|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:15-24 In this parable observe the free grace and mercy of God shining in the gospel of Christ, which will be food and a feast for the soul of a man that knows its own wants and miseries. All found some pretence to put off their attendance. This reproves the Jewish nation for their neglect of the offers of Christ's grace. It shows also the backwardness there is to close with the gospel call. The want of gratitude in those who slight gospel offers, and the contempt put upon the God of heaven thereby, justly provoke him. The apostles were to turn to the Gentiles, when the Jews refused the offer; and with them the church was filled. The provision made for precious souls in the gospel of Christ, has not been made in vain; for if some reject, others will thankfully accept the offer. The very poor and low in the world, shall be as welcome to Christ as the rich and great; and many times the gospel has the greatest success among those that labour under worldly disadvantages and bodily infirmities. Christ's house shall at last be filled; it will be so when the number of the elect is completed.
Verse 16. - Then said he unto him. The parable with which the great Teacher answered the guest's remark contains much and varied teaching for all ages of the Church, but in the first instance it replies to the speaker's words. "Yes," said the Master, "blessed indeed are they who sit down at the heavenly feast. You think you are one of those whom the King of heaven has invited to the banquet; what have you done, though, with the invitation? I know many who have received it who have simply tossed it aside; are you of that number? Listen now to my story of the Divine banquet and of the invited thereto." A certain man made a great supper, and bade many. The kingdom of heaven, under the imagery of a great Banquet, was a picture well known to the Jews of that age. The guests in the Pharisee's house for the greater part were probably highly cultured men. At once they would grasp the meaning of the parable. They knew that the supper was heaven, and the Giver of the feast was God. The many - these were Israel, the long line of generations of the chosen people. So far strictly true, they thought; the Galilaean Teacher here is one with the rabbis of our Jerusalem schools. But, as Jesus proceeded, a puzzled, angry look would come upon the self-satisfied faces of Pharisee, scribe, and doctor; whispers would run round, "What means the Galilaean here?"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then said he unto him,.... That is, Jesus, as the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions express it; he said to the man that was so affected with the happiness of such that shall share in the provisions of the Messiah's kingdom;
a certain man made a great supper: by which is meant not the Lord's supper, which was not as yet instituted; nor the supper of the Lamb, which will be at the end of the world; but the Gospel dispensation, which was now taking place, and the provisions of it in the word and ordinances: and which is called a "supper"; because made in the end of the world, in the last days: and a "great" one, because of the maker of it, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; and the matter of it, a variety of rich provisions, a feast of fat things, an entertainment consisting of the greatest dainties, and most delightful food; and on account of the number of the guests invited, all people, every creature, to whom the outward ministration of the Gospel comes; and those who are properly guests that come, are a great number which no man can number; as well as because of the cost and charges of it to the maker, though it is all free to the guests; and likewise because of the circumstances of exceeding great joy and pleasure that attend it; to which may be added, the long duration of it, even from the first to the second coming of Christ.
And bade many. This first bidding more especially respects the Jews, who are said to be "many", in reference to the promise made to Abraham, that his seed should be as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand of the sea; and to set off the magnificence of the feast; and in distinction from all the world, and every creature, which were afterwards put into the Gospel commission: a foundation was laid for this supper in eternity, in the purposes, counsel, and covenant of God; and many prophecies concerning it were given out from the beginning; and sacrifices and ordinances were instituted, as emblematical of it, and to lead on to it, and give notice of it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. a great supper—(Compare Isa 25:6).
bade many—historically, the Jews (see on Mt 22:3); generally, those within the pale of professed discipleship.
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