attached to Herod, and consequently zealous for the interest of the Roman government, which was the main support of the dignity and royalty of his family.

Thou regardest not the person of men — Thou favourest no man for his riches or greatness.

Verse 17

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

Is it lawful to give tribute to Cesar? — If he had said, Yes, the Pharisees would have accused him to the people, as a betrayer of the liberties of his country. If he had said, No, the Herodians would have accused him to the Roman governor.

Verse 18

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

Ye hypocrites — Pretending a scruple of conscience.

Verse 20

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

The tribute money — A Roman coin, stamped with the head of Cesar, which was usually paid in tribute.

Verse 21

[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.

They say to him, Cesar's — Plainly acknowledging, by their having received his coin, that they were under his government. And indeed this is a standing rule. The current coin of every nation shows who is the supreme governor of it. Render therefore, ye Pharisees, to Cesar the things which ye yourselves acknowledge to be Cesar's: and, ye Herodians, while ye are zealous for Cesar, see that ye render to God the things that are God's.

Verse 23

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

Mark 12:18.

Verse 24

[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.

Deuteronomy 25:5.

Verse 25

[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:

Now there were with us seven brethren — This story seems to have been a kind of common-place objection, which no doubt they brought upon all occasions.

Verse 29

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

Ye err, not knowing the Scriptures — Which plainly assert a resurrection.

Nor the power of God — Which is well able to effect it. How many errors flow from the same source?

Verse 30

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

They are as the angels — Incorruptible and immortal. So is the power of God shown in them! So little need had they of marriage!

Verse 31

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

Have ye not read — The Sadducees had a peculiar value for the books of Moses. Out of these therefore our Lord argues with them.

Verse 32

[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.

I am the God of Abraham — The argument runs thus: God is not the God of the dead, but of the living: (for that expression, Thy God, implies both benefit from God to man, and duty from man to God) but he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: therefore, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not dead, but living. Therefore, the soul does not die with the body. So indeed the Sadducees supposed, and it was on this ground that they denied the resurrection. Exodus 3:6.

Verse 33

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

At his doctrine — At the clearness and solidity of his answers.

Verse 34

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

Mark 12:28; Luke 10:25.

Verse 35

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

A scribe asking him a question, trying him — Not, as it seems, with any ill design: but barely to make a farther trial of that wisdom, which he had shown in silencing the Sadducees.

Verse 37

[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.

Deuteronomy 6:5.

Verse 39

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

Leviticus 19:18.

Verse 42

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

Luke 20:41.

Verse 43

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

How doth David then by the Spirit — By inspiration, call him Lord? If he be merely the son (or descendant) of David? If he be, as you suppose, a mere man, the son of a man?

Verse 44

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

The Lord said to my Lord — This his dominion, to which David himself was subject, shows both the heavenly majesty of the king, and the nature of his kingdom.

Sit thou on my right hand — That is, remain in the highest authority and power. Psalms 110:1.

Verse 46

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

Neither durst any question him any more — Not by way of ensnaring or tempting him.