Matthew 22:6
And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
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(6) Entreated them spitefully.—The Greek word implies the wanton infliction of outrage. The parable at this stage looks forward as well as backward, and seems to include the sufferings of Christian preachers and martyrs as well as those of the prophets who were sent to Israel.

Matthew 22:6. 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, 1 Corinthians 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.

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.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.

6. And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully—insulted them.

and slew them—These are two different classes of unbelievers: the one simply indifferent; the other absolutely hostile—the one, contemptuous scorners; the other, bitter persecutors.

See Poole on "Matthew 22:14".

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.

And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
Matthew 22:6. λοιποὶ, the rest, as if οἱ ἀμελήσαντες were only a part, the greater part, of the invited, while the expression by itself naturally covers the whole. Weiss finds in λοιποὶ a trace of patching: the parable originally referred to the people of Israel as a whole, but Mt. introduced a reference to the Sanhedrists and here has them specially in view as the λοιποὶ. Koetsveld remarks on the improbability of the story at this point: men at a distance—rulers of provinces—could not be invited in the morning with the expectation of their being present at the palace by mid-day. So far this makes for the hypothesis of remodelling by a second hand. But even in Christ’s acknowledged parables improbabilities are sometimes introduced to meet the requirements of the case; e.g., in Lk.’s version of the parable all refuse.—κρατήσαντεςὕβ. καὶ ἀπέκτειναν: acts of open rebellion inevitably leading to war. This feature, according to Weiss, lies outside the picture. Not so, if the marriage feast was to be the occasion for recognising the son as heir. Then refusal to come meant withholding homage, rebellion in the bud, and acts of violence were but the next step.

Matthew 22:6. Οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ, and the remnant) Who did not wish to appear to have made light of it.[954]—ὕβρισαν, treated them with insult and injury) see 2 Chronicles 30:10; 1 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 10:29.

[954] And who did not attend either to farming or merchandise. To wit, those who have less of hinderances in their way not rarely sin the more grievously for that very reason, when they thrust themselves into sacred things, by their perverse mode of behaving with respect to them.—V. g.

Verse 6. - The remnant. These form the second class of recalcitrant guests. They are actively hostile to the King and his messengers, rejecting them not merely for worldly or interested motives, but from intense hatred to the doctrines which they taught. Such were the scribes and Pharisees, who could not endure to see the Law superseded, and the Gentiles raised to their level; such were the Sadducees, who scoffed at a faith founded on the resurrection, and refused credit to the miraculous with which the gospel was interwoven. Took his servants. The narratives in the Acts give many instances of the seizure and imprisonment of apostles and believers (see Acts 4:3; Acts 9:2; Acts 12:4, etc.). Entreated (treated) them spitefully (see Acts 5:40; Acts 14:19; Acts 16:23, etc.; 2 Corinthians 11:23-25). Slew them; e.g. Stephen (Acts 7:58), James (Acts 12:2). All but one of the apostles died violent deaths at the hands of those who rejected the gospel; and there must have been numbers of martyrs of whom history has preserved no record, though their names are written in heaven, which is far better. Matthew 22:6
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