|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-14 The provision made for perishing souls in the gospel, is represented by a royal feast made by a king, with eastern liberality, on the marriage of his son. Our merciful God has not only provided food, but a royal feast, for the perishing souls of his rebellious creatures. There is enough and to spare, of every thing that can add to our present comfort and everlasting happiness, in the salvation of his Son Jesus Christ. The guests first invited were the Jews. When the prophets of the Old Testament prevailed not, nor John the Baptist, nor Christ himself, who told them the kingdom of God was at hand, the apostles and ministers of the gospel were sent, after Christ's resurrection, to tell them it was come, and to persuade them to accept the offer. The reason why sinners come not to Christ and salvation by him, is, not because they cannot, but because they will not. Making light of Christ, and of the great salvation wrought out by him, is the damning sin of the world. They were careless. Multitudes perish for ever through mere carelessness, who show no direct aversion, but are careless as to their souls. Also the business and profit of worldly employments hinder many in closing with the Saviour. Both farmers and merchants must be diligent; but whatever we have of the world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it come between us and Christ. The utter ruin coming upon the Jewish church and nation, is here represented. Persecution of Christ's faithful ministers fills up the measure of guilt of any people. The offer of Christ and salvation to the Gentiles was not expected; it was such a surprise as it would be to wayfaring men, to be invited to a royal wedding-feast. The design of the gospel is to gather souls to Christ; all the children of God scattered abroad, Joh 10:16; 11:52. The case of hypocrites is represented by the guest that had not on a wedding-garment. It concerns all to prepare for the scrutiny; and those, and those only, who put on the Lord Jesus, who have a Christian temper of mind, who live by faith in Christ, and to whom he is all in all, have the wedding-garment. The imputed righteousness of Christ, and the sanctification of the Spirit, are both alike necessary. No man has the wedding-garment by nature, or can form it for himself. The day is coming, when hypocrites will be called to account for all their presumptuous intruding into gospel ordinances, and usurpation of gospel privileges. Take him away. Those that walk unworthy of Christianity, forfeit all the happiness they presumptuously claimed. Our Saviour here passes out of the parable into that which it teaches. Hypocrites go by the light of the gospel itself down to utter darkness. Many are called to the wedding-feast, that is, to salvation, but few have the wedding-garment, the righteousness of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit. Then let us examine ourselves whether we are in the faith, and seek to be approved by the King.
Verse 2. - The kingdom of heaven is like (comp. Matthew 20:1. This parable supplements that of the wicked husbandmen. As that referred to Jewish times, so this refers to gospel times. The householder in the one becomes the king in the other; one demands work and duty, the other bestows gifts and blessings; one is angered at ingratitude for favours received, the other punishes for contempt of offered bounty. A certain king; ἀνθρώπῳ βασιλεῖ: a man a king, even God the Father, the expression denoting "the Almighty's wonderful condescension, as assimilating himself to our infirmities in his dispensations towards us" (I. Williams). Made a marriage; γάμους: marriage festivities; the plural perhaps denoting the days consumed in the celebration (see Genesis 29:27; Judges 14:12; Tobit 8:19, 20). Morison compares our English word "nuptials." In the Old Testament, Jehovah is the Husband of his Church; in the New, Christ is represented as married to the spiritual Israel, which takes the place of the older dispensation. For his son. Jesus Christ, whose intimate union with his Church is often represented under the figure of a marriage (see Matthew 9:15; John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23, 32; Revelation 19:7).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king,.... The Gospel dispensation which had now taken place, the methods of divine grace in it, and the behaviour of men under it, may be fitly illustrated by the following simile, or parable; the design of which is to express the great love of God the Father, who is represented by this
certain king, in espousing any of the children of men to his own son: as, that he a king, who is the King of kings, and Lord of Lords, should concern himself in this manner; and especially, that he should espouse such mean and unworthy creatures to his own, his only, and beloved son, his equal, and his heir: also, the view of it is to set forth the plenteous provisions of grace made under the Gospel dispensation in the word and ordinances; the great neglect and contempt of these by the Jews, who were externally called unto them; the wrath of God upon them for their abuse of them, and ill usage of his servants; the calling of the vilest among them, or of the Gentiles, and how far persons may go in a profession of religion without the wedding garment, and at last be lost:
