Text: Matthew 22
Event(s): The parable of the wedding feast; The Pharisees: “Is it lawful to pay taxes?” The Sadducees: “What about resurrection?”; The Scribes: “Which is the first commandment?”
Matthew 22:1 “Jesus answered and spoke to them again” This is the third parable Jesus used to answer the Pharisees question (Matthew 21:23) of His authority. The two parables we read in chapter 21 speak to the fact that Jesus acted with the authority of the Father and the Son. This parable in chapter 22 illustrates Jesus also carried the authority of the Spirit.
Matthew 22:3 “and sent out his servants to call those who were invited…” The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to “call people” to the wedding. God sent out His Spirit to draw people to Christ, but the unbelieving rejected Him.
Matthew 22:6-7 “burned up their city” Sadly, this did happen later, in A.D. 70, when the Roman emperor Titus finally overcame the Jewish rebels and scattered them from Palestine. This was Jesus’ first prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Matthew 22:11 “he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.” The wedding garment, in light of this being a parable of the kingdom, is the the robe of righteousness that God clothes us with. “I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 Perhaps this man thought he could get in simply because of his nationality, or his relationship to the family, but since he did not have the proper clothing, the robe of righteousness, he could not enter the kingdom.
Matthew 22:16 “And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians…” Please notice the various groups of people that are being mentioned. The intensity is building. It’s as if all His opponents are coming at Him at the same time. Chapter 21 made mention of the chief priests, the elders and the Pharisees, (cf 21:23, 45) now here we have the Pharisees and Herodians and in verse 23 we will see the Sadducees and in verse 34 we have the Scribes. This is all in the same day!
Matthew 22:16 (AMP) “Teacher, we know that You are sincere and that You teach the way of God truthfully, without concerning Yourself about [what] anyone [thinks or says of Your teachings]; for You are impartial and do not seek anyone’s favor [and You treat all people alike, regardless of status].” In true form, the Herodians are the most politically spoken of the whole bunch. Flattery is the counterfeit of genuine compliments or exhortation. The difference maker is motive. It appears to build one up, but it is one of the most deceitful forms of manipulation. Notice in verse 18, it says Jesus perceived their “wickedness”.
Matthew 22:28 “Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife..will she be?” This was an unlikely question for Sadducees to ask, since they did not believe in resurrection or afterlife. They probably knew that Jesus believed in resurrection, and wanted to create what they thought was an impossible situation, in order to embarrass Him.
Matthew 22:29 “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” The word used for mistaken is deceived. The word used for power is dunamis. They didn’t know the Scriptures because throughout there are repeated references to resurrection. They didn’t know God’s power because they assumed that the resurrection would just involve an awakening, not a total transformation.
Matthew 22:30 “they neither marry or are given in marriage” In heaven, relationships are different than they are on earth. Marriage relationships as we now know them will not exist after our resurrection. However, Jesus did not say that in the resurrection state, all memory of our former existence and relationships will end. We cannot add to what Jesus said or take away from it to draw our own conclusions. They key is that the power of God will provide for new and grater relationships that transcend the physical relationships of the present order.
Today’s Takeaway: Jesus had been with the people all this time, but what stands out to me is that even here, all the way to the end, they’re still questioning Him (trying to accuse Him) with questions about His authority, money, the resurrection, and putting God first. Notice the motive behind all these questions were the same: to try and discredit Him.
Friends, there is really nothing new under the sun. Whenever the enemy comes at us with what seems like a curve ball in an attempt to throw us off course, just remember – Jesus has already conquered it all. But we must recognize that these are the same areas where we are the most vulnerable to be discredited in our walk and testimony. A very good question to ask ourselves is, if someone got up close and looked “under the hood” of our lives in these areas we mentioned, what would they find? Let us rid ourselves of any duplicity.
“For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anythinghidden that will not be known and come to light.” Luke 8:17
Additional (optional) reading: Parallel accounts of today’s events can be found in Mark 12:13-37 and Luke 20:19-44