Meyer: 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 Mat_21:23, and it continued to Mat_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 Eph_5:23-32, where the Apostle tells us that Christ loved the Church as His bride; and of Rom_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 Rev_21:2; Rev_21:9. 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.
Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
Matthew 22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Guzik: 1. (Mat_22:1-3) The first invitation is refused.
They were not willing to come: It seems strange that those invited refused an invitation to a royal wedding; but there is no logical reason why people refuse the good things God invites us to.
CTR:Sent forth — During the three-and-a-half years of our Lord’s ministry.
Nowhere is Jesus represented as calling his own Bride.
Servants — John the Baptist and his disciples.
To call them — This parable shows three divisions, or parts, in the one call which gathers the guests.
The Jewish people, the first invitation. The Jews had been invited to this high honor from the time of the giving of the Law Covenant at Sinai. The call first reached the priests, scribes, Pharisees and the Doctors of the Law who sat in Moses’ seat. (Mat_23:2)
That were bidden — The Jews had the first opportunity for joint-heirship with Messiah in his Kingdom. During the Jewish age God had, through the Law and the prophets, informed Israel, his friends, of his intention to have such a feast.
They would not come — To the first call none seem to have responded, save the servants only who bore the message.
“He came to his own and his own received him not.” (Joh_1:11)
Benson: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king — That is, the dispensation of the gospel may be well illustrated by that which happened in the case of a king; who made a marriage for his son — Our Lord is frequently represented in Scripture under the character of a bridegroom. The marriage-feast here spoken of is intended to signify the blessings of the gospel, which are set forth under the emblem of a feast in divers passages of Scripture, especially Isa_25:6; and Isa_55:1-2; Luk_14:16; where see the notes.
And sent forth his servants — John the Baptist and the twelve, and the seventy sent forth during our Lord’s lifetime; to call them that were bidden — Τους κεκλημενους, that had been before invited — Namely, the Jews, who had been invited from the times of Moses, by the law and the prophets, to this long-expected marriage of the Desire of all nations; and to whom the first offers of grace and salvation through Christ were made, to the wedding, or nuptial banquet, as γαμους here properly signifies.
And they would not come — They were so rude and foolish as to refuse complying with the invitation. By this their refusal, and by the reasons assigned for it, stated here and Luk_14:18-19, is shown the rejection of the gospel by the Jews, and the carnal causes, not only of their, but of all men’s refusing to come unto the gospel-feast.
Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
Luke 14:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
Luke 14:18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
Luke 14:19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
Luke 14:20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
Matthew 22:4 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.
Matthew 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
Guzik: 2. (Mat_22:4-7) The second invitation is refused and the king reacts.
But they made light of it and went their ways: In the parable, Jesus gives an accurate description of the reaction of many to the gospel; many made light of it; others go back to their business.
CTR: Again — During the three and a half years following the crucifixion. The second invitation, after their house or nation was left desolate.
Other servants — Jesus and his disciples.
The disciples at first were simply justified men; but on and after Pentecost, they were new creatures, begotten of God. (1Pe_1:3)
Which are bidden — Previously bidden, who had, during the three-and-a-half years of our Lord’s ministry, refused to come.
The second call is not to the righteous and prominent among the Jews, but to the morally and mentally poor, blind and naked.
Prepared my dinner — The good things pertaining to the spiritual phase of the Kingdom of God.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psa_34:8)
This comprehensive statement of readiness could not be made in the first invitation, before our Lord’s death.
Fatlings are killed — The ransom price has been paid. Our Lord himself was the bullock slain.
Come unto the marriage — Only by consecration could anyone have the right to be at the banquet, as a member either of the Bride or of the Great Company.
One to his farm — Coming to this feast involves the leaving or sacrificing of earthly aims and pleasures.
To his merchandise — The cares of this life: business, politics and religious schemes of their own concern.
JFB: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready; come unto the marriage — This points to those Gospel calls after Christ’s death, resurrection, ascension, and effusion of the Spirit, to which the parable could not directly allude, but when only it could be said, with strict propriety, “that all things were ready.” Compare 1Co_5:7, 1Co_5:8, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore, let us keep the feast”; also Joh_6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
PNT:Other servants, with a plainer message, probably the Apostles and Evangelists, as they proclaimed the full gospel to the Jews from the day of Pentecost.
I have made ready mydinner (not ‘supper,’ Luk_14:16). The series of wedding feasts began with a dinner, preceding the actual marriage. It refers to the beginning of privileges, which culminate in ‘the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ Although the guests were the subjects of the King, whom He might constrain, He invites them even with urgency, to become guests and friends.
My oxen and myfatlings. Probably a figurative allusion to the slaying of the sacrifice, as meat for the feast. This thought of Christ as slain is necessarily included, when a distinctly evangelical sense is put upon the phrase: all things are ready. The connection of the two clauses suggests a meaning which may now be profitably used in inviting to the Lord’s Supper.
But they made light of it. All had a guilty contempt for the invitation which was manifested however in two distinct forms: Some went away, in indifferent worldliness; others became persecutors of the messengers (Mat_22:6). Many refer ‘made light of it’ to the indifferent class alone, but the other view is more grammatical. All modes of rejecting the gospel, even persecution, are really making light of it
Oneto his own farm. ‘His own,’ in a selfish spirit.
His merchandise. Worldliness is here represented by the two leading occupations of men. The application is, primarily, to the irreligious and careless Jewish people; then to all such in any age.
Barnes:But they made light of it – Treated it with contempt, as a thing of no consequence – an exact representation of the conduct of sinners in regard to the gospel.
One to his farm – So people are engaged so much in their worldly employment that they pretend they have no time to attend to religion. The world is, in their view, of more value than God.
Merchandise – Traffic; trading.
Matthew 22:6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
Clarke: It was a constant practice of our Lord to take the subjects of his discourses from the persons present, or from the circumstances of times, persons, and places. See Mat_16:6; Joh_4:7-10; Joh_6:26, Joh_6:27; Joh_7:37. A preacher that can do so can never be at a loss for text or sermon.
A marriage for his son – A marriage feast, so the word γαμους properly means. Or a feast of inauguration, when his son was put in possession of the government, and thus he and his new subjects became married together. See 1Ki_1:5-9, 1Ki_1:19, 1Ki_1:25, etc., where such a feast is mentioned.
From this parable it appears plain,
1. That the King means the great God.
2. His Son, the Lord Jesus.
4. The Marriage Feast, the economy of the Gospel, during which men are invited to partake of the blessings purchased by, … blessed Lord.
5. By those who Had Been bidden, or invited, Mat_22:3, are meant the Jews in general, who had this union of Christ with human nature, and his sacrifice for sin, pointed out by various rites, ceremonies, and sacrifices under the law; and who, by all the prophets, had been constantly invited to believe in and receive the promised Messiah.
6. By the Servants, we are to understand the first preachers of the Gospel, proclaiming salvation to the Jews. John the Baptist and the seventy disciples (Luk_10:1), may be here particularly intended.
7. By the Other Servants, Mat_22:4, the apostles seem to be meant, who, though they were to preach the Gospel to the whole world, yet were to begin at Jerusalem (Luk_24:47) with the first offers of mercy.
8. By their making light of it, etc., Mat_22:5, is pointed out their neglect of this salvation, and their preferring secular enjoyments, etc., to the kingdom of Christ.
9. By injuriously using some, and slaying others, of his servants, Mat_22:6, is pointed out the persecution raised against the apostles by the Jews, in which some of them were martyred.
10. By sending forth his troops, Mat_22:7, is meant the commission given to the Romans against Judea; and, burning up their city, the total destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the son of Vespasian, which happened about forty-one years after.
Barnes: And the remnant … – That is, a part made light of it; treated it with silent contempt, and coolly went about their business. The others were not satisfied with that, but showed positive malignity. Some sinners seem to be well satisfied by merely neglecting religion; others proceed against it with open violence and bitter malice.
Entreated them spitefully – Used harsh and opprobrious words. Reviled and abused them. This was done because they hated and despised the king. So sinners often abuse and calumniate ministers of religion because they themselves hate God, and can in no way else show their hatred so well.