which made a marriage for his son: which may be understood either of contracting and bringing him into a marriage relation, or of making a marriage feast on that account: in the former sense, the persons concerned are the Father, the bridegroom, and the bride: the parties contracted are the Son of God and sinful creatures. The bridegroom is no other than the only begotten of God the Father, his only Son and heir, the Maker and Governor of the universe, who has all the, perfections of the Deity, and fulness of the Godhead in him; and, as mediator, has all accomplishments and, excellencies; he has all the riches of grace and glory; all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; all loveliness, beauty, and amiableness in his person, and everything to recommend him as the chiefest among ten thousand: on the other hand, the bride is the church, which consists of a set of persons chosen by God, in Christ, before the foundation of the world; who were considered as sinless creatures, and viewed as such when first betrothed to Christ in the everlasting covenant: but for the further demonstration of his love to them, were suffered to fall in Adam, with the rest of mankind, and to be scattered abroad; when they lost the image of God, came short of his glory, passed under a sentence of condemnation, became liable to the curse of the law, and eternal death; were defiled and polluted in their nature, and in their estate became bankrupts and beggars; and yet this hindered not the consummation of the marriage between Christ and them. The person that contracted this relation between them, is the Father of Christ, who chose them for him to be his spouse and bride; brought and presented them to him, as he did Eve to Adam before the fall; and gave them to him, and made them one body and flesh with him, in the everlasting covenant; and draws them, and brings them to him by his powerful grace, in the effectual calling; there was a secret betrothing of all these persons to him in eternity, at his own request, and the full consent of his Father, who had the disposal of them; there is an open espousal of them, as particular persons, at conversion; and there will be a more public and general consummate marriage of them, at the last day, when they are all called by grace, and brought home: moreover, this may be understood of the marriage feast which the Father makes on this extraordinary account. So the Syriac version renders the word by "a feast"; and in this sense is it used by the Septuagint in Genesis 29:22 by which is meant, not the latter day glory, or marriage feast of the Lamb, to which only saints will be invited, and partake of; nor the ultimate glory, when all the elect shall go with Christ into the marriage chamber, and spend an eternity in endless and unspeakable felicity with him; nor the spiritual blessings of grace enjoyed by believers now; but the external ministry of the word and ordinances, which are a feast of fat things, a rich entertainment, the particulars of which are after given; which many are invited to, who never partake thereof, and others do, and yet destitute of the grace of God; for both good and bad were guests at this feast. The allusion is to the custom of the Jews, and of other nations, in making feasts and grand entertainments at such times. The Jews used to make feasts both at espousals, and at marriage: hence we (g) read of , "a feast of espousals", and of "a marriage feast": the reference here is to the latter; and which used to be made at the charge of the father: for so runs one of their canons (h):
"a father marries his son, , "and makes a feast for him", and the expense is the father's &c.''
(g) T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 43. 1, 2.((h) Maimon. Hilch. Nechalot, c. 9. sect. 13. Vid. Misn. Sheviith, c. 7. sect. 4. & Juchasin, fol. 88. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son—"In this parable," as Trench admirably remarks, "we see how the Lord is revealing Himself in ever clearer light as the central Person of the kingdom, giving here a far plainer hint than in the last parable of the nobility of His descent. There He was indeed the Son, the only and beloved one (Mr 12:6), of the Householder; but here His race is royal, and He appears as Himself at once the King and the King's Son (Ps 72:1). The last was a parable of the Old Testament history; and Christ is rather the last and greatest of the line of its prophets and teachers than the founder of a new kingdom. In that, God appears demanding something from men; in this, a parable of grace, God appears more as giving something to them. Thus, as often, the two complete each other: this taking up the matter where the other left it." The "marriage" of Jehovah to His people Israel was familiar to Jewish ears; and in Ps 45:1-17 this marriage is seen consummated in the Person of Messiah "THE King," Himself addressed as "God" and yet as anointed by "His God" with the oil of gladness above His fellows. These apparent contradictions (see on Lu 20:41-44) are resolved in this parable; and Jesus, in claiming to be this King's Son, serves Himself Heir to all that the prophets and sweet singers of Israel held forth as to Jehovah's ineffably near and endearing union to His people. But observe carefully, that THE Bride does not come into view in this parable; its design being to teach certain truths under the figure of guests at a wedding feast, and the want of a wedding garment, which would not have harmonized with the introduction of the Bride.
Matthew 22:2 Parallel Commentaries
Matthew 22:2 NIV
Matthew 22:2 NLT
Matthew 22:2 ESV
Matthew 22:2 NASB
Matthew 22:2 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible