Matthew 22:5
But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
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(5) They made light of it.—The words point to the temper of neglect which slights the offer of the kingdom of God, and prefers the interest of this world. This was one form of neglect. Another ran parallel with it, and passed on into open antagonism.

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.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.

5. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: See Poole on "Matthew 22:14".

But they made light of it,.... The invitation. They neglected the ministry of the Gospel; they did not care for it, nor showed any regard to it: and this is the ease, when either it is not attended on, though there is an opportunity, yet having no heart to embrace it, and no value for it, neglect attendance on it; and which often arises from loving of the world too much: or when it is attended on, but in a very negligent and careless manner; when men pull away the shoulder, or stop their ears; when they do not mind what they hear, let it slip and forget it; when they are unconcerned for it, and their thoughts are employed about other things: or when the Gospel and the ordinances of it are looked upon as things of no importance; not knowing the real worth and value of them; seeing no wisdom in them, having never tasted the sweetness, or felt the power of them, or seen the need of the things revealed by them: as also when there is an aversion to the Gospel, a loathing of it, as a novel, upstart doctrine, received but by a few, and these the meanest and most illiterate; as contrary to reason, and tending to licentiousness; and especially, when it is contradicted and blasphemed, as it was by the Jews, and its ministers despised: some men make light of it, because of the loss of time from worldly employments; because of the charge attending it; because it teaches them to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts; and because they prefer their bodies to their souls, and things temporal, to things eternal. The aggravations of their sin, in slighting and neglecting the Gospel and Gospel ordinances, are, that this is a grand entertainment, a very expensive provision, as well as a very plentiful one; that it was a wedding dinner, a feast of love, they were invited to; that it was prepared by so great a person as a king, and who is the King of kings, and the only potentate; who provided this dinner of his own sovereign good will and pleasure, in the everlasting council and covenant of grace and peace: for the things of which it consists, there was a scheme so early contrived to bring them about; and that this was made on the account of the marriage of his Son, the Messiah, who had been so often spoken of by the prophets of the Old Testament, these men professed a value for; one so long expected by their forefathers, and is the messenger of the covenant, whose coming they themselves desired and sought for; and that they should be invited to it again and again, and one set of servants sent after another, and the most striking and moving arguments made use of; and yet they slighted and made light of all this, and were careless and unconcerned; to which may be added, that the things they were invited to, were such as concerned their immortal souls, and the spiritual and eternal welfare of them; in short, it was no other than the great salvation, wrought out by the great God, and our Saviour, for great sinners, at the expense of his blood and life, which they neglected; See Gill on Hebrews 2:3.

And went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: they all turned their backs on the Gospel, and the ministration of it, and pursued their own worldly inclinations, ways, and methods of life: those that were brought up in a rural way, lived a country life, and were concerned in meaner employments, went everyone to their "village", as the Vulgate Latin, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel read it, and to their farms, there to manage their cattle, and till their ground; and others, that lived in larger towns and cities, and were concerned in greater business of life, betook themselves to trade at home, or traffic abroad; placing their happiness in the affluence of this life, which they preferred to the word and ordinances of Christ. Such a division of worldly employment is made by the Jews (k);

"the way of that host is like to a king, who makes a grand entertainment, and says to the children of his palace, all the rest of the days ye shall be everyone in his house; this shall do his business, , "and this shall go about his merchandise", , "and this shall go to his field", except on my day.''

(k) Zohar in Lev. fol. 40. 2.

But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
Matthew 22:5 ff. Ἀμελήσαντες] having paid no attention, said with reference merely to those who went away; for the others, Matthew 22:6, conducted themselves in a manner directly hostile. This in answer to Fritzsche, who holds that Matthew would have expressed himself more precisely: οἱ δὲ ἀμελ., οἱ μὲν ἀπῆλθονοἱ δὲ λοιποὶ, κ.τ.λ. Instead of so expressing himself, however, he leaves it to appear from the context that the first οἱ represents the majority of those invited, while the οἱ δὲ λοιποί constitute the remainder, so that the general form of expression (οἱ δὲ ἀμελ., κ.τ.λ.) finds its limitation in οἱ δὲ λοιποί. This limitation might also have been expressed by οἱ δέ alone, in the sense of some, however (see Kühner, II. 2, p. 808).

εἰς τὸν ἴδιον ἀγρόν] to his own farm (Mark 5:14; Mark 6:36), so that he preferred his own selfish interests to being present at the marriage of the royal prince, as was also the case with him who went to his merchandise. For ἴδιος, comp. note on Ephesians 5:22.

Matthew 22:5-7. οἱ δὲ ἀμελήσαντες ἀπῆλθον. The Vulgate resolves the participle and translates: “neglexerunt et abierunt,” so also the A.V[122] and R.V[123]; justly, for the participle points out the state of mind which gave rise to the conduct specified. They treated the pressing invitations and glowing descriptions of the servants with indifference.—ὃς μὲν, ὃς δὲ: this one to his own (ἴδιον for αὐτοῦ = proprius for suus) field, that one to his trading (ἐμπορίαν here only in N. T. Cf. Lk. at this point).

[122] Authorised Version.

[123] Revised Version.

Matthew 22:5. Ἀμελήσαντες, making light of, neglecting) This is a greater offence than the previous, They would not come. They ought to have understood (see Acts 7:25), and to have watched.—ἀπῆλθον, they departed) leaving even the city, which was therefore burnt; see Matthew 22:7. He who does not answer the call, loses even those advantages which he previously had possessed.—τὸν ἴδιοναὐτοῦ, his own—his) Egoism.[952]—ἀγρὸνἐμπορίαν, field—merchandise) The one busied with immoveable, the other with moveable goods; the one detained by a false contentment (αὐτάρκεια[953]), the other by the desire of acquiring more.

[952] In the original, “ἴδιον· αὐτοῦ, proprium: suum) Suitas.” This is one of those passages which it is far more easy to understand than to translate. There is a connection between the expression “Suitas” (a word, I believe, coined by Bengel for the occasion) and suum immediately preceding. The meaning is, that the words, ἴδιον, αὐτοῦ, both refer to Self, and imply a recognition of Self as the object of thought and consideration, apart from, independent of, in contradistinction, nay in preference to, GOD—in fact, a state or feeling the very opposite to that involved in the Apostle’s words (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), Ye are NOT YOUR OWN: ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify GOD in your body, and in your spirit, WHICH ARE GOD’S.—(I. B.)

[953] See p. 150, f. n. 3, and on Matthew 10:9.—(I. B.)

Verse 5. - They made light of it, and went their ways. They who refused the invitation are divided into two classes - the first mentioned in this verse, the second in the following. These are simply careless, indifferent scorners, who are too busy with their worldly concerns to attend to the claims of the gospel. So we read, "The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things; and they scoffed at him" (Luke 16:14; comp. Matthew 19:23, 24). His farm; τὸν ἴδιον ἀγρὸν: his own farm, or estate. This is the landed proprietor, who goes to the selfish enjoyment of his possessions. His merchandise. This is the busy trader, who is engrossed in the pursuit of wealth (compare the excuses in Luke 14:18, 19). Matthew 22:5Made light of it (ἀμελήσαντες)

Not in the sense of jeering. They simply gave it no heed.

His farm (ἴδιον ἀγρόν)

Rev., his own farm; bringing out the contrast between his selfish interest and the respect due to his king. Compare 2 Chronicles 30:10.

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