Benson: And the remnant — Or the rest of them, who did not go to farms or merchandise, who were neither husbandmen nor tradesmen, but ecclesiastics; namely, the scribes and Pharisees, and chief priests;took [Gr. κρατησαντες, laying hold on] his servants, entreated them spitefully [or rather, shamefully,] and slew them — If it be objected that these circumstances of the parable are improbable, as it was never known in the world that subjects refused the invitation of their sovereign to the marriage of his son; and much less that any persons were ever so rude and barbarous as to treat with ignominy and slay the servants of a king, or of any superior, who came to invite them to a feast, it must be observed that, allowing this to be so, it only places the crime of the Jews in a more aggravated point of view, with respect to whom all this was literally true. They whose feet should have been beautiful, because they brought glad tidings of peace and salvation, were treated as the offscouring of all things, 1Co_4:13. The prophets, and John the Baptist, had been thus abused already, and the apostles and other ministers of Christ were to lay their account with being treated in the same manner. The Jews were, either directly or indirectly, agents in most of the persecutions of the first preachers of the gospel: witness the history of the Acts, and the Epistles of the apostles.
CTR:Entreated them spitefully — Imprisoning the King’s messengers, the apostles, and slew some of them.
Slew them — Jesus was slain; his followers were evilly treated and slain
Gill:And the remnant took his servants,…. They that went to their several worldly callings and occupations of life, troubled themselves no further about the Messiah, his doctrines and ordinances; but others of them were more spiteful and injurious: they not only slighted the message, and took no notice of the invitation, but also abused the messengers; some of the servants they laid hold upon, and put them in the common prison, and detained them there a while; as they did the apostles quickly after our Lord’s ascension, particularly Peter and John:
and entreated them spitefully; gave them very hard words, and reproachful language; menacing and threatening them what they would do to them, if they did not forbear preaching in the name of Jesus; though they were not intimidated hereby, but rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame on such an account; and even their malice and wickedness proceeded so far, as to take away the lives of some of them:
and slew them: thus they stoned Stephen to death, the first martyr for Christ; and killed James, the brother of John, with the sword; which last, though he was put to death by Herod, yet with the consent and approval of the Jews.
Matthew 22:7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Guzik: And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers: The king rightfully brings judgment upon these offenders. Not only have they rejected his invitation, but they also murdered his messengers.
Gill:But when the king heard thereof,…. Of this maltreatment, and barbarous usage of his servants, their cries coming up into his ears, and their blood calling for vengeance at his hands; and He full well knowing what they did unto them, and upon what account, being the omniscient God; and observing their malignity and wickedness,
and he sent forth his armies; not the angels, who are the armies and hosts of heaven; nor desolating judgments only, as pestilence and famine, though the latter was severely felt by the Jews, but chiefly the Roman armies are here meant; called “his”, because they came by the Lord’s appointment and permission; and were used by him, for the destruction of these people:
and destroyed those murderers; of Christ and his apostles, as their fathers had been of the prophets before them:
and burnt up their city; the city of Jerusalem, the metropolis of the Jews, and where the principal of these murderers dwelt; and which was burnt and destroyed by the Roman army, under Titus Vespasian.
CTR:He was wroth — Indignant.
His armies — The Roman armies.
Those murderers — The refuse, chaff, of the Jewish nation.
Burned up — Utterly destroyed in the end of the Jewish harvest.
Their city — Government, nation. Jerusalem, in AD 70.
Barnes: But when the king heard … – This doubtless refers to the Jews and to Jerusalem. They were murderers, having slain the prophets; and God was about to send forth the armies of the Romans under his providential direction, and to burn up their city.
Matthew 22:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
Clarke: Were not worthy – Because they made light of it, and would not come; preferring earthly things to heavenly blessings. Among the Mohammedans, refusal to come to a marriage feast, when invited, is considered a breach of the law of God. Hedayah, vol. iv. p. 91. Any one that shall be invited to a dinner, and does not accept the invitation, disobeys God, and his messenger: and any one who comes uninvited, you may say is a thief, and returns a plunderer. – Mischat ul Mesabih. It was probably considered in this light among all the oriental nations. This observation is necessary, in order to point out more forcibly the iniquity of the refusal mentioned in the text. A man may be said to be worthy of, or fit for, this marriage feast, when, feeling his wretchedness and misery, he comes to God in the way appointed, to get an entrance into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus.
Matthew 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
Guzik: 3. (Mat_22:8-10) The third invitation.
As many as you find, invite to the wedding: The king was determined that he would not have an empty banquet hall, so an invitation was given to all who would hear.
CTR:Go ye — The servant, the Body of Christ.
Into the highways — Among the nations, the Gentiles, outside of Israel; the third invitation.
As many as — The parable does not teach that all heard the invitation to the feast. History demonstrates that it was only a comparatively small proportion of humanity.
Ye shall find — Not to intercept all the people in the highways, but merely to urge upon those they met the great privilege of the open door to the wedding feast.
Bid to the marriage — The third division, the call of the Gentiles.
“Going in to the wedding” is not the translation of the living into immortality, but coming into a position of expectation which may be lost on account of lacking certain qualifications.
Gill:Go ye therefore into the highways,…. Either of the city, which were open and public, and where much people were passing to and fro; or of the fields, the high roads, where many passengers were travelling; and may design the Gentile world, and Gentile sinners, who, in respect of the Jews, were far off; were walking in their own ways, and in the high road to destruction; and may denote their being the vilest of sinners, and as having nothing to recommend them to the divine favour, and to such privileges as this entertainment expresses:
and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage; to the marriage feast, not the marriage supper, but the dinner, Mat_22:4, their orders were to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature, Jew or Gentile, high or low, rich or poor, outwardly righteous, or openly profane, greater or lesser sinners, and exhort them to attend the Gospel ministry, and ordinances.
Barnes: The highways – Literally, the “exit” or “going out” of the “paths or roads.” It means the square or principal street, into which a number of smaller streets enter; a place, therefore, of confluence, where many persons would be seen, and persons of all descriptions. By this is represented the offering of the gospel to the Gentiles. They were commonly regarded among the Jews as living in highways and hedges cast out and despised.
Matthew 22:10 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.
Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
Luke 14:22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Luke 14:24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
Barnes: And those servants. Including all gospel messengers ever since.
Both bad andgood. All kinds of people, without regard to their apparent moral character. The acceptance of the invitation was (and is) the great concern of the king’s servants.
And the wedding wasfilled with guests. The Jews, by their rejection of the gospel, did not frustrate the grace of God. Besides the remarkable fulfillment in the early Christian centuries, there is a reference to the Church as gathered ever since from all parts of the world, of ‘bad and good,’ and containing some without ‘a wedding garment.’
Gill:So these servants went out into the highways,…. Turned from the Jews, and went among the Gentiles, preaching the Gospel to them; particularly the Apostle Paul, with Barnabas, and others:
and gathered together all, as many as they found, both good and bad: the Persic version reads it, “known or unknown”. The Gospel ministry is the means of gathering souls to Christ, and to attend his ordinances, and into his churches; and of these that are gathered by it into churches, and to an attendance on outward ordinances, some are good and some bad, as the fishes gathered in the net of the Gospel are said to be, in Mat_13:47 which may either express the character of the Gentiles before conversion, some of them being outwardly good in their civil and moral character; closely adhering to the law and light of nature, doing the things of it, and others notoriously wicked; or rather, how they proved when gathered in, some being real believers, godly persons, whose conversations were as became the Gospel of Christ; others hypocrites, empty professors, having a form of godliness, and nothing of the power of it; destitute of grace in their hearts, and of holiness in their lives; and the whole sets forth the diligence of the servants, in executing their master’s orders, with so much readiness and exactness:
and the wedding was furnished with guests; that is, the wedding chamber, or the place where the wedding was kept, and the marriage dinner was prepared, and eat; so the Syriac renders it, בית משתיתא, “the house of the feast”, or where the feast was kept; and so the Ethiopic version: the Persic version reads it, “the house of the nuptial feast”: which designs the house and church of God, into which large numbers of the Gentiles were brought, by the ministry of the apostles; so that it was filled with persons that made a profession of Christ and his Gospel.
Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
Guzik: 4. (Mat_22:11-14) The man without a wedding garment.
When the king came to see the guests: The king carefully examines his guests, to see if they all wore the garments that were customarily offered to those attending a wedding feast.
b. A man there who did not have on a wedding garment: The man without a robe is conspicuous by his difference. He considered his own garment good enough, and refused the covering offered by the king.
i. God wants to clothe us. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isa_61:10)
ii. Those who are trying to establish their own righteousness before God are like the man who though he could clothe himself. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. (Rom_10:3)
Gill: There are certain times and seasons, when God may be said to come in to see his guests; as sometimes in a way of gracious visits to his dear children, when he bids them welcome to the entertainment of his house, and invites them to eat and drink abundantly: and sometimes in a way of providence, against formal professors and hypocrites; and at the last judgment, when he will separate the sheep from the goats, and discern between the righteous and the wicked:
he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment;…but the garment of Christ’s righteousness, is their clothing of wrought gold, and raiment of needlework, in which they are brought into the king’s presence: this, like a garment, is without them, and put upon them; and which covers and protects them, and beautifies and adorns them; and which may be called a wedding garment, because it is that, in which the elect of God were betrothed to Christ; in which they are made ready and prepared for him, as a bride adorned for her husband: and in which they will be introduced into his presence, and be by him presented, first to himself, and then to his Father, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. This man had not on this garment, this robe of righteousness; it was not imputed to him; he had no knowledge of it; or if he had any, it was only a speculative one; he had no true faith in it; he had never put on Christ, as the Lord his righteousness; he had got into a church state without it, though there is no entrance into the kingdom of heaven but by it.
CTR:The king — Jehovah himself, through the exhibition of divine justice in some manner.
Came in — Just before the feast.
Now present to gather out of his Kingdom “all things that offend” (Mat_13:41) and to gather unto himself his jewels, his bride. (Mal_3:17)
To see the guests — This parable shows the character of the readiness required, and also the individual inspection which rejects some and accepts others. An inspection just prior to the feast.
“Judgment must begin at the house of God.” (1Pe_4:17)
After the King comes and inspection is due, we should not be surprised if there is a sifting out instead of a gathering in. As none could enter without a wedding garment, an acknowledgment of the merit of Christ’s sacrifice, so none could remain without maintaining their standing of confidence in Christ.
This thought of inspection at the end of the Gospel age is also in the parables of the drag net, the wheat and tares, the wise and foolish virgins and the pounds and talents.
A man — A class, rejecting the wedding garment.
A class which, because of headiness and lax consecration, are led eventually to deny the ransom–the necessity, value or merit of the atoning sacrifice of Calvary–and appear at the feast in the filthy rags of self-righteousness.
Which had not — Repudiated his contract to be dead with Christ, to drink of his cup, to go to him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Repudiation of the nuptial contract, to suffer with him. Rejected Jesus as Savior, Redeemer, Atoner for their sins. God takes note of anyone professing loyalty, yet disregarding the merit of Christ’s death.
All who attend this wedding must have on the wedding garment, must be covered with the merit of Christ’s righteousness. A shameful impropriety, significant of pride and of disrespect for his entertainer.
A wedding garment — The imputed righteousness of Christ, justification. It was the Jewish custom to provide white linen robes for all the guests.
Covers all the blemishes of the most imperfect as well as those of the least imperfect. The robe of justification which becomes ours at the time of consecration. Given, not to the old creature, but to the new, to cover the blemishes of its imperfect body. Represents more than justification–consecration, sanctification, to suffer with Christ, to drink of his cup, to be baptized into his death.
Given only to those who accepted the invitation and entered in through the door. Represents a faith relationship with God through Christ’s merit. Signifies our entrance into the family of God, as members of the Church.
Also beautifully pictured as the bridal robe. (Psa_45:13-14)
“Fine linen, clean and white” with which the Bride is clothed. (Rev_19:8) It is not limited to theology, but must include character.
Benson: And when the king came in to see the guests — The members of the visible church; he saw there a man which had not on a wedding- garment — To explain this, it must be observed, it was usual in the eastern countries to present the guests at marriages, and other solemnities, with garments wherein they were to appear, and the number of them was esteemed an evidence of the wealth and magnificence of the giver. This king, therefore, having invited so many from the lanes, and hedges, and highways, who could never have provided themselves with proper raiment in which to make their appearance at this marriage-feast, according to the custom of the country, must be supposed to have ordered each, on his applying to the ruler of the feast, to be presented with a proper garment, that they might all be clothed in a manner becoming the magnificence of the solemnity. But this man either neglected to apply, or refused to accept and put on, the garment offered him, which was the circumstance that rendered his conduct inexcusable.
Zephaniah 1:7-8 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. 8 And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.
Clarke: Wedding garment – Among the orientals, long white robes were worn at public festivals; and those who appeared on such occasions with any other garments were esteemed, not only highly culpable, but worthy of punishment. Our Lord seems here to allude to Zep_1:7, Zep_1:8, The Lord hath prepared a Sacrifice, he hath Bidden his guests. And it shall come to pass, in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I will Punish the princes, and the King’s Children, and All Such as are clothed with Strange Apparel. The person who invited the guests prepared such a garment for each, for the time being; and with which he was furnished on his application to the ruler of the feast. It was this which made the conduct of the person mentioned in the text inexcusable; he might have had a proper marriage garment, if he had applied for it.
Among the Asiatics, garments called caftans, great numbers of which each nobleman has ordinarily ready in his wardrobe, are given to persons whom he wishes to honor: to refuse to accept or wear such a dress would be deemed the highest insult.
Matthew 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
CTR: Friend — Comrade.
How camest thou in — A gentle but forcible reminder that the wearing of the robe was the very condition of admission to the favors enjoyed, and that he had been provided one gratis.
Wedding garment — Christ’s merit, the covering he provides for his own.
Symbolizing a repudiation of the sacrificial work of Christ, or a repudiation of our nuptial contract, to suffer with him.
He was speechless — He could make no defence, he was guilty.
Benson: Friend, how camest thou in hither — How camest thou to presume to enter into my church, by taking upon thee a profession of my religion, and to sit down among the guests, or associate thyself with my disciples; not having on a wedding-garment? — Not having put off the old man and put on the new, not being made a new creature, not having put on the Lord Jesus Christ in holy graces and moral virtues.
Clarke:He saith unto him, Friend – Rather, companion: so εταιρε should be translated. As this man represents the state of a person in the visible Church, who neglects to come unto the master of the feast for a marriage garment, for the salvation which Christ has procured, he cannot be with any propriety called a friend, but may well be termed a companion, as being a member of the visible Church, and present at all those ordinances where Christ’s presence and blessing are found, by all those who sincerely wait upon him for salvation.
How camest thou in hither – Why profess to be called by my name while living without a preparation for my kingdom?
He was speechless – Εφιμωθη, he was muzzled, or gagged. He had nothing to say in vindication of his neglect. There was a garment provided, but he neither put it on, nor applied for it. His conduct, therefore, was in the highest degree insulting and indecorous.
Barnes:Friend – Rather, “companions.” The word does not imply friendship.
He was speechless – He had no excuse. So it will be with all hypocrites.
PNT: Friend. The word used in chap. Mat_20:13, and addressed to Judas (chap. Mat_26:50). It means ‘companion,’ without implying friendship.
How camest thou! It was a bold intrusion, a despising of the king, to appear in his own ordinary dress. This points to the pride of self-righteousness. Some think it indicates lawlessness or hypocrisy.
He was speechless. There can be no excuse for failure to have on the wedding garment, to be righteous through and in Christ Jesus.
Gill:how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment? Which way didst thou come in hither? since he did not come in by faith, in the righteousness of Christ; intimating, that he climbed up some other way, and was a thief and robber; or with what face, or how couldest thou have the assurance to come in hither in such a dress, having nothing but the filthy rags of thine own righteousness? How couldest thou expect to meet with acceptance with me, or to be suitable company for my people, not being arrayed with the garments of salvation, and robe of righteousness, as they are?
And he was speechless: or muzzled: his mouth was stopped, he had nothing to say for himself: not but that there will be pleas made use of by hypocrites, and formal professors, another day; who will plead either their preaching and prophesying in Christ’s name; or their attendance on outward ordinances; or the works they have done, ordinary or extraordinary; but then these will all be superseded and silenced, their own consciences will condemn them, their mouths will be stopped, and they will have nothing to say in vindication of themselves; their righteousness will not answer for them in a time to come.
Matthew 22:13 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.
Gill:Then said the king to his servants,…. By whom are meant, either the ministers of the Gospel, and pastors of churches, who by the order of Christ, and in the name of the churches, cast out all such as appear, by their bad principles and evil practices, to be without the grace of God, and righteousness of Christ; or rather, the angels, who will bind up the tares in bundles, and burn them, and gather out of Christ’s kingdom all that offend and do iniquity; and sever the wicked from the just, and use them in the manner here directed to:
bind him hand and foot; as malefactors used to be, to denote greatness of his crime, his unparalleled insolence, and the unavoidableness of his punishment; such methods being taken, that there could be no escaping it:
and take him away; from hence, to prison; a dreadful thing, to go out of a church of Christ to Gehenna. This clause is not in the Vulgate Latin, nor in the Syriac and Arabic versions, nor in Munster’s Hebrew Gospel, but is in all the ancient Greek copies;
CTR:Said to the king — Let none be in haste to judge his brethren; the Lord is judge, and he will decide who is or is not possessed of the wedding garment.
Bind him — By putting others on their guard, thus restraining their influence on the Church.
Hand and foot — Take away all his influence.
Take him away — He cannot occupy any place in the Kingdom, whatever other blessings he may or may not get at the hands of the great King to whose grace he does despite.
These stand condemned of “counting the blood of the covenant wherewith they were sanctified” and accepted as a common or ordinary thing. (Heb_10:29)
Cast him — Reject such a one from any fellowship which would mark him or her as a brother or sister in Christ.
Into outer darkness — From which he originally came in.
Prefigures the fate of all who reject the efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ.
We are not to waste sympathy on those who depart. When the Lord has put any out of the light, we cannot hope to bring them back.
Weeping — They thought they were ready for the marriage and were bitterly disappointed.
Gnashing of teeth – The expression “weeping and gnashing of teeth” occurs altogether seven times in the New Testament.
Benson: Then said the king to his servants, Bind him hand and foot, &c. — Thus, 1st, Christ commands the ministers of his gospel, to whom the exercise of discipline in his church is committed, to exclude from the society of the faithful all who, by walking disorderly, bring a reproach upon the gospel, and to leave them to outer darkness, or the darkness without the pale of the church; that is, heathenish darkness. In other words, as is expressed Mat_18:17, to let such be unto them as heathen and as publicans.
But, 2d, This clause of the sentence is to be chiefly referred to the last judgment, when Christ will command his angels to gather out of his kingdom not only all things that offend, but them which do iniquity, and to cast them into the darkness which is without the heavenly city, …
JFB:Then said the king to the servants — the angelic ministers of divine vengeance (as in Mat_13:41).
Bind him hand and foot — putting it out of his power to resist.
and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness — So Mat_8:12; Mat_25:30. The expression is emphatic – “the darkness which is outside.” To be “outside” at all – or, in the language of Rev_22:15, to be “without” the heavenly city, excluded from its joyous nuptials and gladsome festivities – is sad enough of itself, without anything else. But to find themselves not only excluded from the brightness and glory and joy and felicity of the kingdom above, but thrust into a region of “darkness,”
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
CTR: Many are called — Not all have been called. To the high calling of joint-heirship with the Redeemer
But few — Few prove worthy of the favor to which they have been called.
Are chosen — Elected is from the same Greek word.
Barnes: Many are called, but few are chosen – Our Saviour often uses this expression. It was probably proverbial. The Jews had been called, but few of them had been chosen to life. The great mass of the nation was wicked, and they showed by their lives that they were not chosen to salvation. The Gentiles also were invited to be saved, Isa_45:22. Nation after nation has been called; but few, few have yet showed that they were real Christians, the elect of God. It is also true that many who are in the church may prove to be without the wedding garment, and show at last that they were not the chosen of God. This remark in the 14th verse is the inference from the “whole parable,” and not of the part about the man without the wedding garment. It does not mean, therefore, that the great mass in the church are simply called and not chosen, or are hypocrites; but the great mass in “the human family,” in the time of Christ, who had been “called,” had rejected the mercy of God.
Wesley: Many are called; few chosen – Many hear; few believe. Yea, many are members of the visible, but few of the invisible Church. Mat 20:16.
Clarke: This is an allusion to the Roman custom of raising their militia; all were mustered, but only those were chosen to serve, who were found proper. See the note on Mat_20:16. Reader! examine thy soul, and make sure work for eternity!
Robertson: For many are called, but few chosen (polloi gar eisin klētoi oligoi de eklektoi). This crisp saying of Christ occurs in various connections. He evidently repeated many of his sayings many times as every teacher does. There is a distinction between the called (klētoi) and the chosen (eklektoi) called out from the called.
Matthew 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
CTR: The Pharisees — Who secretly taught, in a general way, that the Jews, as the people of God, ought never to pay taxes to other rulers.
Who opposed Jesus because he did not acknowledge them. They did not like him to criticize them for the hypocrisy of their claims to be perfect, or for their lack of sympathy with the poor.
The triumphal entry awakened fear in the minds of the Pharisees.
Might entangle him — Either for counselling sedition for declaring taxes illegal or, if he declared tribute lawful, alienating the sympathy of the multitudes.
Barnes: How they might entangle him – To entangle means to “ensnare,” as birds are taken by a net. This is done secretly, by leading them within the compass of the net and then suddenly springing it over them. So to entangle is artfully to lay a plan for enticing; to beguile by proposing a question, and by leading, if possible, to an incautious answer. This was what the Pharisees and Herodians endeavored to do in regard to Jesus.
In his talk – The word “his” is supplied by the translators, perhaps improperly. It means “in conversations,” or by “talking” with him; not alluding to anything that he had before said.
Matthew 22:16 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.
Matthew 22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
Guzik: (Mat_22:15-17) After a flattering introduction, the Pharisees ask Jesus a problematic question.
Plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk: Here the Pharisees and the Herodians work together. This is a testimony to their great hatred of Jesus, because they are willing to put aside their own differences for the sake of uniting against Jesus.
b. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Jesus’ dilemma with this question is simple. If He said that taxes should be paid, He could be accused of denying the sovereignty of God over Israel (making Himself an enemy of the Jews). If He said that taxes should not be paid, He declared Himself an enemy of Rome.
Barnes:The Herodians – It is not certainly known who these were.
It is probable that they took their name from Herod the Great. Perhaps they were first a political party, and were then distinguished for holding some of the special opinions of Herod. Dr. Prideaux thinks that those opinions referred to two things. The first respected subjection to a foreign power. The law of Moses was, that a “stranger should not be set over the Jews as a king,” Deu_17:15. Herod, who had received the kingdom of Judea by appointment of the Romans, maintained that the law of Moses referred only to a voluntary choice of a king, and did not refer to a necessary submission where they had been overpowered by force. His followers supposed, therefore, that it was lawful in such cases to pay tribute to a foreign prince. This opinion was, however, extensively unpopular among the Jews, and particularly the Pharisees, who looked upon it as a violation of their law, and regarded all the acts growing out of it as oppressive. Hence, the difficulty of the question proposed by them. Whatever way he decided, they supposed he would be involved in difficulty. If he should say it was not lawful, the Herodians were ready to accuse him as being an enemy of Caesar; if he said it was lawful, the Pharisees were ready to accuse him to the people of holding an opinion extremely unpopular among them, and as being an enemy of their rights. The other opinion of Herod, which they seem to have followed, was, that when a people were subjugated by a foreign force, it was right to adopt the rites and customs of their religion. This was what was meant by the “leaven of Herod,” Mar_8:15. The Herodians and Sadducees seem on most questions to have been united. Compare Mat_16:6; Mar_8:15.
We know that thou art true – A hypocritical compliment, not believed by them, but artfully said, as compliments often are, to conceal their true design. “Neither carest thou for any man.” That is, thou art an independent teacher, delivering your sentiments without regard to the fear or favor of man. This was true, and probably they believed this. Whatever else they might believe about him, they had no reason to doubt that he delivered his sentiments openly and freely.
For thou regardest not the person of men – Thou art not partial. Thou wilt decide according to truth, and not from any bias toward either party. To regard the person, or to respect the person, is in the Bible uniformly used to denote partiality, or being influenced in a decision, not by truth, but by previous attachment to a “person,” or to one of the parties by friendship, or bias, or prejudice, Lev_19:15; Jud_1:16; Deu_16:19; 2Sa_14:14; Act_10:34; Jas_2:1, Jas_2:3,Jas_2:9; 1Pe_1:17.
Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar? – Tribute was the tax paid to the Roman government.
Caesar – The Roman emperor.
The name Caesar, after the time of Julius Caesar, became common to all the emperors, as Pharaoh was the common name of all the kings of Egypt. The “Caesar” who reigned at this time was Tiberius – a man distinguished for the grossest vices and most disgusting and debasing sensuality.
Matthew 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
Matthew 22:19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
Barnes: The tribute-money – The money in which the tribute was paid.
This was a Roman coin. The tribute for the temple service was paid in the Jewish shekel; that for the Roman government in foreign coin. Their having that coin about them, and using it, was proof that they themselves held it lawful to pay the tribute; and their pretensions, therefore, were mere hypocrisy.
A penny – A Roman denarius, worth about 14 cents =7d (circa 1880’s).
Matthew 22:20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
Matthew 22:21 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.
Matthew 22:22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Guzik: 2. (Mat_22:18-22) Jesus’ reply: render to Caesar what is his, but give to God what belongs to God.
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.
a. Whose image and inscription is this: Again, with His wise answer, Jesus shows that He is in complete control. He rebuked the wickedness and hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Herodians.
b. Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s: Jesus affirmed that the government makes legitimate requests of us. We are responsible to God in all things, but we must be obedient to the powers that be in things civil and national.
c. And to God the things that are God’s: Everyone has the image of God impressed upon them. This means that we belong to God – not to Caesar, or not even to ourselves.
d. Had the Jews rendered unto God His due, they would have never had to render anything to Caesar. In New Testament times, they would never had the occupying oppression of the Roman Empire if they had been obedient to their covenant with God.
Barnes: Render, therefore, to Caesar … – Caesar’s image and name on the coin proved that it was his.
It was proper, therefore, to give it back to him when he called for it. But while this was done, Jesus took occasion to charge them, also, to give to God what he claimed. This may mean either,
1. The annual tribute due to the temple service, implying that paying tribute to Caesar did not free them from the obligation to do that; or,
2. That they should give their hearts, lives, property, and influence all to God, as his due.
They marveled – They had been foiled in their attempt.
Though he had apparently decided in favor of the Herodians, yet his answer confounded both parties, and wholly prevented the use which they intended to make of it. It was so wise; it so clearly detected their wickedness and foiled their aim, that they were confounded, and retired covered with shame.
CTR:Unto Caesar — Jesus and the apostles taught the Church to obey laws and to respect those in authority because of their office, even if they are not personally worthy of esteem. In all matters that do not conflict with our own personal liberties and conscience we are to recognize the official position of those who are governing the world. But when his laws conflict with the divine requirements, Christians are left no alternative.
The Master’s followers were instructed not to be seditious, but thankful, holy, happy and subject to the powers that be, recognizing them as ordained of God and not merely of men.
Which are Caesar’s — “Tribute to whom tribute is due.” (Rom_13:7)
If Rome ruled, Rome needed to be supported; and the method of support was, properly enough, through taxation.
We must not render unto Caesar the things of God.
That are God’s — Every talent and power we possess ought, by right, to be used in the service of our Creator and for His praise.
A lesson to the Lord’s people to keep religious affairs separate and distinct from worldly politics.
Meyer: 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?
Matthew 22:23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
CTR: Sadducees — Agnostics, practically unbelievers, of the wealthier, more respectable class.
Who opposed Jesus because, from their standpoint of unbelief, he was a fraud and was gaining influence with the people, which they feared would disturb the peace with the Roman Empire.
The triumphal entry produced fear in the Sadducees. They worried that the common people should become so aroused as to involve their nation in some strife with the empire.
Resurrection — Here without the Greek article, showing no emphasis, indicating no peculiarity.
And asked him — One of their stock questions.
Guzik: (Mat_22:23-28) The Sadducees, who were intellectual materialists, ask a difficult question, attempting to ridicule the idea of the resurrection.
a. The Sadducees, who say there is not resurrection: The Sadducees were the ancient equivalent to modern liberal theologians. They were anti-supernaturalists, only accepting the first five books (The Torah) as authentic – and disregarding the Torah when it pleased them to do so.
Matthew 22:24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
Matthew 22:25 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:
Matthew 22:26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.
Matthew 22:27 And last of all the woman died also.
Matthew 22:28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
Guzik: Now there were with us seven brothers: The Sadducees then ask Jesus a hypothetical – and ridiculous – question, hoping to show the idea of the resurrection is nonsense. Based on the law of levirate marriage described in Deu_25:5-10, if a married man died childless, it was his brother’s responsibility to impregnate his brother’s widow and account the child as the deceased husband’s descendant. The Pharisees imagined elaborate circumstances that raised the question, “Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be?”
Gill: Therefore in the resurrection,…. As asserted by the Pharisees and by Christ, supposing that there will be such a thing, though not granting it; for these men denied it, wherefore the Ethiopic version reads it hypothetically, “if therefore the dead will be raised”; upon such a supposition,
whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her, or were married to her. By putting this question, they thought to have got some advantage against Christ, and in favour of their notion; they hoped, either that he would give into their way of thinking, and relinquish the doctrine of the resurrection upon this, and join with them against the Pharisees, and so there would be no need of an answer to the question; or they judged, that if he returned an answer, it would be either that he did not know whose wife she should be, and then they would traduce him among the common people, as weak and ignorant; or should he say, that she would be the wife of one of them only, naming which of them, or of them all, or of none of them, they fancied that such absurd consequences would follow on each of these, as would expose the doctrine of the resurrection to ridicule and contempt; but they missed their aim, and were sadly disappointed by Christ’s answer and reasonings which follow.
Clarke:Whose wife shall she be of the seven? – The rabbins have said, That if a woman have two husbands in this world, she shall have the first only restored to her in the world to come. Sohar. Genes. fol. 24. The question put by these bad men is well suited to the mouth of a libertine. Those who live without God in the world have no other god than the world; and those who have not that happiness which comes from the enjoyment of God have no other pleasure than that which comes from the gratification of sensual appetites. The stream cannot rise higher than the spring: these men, and their younger brethren, atheists, deists, and libertines of all sorts, can form no idea of heaven as a place of blessedness, unless they can hope to find in it the gratification of their sensual desires. On this very ground Mohammed built his paradise.
Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Barnes: Ye do err, not knowing … – They had taken a wrong view of the doctrine of the resurrection.
It was not taught that people would marry there. The “Scriptures,” here, mean the books of the Old Testament. By appealing to them, Jesus showed that the doctrine of the future state was there, and that the Sadducees should have believed it as it was, and not have added the absurd doctrine to it that people must live there as they do here. The way in which the enemies of the truth often attempt to make a doctrine of the Bible ridiculous is by adding to it, and then calling it absurd. The reason why the Saviour produced a passage from the books of Moses Mat_22:32 was that they had also appealed to his writings, Mat_22:24. Other places of the Old Testament, in fact, asserted the doctrine more clearly Dan_12:2; Isa_26:19, but he wished to meet them on their own ground. None of those scriptures asserted that people would live there as they do here, and therefore their reasoning was false.
Guzik: 2. (Mat_22:29) Jesus’ reply to the educated men of His day: you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.
Not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God: We can be highly educated, yet not know the most important things in the world – God’s Word and God’s power.
CTR:Not knowing — You do not know the Scripture teaching concerning such questions.
The power of God — Which will straighten out all such difficulties.
As we understand the Scriptures more fully, and appreciate the power of God, we rejoice.
Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
CTR: In the resurrection — Greek, anastasis, raising up, restoring; being lifted fully and completely out of death. A gradual process. The raising up proceeds from the time of the awakening of the individual until he shall have attained to the full perfection of manhood–that will constitute his resurrection.
Neither marry — The propagation of the human race is intended to proceed only until the earth shall be filled
Are as the angels — Sexless, restored to the condition represented in Adam before Eve was separated from him.
As the angels do not die, neither will the perfected human beings die.
Guzik: In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage: First, Jesus reminds them that life in the resurrection life is quite different from this life. It does not merely continue this world and its arrangements, but it is life of a completely different order.
i. We can’t be completely certain what life in glory beyond will be like, but we can know with certainty that no one will be disappointed with the arrangements.
Matthew 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
Matthew 22:32 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.
Matthew 22:33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
Guzik:But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: Then, Jesus demonstrates the reality of the resurrection using only the Torah – the only books the Sadducees would accept. If Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not live on in resurrection, then God would say that
He was the God of Abraham, instead of I am the God of Abraham.
CTR: I am the God — This surely meant that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were to be resurrected.
Not the God of the dead — He would not thus refer to beings whom he had forever blotted out. God would not declare himself to be the God of those who are out of existence.
But — He is the God.
Of the living — All “live unto God” (Gal_2:19) in the sense that in Christ he has provided for the reawakening of all. From his standpoint, they only sleep. Implying the right, authority and power to give life; and, secondly, that the dead are so completely dead as to need another Father to regenerate them.
PNT: Mat_22:33. The multitudes. The question was put publicly. The Sadducees hoped for an evil effect on the multitudes, but they were astonished, as they might well be, at his teaching, which confounded them, maintaining the authority of the law, yet shedding new light upon it.
Matthew 22:34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
Barnes: The Pharisees … were gathered together – That is, either to rejoice that their great rivals, the Sadducees, had been so completely silenced, or to lay a new plan for ensnaring him, or perhaps both. They would rejoice that the Sadducees had been confounded, but they would not be the less desirous to involve Jesus in difficulty. They therefore endeavored, probably, to find the most difficult question in dispute among themselves, and proposed it to him to perplex him.
Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Barnes: A lawyer – This does not mean one that “practiced” law, as among us, but one learned or skilled in the law of Moses.
Mark calls him “one of the scribes.” This means the same thing. The scribes were men of learning – particularly men skilled in the law of Moses. This lawyer had heard Jesus reasoning with the Sadducees, and perceived that he had put them to silence. He was evidently supposed by the Pharisees to be better qualified to hold a debate with him than the Sadducees were, and they had therefore put him forward for that purpose. This man was probably of a candid turn of mind; perhaps willing to know the truth, and not entering very fully into their malicious intentions, but acting as their agent, Mar_12:34.
Tempting him – Trying him. Proposing a question to test his knowledge of the law.
Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Barnes: Which is the great commandment? – That is, the “greatest” commandment, or the one most important.
The Jews are said to have divided the law into “greater and smaller” commandments. Which was of the greatest importance they had not determined. Some held that it was the law respecting sacrifice; others, that respecting circumcision; others, that pertaining to washings and purifying, etc.
The law – The word “law” has a great variety of significations; it means, commonly, in the Bible, as it does here, “the law given by Moses,” recorded in the first five books of the Bible.
Mark 12:28 (TPT) Now a certain religious scholar overheard them debating. When he saw how beautifully Jesus answered all their questions, he posed one of his own, and asked him, “Teacher, which commandment is the greatest of all?”
Guzik: (Mar_12:28-34) Which is the greatest commandment?
Which is the first commandment of all? With this question, they tested Jesus to see if He would show disregard or neglect for some area of the Law of Moses. Instead of promoting one command over another, Jesus defines the law in its essence: love God with everything you have and love your neighbor as yourself.
Barnes: Perceiving that he answered them well – That is, with wisdom, and with a proper understanding of the law. In this case the opinion of the Saviour corresponded with that of the Pharisees; and the question which this scribe put to him now seems to have been one of the very few candid inquiries of him by the Jews for the purpose of obtaining information. Jesus answered it in the spirit of kindness, and commended the conduct of the man.
CTR: Asked him — Quite probably in all sincerity, and not to entrap Jesus.
Which is the first — Quite a common question among the Jews. A theological question much discussed amongst the Jewish rabbis; a question upon which they were very generally divided.
Do you ask questions?
Do you seek the Truth?
Matthew 22:37 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.
Barnes: Jesus said unto him … – Mark says that he introduced this by referring to the doctrine of the unity of God “Hear, O Israel! the Lord thy God is one Lord” – taken from Deu_6:4. This was said, probably, because all true obedience depends on the correct knowledge of God. None can keep His commandments who are not acquainted with His nature, His perfections, and His right to command,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart – The meaning of this is, thou shalt love Him with all thy faculties or powers. Thou shalt love Him supremely, more than all other beings and things, and with all the ardor possible. To love Him with all the heart is to fix the affections supremely on Him, more strongly than on anything else, and to be willing to give up all that we hold dear at His command,
With all thy soul – Or, with all thy “life.” This means, to be willing to give up the life to Him, and to devote it all to his service; to live to Him, and to be willing to die at his command,
With all thy mind – To submit the “intellect” to His will. To love His law and gospel more than we do the decisions of our own minds. To be willing to submit all our faculties to His teaching and guidance, and to devote to Him all our intellectual attainments and all the results of our intellectual efforts.
“With all thy strength” (Mark). With all the faculties of soul and body. To labor and toil for His glory, and to make that the great object of all our efforts.
CTR:Thou shalt love — This is God’s law, and it will never be put to an end. No one will ever be acceptable to the Father except they come up to the standard of that law. The spirit of God’s law is love. Every one who will ever get eternal life on any plane will have to come to the mark of perfect love.
Love for the Lord would prompt one to be obedient to His just commands, and love for the neighbor would induce one to do good unto all men as opportunities were presented.
“Love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Rom_13:10)
With all thy heart — Such love does not wait for commands, but appeals for service. Obedience to the Siniatic Law enabled Christ to fulfill the Law Covenant and to become heir of the Abrahamic Covenant at the same time that he redeemed Adam and his race.
Love to God would lead us to all those things which are inculcated in His Word. To love God thus is to subject every other thing and interest to His pleasure. The sum of our hearts, the center of our affections. If your heart is not all of that, you will not be of the Little Flock or Great Company. All must come up to this standard in their hearts, or they will all die the second death.
With all thy soul — None but a perfect man could fully live up to this requirement. Any division of the heart or mind or soul violates this commandment. The Lord thus epitomized the Ten Commandments, which are, in themselves, a brief epitome of the whole Law. Ultimately, obedience to this law will be required of all who shall have life on any plane.
Mark 12:29 TPT Jesus answered him, “The most important of all the commandments is this: ‘The Lord Yahweh, our God, is one!’
Wesley: The Lord our God is one Lord – This is the foundation of the first commandment, yea, of all the commandments. The Lord our God, the Lord, the God of all men, is one God.
CTR:Jesus answered — With a quotation from the Old Testament. (Deu_6:4-5) He added nothing, because nothing could be added.
Hear, O Israel — This declaration which the Jews called “The Shama” was considered sacred. Therefore, there could be no objection to our Lord’s answer.
God is one Lord — And not three Gods. The Son of God is not the Father, but the Son, who “proceeded forth from the Father,” who was the beginning of the creation of God. (Joh_8:42; Rev_3:14)
Gill:hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. This passage of Scripture, to the end of the ninth verse, is the first of the sections which were put into their phylacteries; See Gill on Mat_23:5; and was repeated twice every day, morning and evening; which is by the Jews called from the first word קריאת שמע, “the reading of the Shema”: concerning the exact time of the reciting of this, morning and evening, and of the posture in which they do it, reclining in the evening, and standing in the morning, and of the prayers before and after it, various rules are given in their Misna (p), or oral law; it is a precept of great esteem and veneration with them, and attended to with much solemnity.
Barnes:The Lord our God … – Literally, “Yahweh, our God, is one Yahweh.” The other nations worshipped many gods, but the God of the Jews was one, and one only. יהוה Yahweh was undivided; and this great truth it was the design of the separation of the Jewish people from other nations to keep in mind. This was the “peculiar” truth which was communicated to the Jews, and this they were required to keep and remember forever.
JFB:Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord — This every devout Jew recited twice every day, and the Jews do it to this day; thus keeping up the great ancient national protest against the polytheisms and pantheisms of the heathen world: it is the great utterance of the national faith in One Living and Personal God – “One JEHOVAH!”
Mark 12:30 TPT You are to love the Lord Yahweh, your God, with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, with every thought that is within you, and with all your strength. This is the great and supreme commandment.
CTR: Thou shalt love the Lord — Love is the principal thing. God is love. “Love is the fulfilling of the law ” (Rom_13:10) Only in proportion as love is in the heart can this divine law be fulfilled by any.
This fullness of love for the Father represents, not the beginning of the consecrated Christian’s condition, but its fullness, its completeness. The Mark of character, which is that which the law of God places as the smallest condition which would be acceptable to him–the Mark of perfect love.
The reason why the Jews could not keep the Law was that they did not have perfect love in their hearts.
Thy God — Jehovah. First reverence–later love. We cannot love God until we have become acquainted with him and ascertained the lovable qualities represented in him.
With all thy heart — By perfect obedience to this Law even unto death, our Lord fulfilled the Law Covenant, redeemed mankind, and became heir of the Abrahamic promise.
This means the full consecration of time, talent, influence, everything. Our affections must all reverence and love him. Heart conversion results from the knowledge of God and the love for him.
The Lord thus epitomized the Ten Commandments, which are in themselves a brief epitome of the whole Law. Any one who kept this Law would not be serving self. Such love does not wait for commands but will appeal for service.
With all thy soul — Our being, our bodies, must all be controlled by the love of God. You cannot do more than that, except as Jesus did, by laying down that life.
With all thy mind — Our minds must recognize, reverence and love the Lord.
With all thy strength — Our strength of mind or body must recognize him as worthy of every loving service we can render.
Gill: with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; that is, with all the powers and faculties of the soul; or with the affections, as under the influence and guidance of the more noble faculties of the soul, the mind, the understanding, judgment, and will: it is added here, which is not in Matthew,
and with all thy strength; which answers to the phrase in Deu_6:5, “with all thy might”; that is, with the greatest vehemency of affection, in the strongest expressions of it, and with all the strength of grace a man has.
Have you been able to achieve this commandment?
Matthew 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Barnes: This the first and great commandment – This commandment is found in Deu_6:5. It is the “first” and greatest of all; first, not in “order of time,” but of “importance; greatest” in dignity, in excellence, in extent, and duration. It is the fountain of all others. All beings are to be loved according to their excellence. As God is the most excellent and glorious of all beings, He is to be loved supremely. If He is loved aright, then our affections will be directed toward all created objects in a right manner.
The second is like unto it – Lev_19:18. That is, it resembles it in importance, dignity, purity, and usefulness. This had not been asked by the lawyer, but Jesus took occasion to acquaint him with the substance of the whole law. For its meaning, see the notes at Mat_19:19. Compare Rom_13:9. Mark adds, “there is none other commandment greater than these.” None respecting circumcision or sacrifice is greater. They are the fountain of all.
Guzik: Asked Him a question, testing Him: In asking Jesus to choose one great commandment, they tried to make Jesus show neglect for another area of the law. Instead of promoting one command over another, Jesus defines the law in its essence: love the Lord with everything you have and love your neighbor as yourself.
It is clear enough what it means to love the Lord with all we are, though it is exceeding difficult to do. But there has been much confusion about what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. This doesn’t mean that we must love ourselves before we can love anyone else; it means that in the same way we take care of ourselves and are concerned about our own interests, we should take care and have concern for the interests of others.
CTR:The second — Dividing the Ten Commandments into two parts, this summarizes the duty and obligation to fellowmen, toward the neighbor.
Like unto it – In sympathy with it, in harmony with the same principle. Q704:1
Love thy neighbor — If we appreciate the concept of a true neighbor which our Lord gave, then let us observe the Golden Rule. To our brethren we are not merely to observe the Golden Rule, but be ready to do toward these as Jesus did, to lay down life for them.
The Golden Rule would measure the demands of justice; but the law of God demands not only justice, but also love — love supreme to God and love to our fellow-men. We are to express this love by being thoughtful and considerate of our neighbor’s welfare and interests, and helpful as far as in our power, other obligations being considered. To love a neighbor would thus insure that you would neither kill him, nor steal from him, nor covet his goods.
Jesus declared that in the Samaritan of the parable (Luk_10:29-35), they had an example of one who was a real neighbor.
Mark 12:31 TPT And the second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself.’ You will never find a greater commandment than these.”
Guzik:Love the LORD your God . . . love your neighbor as yourself: In this we see that what God really wants from man is love. We can obey God without loving Him, but if we do love Him obedience will follow.
Russell:And the second — He divided the Law into two parts, as on the two tables of stone; the one part relating to God and man’s obligations to his Creator; and the second part relating to man’s responsibilities toward his fellow-man. Second only to the previous statement of the love to God.
Namely this — Quoting from Lev_19:18.
Love thy neighbour — The government instituted by Moses was a model of fairness and justice between brethren, and also the stranger and foreigner.
“If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen?”
As thyself — The keeping of these two commends would touch upon, cover and include every item of the divine Law.
Do you love your neighbor?
Do you love your brother?
Are your actions in harmony with your profession?
Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Guzik: On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets: These are still the great commandments; these are the laws that God wants to make real in our lives.
Barnes: On these two commandments hang … – That is, these comprehend the substance of what Moses in the law and what the prophets have spoken.
What they have said has been to endeavor to win people to love God and to love each other. Love to God and man comprehends the whole of religion, and to produce this has been the design of Moses, the prophets, the Saviour, and the apostles.
Mark Mar_12:32-34 adds that the scribe said, “Well, Master, thou hast said the truth;” and that he assented to what Jesus had said, and admitted that to love God and man in this manner was more than all burnt-offerings and sacrifices; that is, was of more value or importance. Jesus, in reply, told him that he was “not far from the kingdom of heaven;” in other words, by his reply he had shown that he was almost prepared to receive the doctrines of the gospel. He had evinced such an acquaintance with the law as to prove that he was nearly prepared to receive the teachings of Jesus. See the notes at Mat_3:2.
Mark and Luke say that this had such an effect that no man after that durst ask him any question, Luk_20:40; Mar_12:34. This does not mean that none of his disciples durst ask him any question, but none of the Jews. He had confounded all their sects – the Herodians Mat_22:15-22; the Sadducees Mat_22:23-33; and, last, the Pharisees Mat_22:34-40. Finding themselves unable to confound him, everyone gave up the attempt at last.
Mark 12:32 TPT The religious scholar replied, “Yes, that’s true, Teacher. You spoke beautifully when you said that God is one, and there is no one else besides him.
Mark 12:33 TPT And there is something more important to God than all the sacrifices and burnt offerings: it’s the commandment to constantly love God with every passion of your heart, with your every thought, and with all your strength—and to love your neighbor in the same way as you love yourself.”
Guzik: To love Him with all . . . and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices: The scribe’s response to Jesus was right on the mark. It is easy to think that religious ceremony and devotion are more important than love for God and our neighbor, but this isn’t the case. A thousand empty burnt offerings are not more to God than a single act of love done in His name.
Benson: The scribe — Who had proposed the question to try him, being struck with the solidity and spirit of his answer, said, Well, Master — In the original it is, καλως, excellently, finely, or beautifully; a phrase which expresses his high satisfaction in the reply much more strongly than the word well. Thou hast said the truth — Thy declaration is perfectly correct, and unspeakably important; for there is one God, &c., and to love him with all the heart — To love and serve him with all the united powers of the soul, in their utmost vigour; and without a rival;
and to love his neighbour as himself — To maintain the same equitable and charitable temper and behaviour toward all men, as we, in like circumstances, would wish from them toward ourselves, is a more necessary and important duty, and a more acceptable service, than the offering the most noble and costly sacrifices; nor could the most exact and pompous ritual observances be acceptable without such graces and virtues as these.
PNT:Well, Master, thou saidst with truth. Without doubt the scribe spoke candidly, though Matthew states that his question was put, ‘tempting’(or ‘trying,’ i.e., putting to proof) our Lord. He may have been chosen by the Pharisees as their unconscious tool, because of his candor. Besides our Lord’s words may have awakened a spiritual apprehension of the law. He represents a large class, outside the kingdom, in a more hopeful condition than Pharisees in the visible church, but he had not yet taken the decisive step.
Mark 12:34 TPT When Jesus noticed how thoughtfully and sincerely the man answered, he said to him, “You’re not far from the reality of God’s kingdom realm.” After that, no one dared to question him again.
Benson: When Jesus saw that he answered discreetly — And thereby showed that he had just views of true religion; he said, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God — He applauded the piety and wisdom of the scribe’s reflection, by declaring, that he was not far from embracing the gospel, and becoming a true member of Christ’s Church, possessed of all the blessings belonging to his disciples. Reader, art thou not far from the kingdom of God? Then go on: be a real Christian; else it had been better for thee to have been afar off.
Barnes:Discreetly – Wisely, according to truth.
Not far from the kingdom of God – Thou who dost prefer the “internal” to the “external” worship of God – who hast so just a view of the requirements of the law – canst easily become a follower of me, and art almost fit to be numbered among my disciples. This shows that a proper understanding of the Old Testament, of its laws and requirements, would prepare the mind for Christianity, and suit a person at once to embrace it when presented. One system is grafted on the other, agreeably to Gal_3:24.
And no man after that durst ask him any question – That is, no one of the scribes, the Pharisees, or the Sadducees durst ask him a question for the purpose of “tempting” him or entangling him. He had completely silenced them. It does not appear, however, but that his “disciples” dared to ask him questions for the purpose of information.
PNT: Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. Intellectually on the right road, nearer to the kingdom than a mere formalist could be, recognizing the spirituality of the law, perhaps conscious of the folly of self-righteousness; but, though standing as it were at the door, still outside.—Alexander. While the worst of His opponents were unable to convict Him of an error, or betray Him into a mistake, the best of them, when brought into direct communication with Him on the most important subjects, found themselves almost in the position of His own disciples.
And no man any more durst ask him any question. A natural effect of the previous experiments. No further question is put to Him, but He asks one which they cannot answer. Matthew however, gives more prominence to the fact that no one ‘was able to answer Him a word,’ and so puts this statement after the victorious question of our Lord. Such independent testimony is the most valuable, especially here where our Lord asks a question respecting His own Person, in some respects the central question of Christianity.
Matthew 22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
Matthew 22:41 TPT While all the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus took the opportunity to pose a question of his own:
Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
Guzik: What do you think about the Christ? Jesus still asks this question today. When asked, “Who is the Messiah?”
(Mat_22:42 b) The Pharisees identify the lineage of the Messiah.
They said to Him, “The Son of David.”
Barnes:What think ye of Christ? – The article should have been retained in the translation – the Christ or the Messiah. He did not ask them their opinion respecting himself, his person, and work, as would seem in our translation, but their views respecting the Messiah whom they expected.
Whose son is he? – Whose “descendant?” See the notes at Mat_1:1.
The son of David – The descendant of David, according to the promise.
Clarke: While the Pharisees were gathered together – Jesus asks a question in his turn, utterly to confound them, and to show the people that the source of all the captious questions of his opponents was their ignorance of the prophecies relative to the Messiah.
CTR:Son of David — In the days of his flesh he was the Son of David, but in his glorification he is David’s Lord.
He was not the Son of David before he left the higher nature and became a man–a branch out of the roots of Jesse. (Isa_11:11)
He became David’s offspring in Bethlehem; he became David’s Lord by virtue of his death.
The first Adam was the original “root”; hence our Lord Jesus in the flesh, son of Mary, son of David, son of Abraham, was in the same sense a shoot or branch out of Adam.
The name David signifies “beloved,” and Jesus himself was proclaimed as the real David–“This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Mat_3:17)
Relates, not to his pre-human existence, but to his relationship to the human family, his genealogy being traceable to David both through Mary and through Joseph. (Luk_3:31; Mat_1:6, Mat_1:16)
Mark 12:35 TPT While Jesus was teaching in the courts of the temple, he posed a question to those listening: “Why do the religious scholars say that the Messiah is David’s son?
CTR:How say the scribes — Not endeavoring to entrap them as they endeavored to do with him; but because there is no better method of presenting a truth strikingly than through a wisely directed question
Guzik: (Mar_12:35-37) Jesus asks a question: how can the Messiah be both the Son of David and the Lord of David?
How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? Since Jesus is the Christ, here He speaks of Himself. With the questions of the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees to Jesus, they tried to make Him look bad or trap Him. Jesus did not do the same in His questions to them; instead He got to the heart of the matter: “do you really know who I am?”
- These religious leaders thought they knew just about everything there was to know about the Messiah. Jesus is challenging this notion, and He asks them to consider that they may have something to learn.
Do you know the answer?
Matthew 22:43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
Matthew 22:44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Matthew 22:45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
Guzik: 3. (Mat_22:43-45) Jesus is not only David’s Son; He is David’s Lord!
How then does David in the Spirit call Him “Lord”: The Pharisees were partially right in saying that the Messiah is the Son of David. But they didn’t have a complete understanding of who the Messiah is. He is not only David’s Son (a reference to His humanity), but He is also David’s Lord (a reference to the Messiah).
b. This is the idea communicated in Rev_22:16 : I am the root and the offspring of David, and Rom_1:4, which shows Jesus as both the Son of David and the Son of God. We must not neglect either facet of Jesus’ person.
c. If David then calls Him “Lord,” how is He his Son? Jesus’ brilliantly simple explanation of the Scriptures puts the Pharisees on the defensive.
CTR:David in spirit — By inspiration, prophetically.
Lord — David will receive from him, not only resurrection, but also the blessings of participation in the Messianic Kingdom.
“I am the root of David” (Rev_22:16); that is, the father, or progenitor of David.
Not by reason of anything before he was made flesh, but by reason of the great work which he accomplished as the Mediator of the Atonement.
The Logos might properly have been styled a Lord, a high one in authority; but there was a particular and different sense in which our Lord Jesus became a Lord or Master by virtue of his death and resurrection. By virtue of his having bought the race he has, in the eyes of justice, become its owner, its master, Lord of all.
“To this end Christ both died and revived, that he might be Lord, both of the dead and living.” (Rom_14:9)
Said unto my Lord — Greek, adon, master, ruler, the resurrected Christ.
“The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord.” (Psa_110:1, Young’s Translation)
On my right hand — In the position of favor and power. He hath given him authority above every other, next to the Father.
Mark 12:36 TPT Yet it was David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, who sang: The Lord Jehovah said to my Lord, ‘Sit near me in the place of authority until I subdue all your enemies under Your feet.’
Mark 12:37 TPT Since David calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” The large crowd that had gathered around Jesus took delight in hearing his words.
Guzik: David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son? Jesus is not only the Son of David He is also the Lord of David. As Rev_22:16 says, He is both the root and offspring of David. With this question Jesus challenges the religious leaders, asking them “do you understand this truth about the Messiah?”
Gill: For David himself said by the Holy Ghost,…. In Psa_110:1, being inspired by the Spirit of God:
the Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. This is a proof, that David did call Christ his Lord; and that he called him so in spirit; since these words were delivered by him under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: that the psalm was wrote by David, the title shows; and that he spake it as he was influenced by the Holy Ghost, our Lord declares: the passage relates to what God said to Christ, when being risen from the dead, he ascended on high, and entered into the most holy place; he bid him sit down at his right hand, as having done the work of man’s salvation…where he should continue, till all his enemies, Jews, Pagans, Papists, and Mahometans, as well as Satan, and all his principalities and powers, were so subdued under him, as to be as a footstool to his throne: and when David prophetically speaks of this, he calls the Messiah his Lord; saying, the “Lord said to my Lord“
Benson: And the common people heard him gladly — They heard him with great attention and pleasure; for the clear and solid answers which he returned to the insnaring questions of his foes, gave them a high opinion of his wisdom, and showed them how far he was superior to their most renowned rabbis; whose arguments to prove their opinions, and answers to the objections that were raised against them, were, generally speaking, but mean and trifling in comparison of his.
Clarke:The common people heard him gladly – The success of the Saviour in his preaching was chiefly among the common or the poorer class of people. The rich and the mighty were too proud to listen to his instructions. So it is still. The main success of the gospel is there, and there it pours down its chief blessings. This is not the fault of “the gospel.” It would bless the rich and the mighty as well as the poor, if they came with like humble hearts. God knows no distinctions of men in conferring His favors; and wherever there is a poor, contrite, and humble spirit – be it clothed in rags or in purple – be it on a throne or on a dunghill – there He confers the blessings of salvation.
Matthew 22:46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
Guzik: 4. (Mat_22:46) Jesus’ enemies in retreat.
And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.
a. No one was able to answer Him a word: Logic and rhetoric have proved to be of no help in destroying Jesus. Now His enemies will resort to treachery and violence.
Clarke: Neither durst any – ask him any more questions – “Thus,” says Dr. Wotton, “our Lord put the four great sects of the Jews to silence, in one day, successively. The Herodians and Pharisees wanted to know whether they might lawfully pay tribute to Caesar or not. The Sadducees were inquisitive to know whose wife the woman should be of the seven brethren, in the resurrection, who had her to wife. Then comes the scribe, (or karaite), who owned no authority beyond or besides the written law, and asked which was the great commandment in the law. This lawyer deserves to be mentioned here, because he not only acquiesced in, but commended, what our Lord had said in answer to his question.” Wotton’s Miscellaneous Discourses, vol. i. p. 78.
The Pharisees and Herodians were defeated, Mat_22:15-22. The Sadducees were confounded, Mat_22:29-33. The lawyers or karaites nonplussed, Mat_22:37-40. And the Pharisees, etc., finally routed, Mat_22:41-46. Thus did the wisdom of God triumph over the cunning of men.
From this time, we do not find that our Lord was any more troubled with their captious questions: their whole stock, it appears, was expended, and now they coolly deliberate on the most effectual way to get him murdered. He that resists the truth of God is capable of effecting the worst purpose of Satan.