Matthew 22:8
Then said he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Matthew 22:8-10. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready — That is, the marriage-feast is prepared; but they which were bidden were not worthy — Were not disposed to receive the gospel, not willing to repent and believe, and behave kindly to the preachers of it: which is the description Christ gives to his apostles of those whom they were to account αξιοι, worthy, Matthew 10:11-14. These here spoken of were αμελησαντες, (Matthew 22:5,) slighters, despisers of the spiritual banquet, out of love to their secular interests; they loved other things more than Christ and the blessings of his kingdom; which he that doth, says Christ, is not worthy of me, because he will not take up his cross and follow me, Matthew 10:37-38. Go ye therefore, &c. — As if he had said, Yet let not the provisions I have made be lost; but go into the highways, Gr. διεξοδους των οδων, the byways, or turnings of the road: or, as others interpret the expression, the ways most frequented, or the places where several streets and roads meet. As this is intended of the calling of the Gentiles, it intimates, that the Gentiles had as little reason to expect the call of the gospel, as common passengers and travellers to expect all invitation to a royal banquet. The offer of Christ and salvation to them, was, 1st, unlooked for; for they had had no previous notice of any such thing being intended: whereas the Jews had had notice of the gospel long before, and expected the Messiah and his kingdom. See Isaiah 65:1; Isaiah 2:2 d, It was universal, and undistinguishing; go and bid as many as you find, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, young and old, Jew and Gentile; tell them all they shall be welcome to gospel privileges upon gospel terms; whoever will, let him come, without exception. So those servants went out — As their Lord had commanded them, and gathered as many as they found, good and bad — Giving a free invitation to all, whatever their character had formerly been. Thus, when the gospel was rejected by the Jews, the apostles, in obedience to Christ’s command, went into all parts of the world, and preached it to every creature that was willing to hear it; preached repentance and remission of sins in Christ’s name among all nations, Mark 16:16; Luke 24:47. And the wedding was furnished with guests — Great multitudes were gathered into the gospel church.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 when the king heard ... - This doubtless refers to the Jews and to Jerusalem. They were murderers, having slain the prophets; and God was about to send forth the armies of the Romans under his providential direction, and to burn up their city. See the notes at Matthew 24.

Wroth - Angry; displeased.

8. The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy—for how should those be deemed worthy to sit down at His table who had affronted Him by their treatment of His gracious invitation? See Poole on "Matthew 22:14". Then saith he to his servants,.... That were preserved from their rage and malice, and outlived their implacable enemies, and saw their utter ruin and destruction:

the wedding is ready; meaning not the marriage contract, which was secretly performed in eternity; or the calling of God's elect among the Jews, and their open espousal to Christ, which for the present was now over; but the marriage feast, or the Gospel dispensation, which was ushered in, and the ministry of it, to which nothing was wanting; all the promises, prophecies, types, and shadows, of the former dispensation, were now accomplished; the Lamb of God was slain, and all things to be done by him, were now finished; the ministers of the Gospel, the apostles, were called, their commission enlarged, and they qualified with a greater measure of the Spirit, and were sent to preach both to Jews and Gentiles:

but they which were bidden were not worthy; that is, the Jews, who had notice of this dispensation by the prophets, were told by John the Baptist, that it was at hand; were once, and again externally called unto it by the ministry of the apostles; but they were not only unworthy in themselves, as all men are, of such a blessing and privilege, but they behaved towards it in a very unworthy manner; they were so far from attending on it in a diligent and peaceable way, as becomes all such persons that are blessed with the external ministry of it; who when they do so, may be said to behave worthily, and, in some sense, to be worthy of such a privilege being continued with them; see Matthew 10:13 compared with Luke 10:6 that they contradicted and blasphemed it, and by their own outrageous carriage, showed plainly that they were unworthy of it; and were so judged by Christ and his apostles, who ordered them to turn from them, and go to the Gentiles, and which may be intended in the following words.

Then saith he to his servants, The {b} wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

(b) The marriage feast.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 22:8. Οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι] Comp. Acts 13:46. “Praeteritum indignos eo magis praetermittit,” Bengel. To represent the expedition against the rebels, and the destruction of their city as actually taking place while the supper is being prepared,—a thing hardly conceivable in real life,—is to introduce an episode quite in accordance with the illustrative character of the parable, which after all is only a fictitious narrative. Comp., for example, the mustard seed which grows to a tree; the olive on which the wild branch is engrafted, Romans 11, etc.; see also note on Matthew 25:1 f.Matthew 22:8-10. τότε: after the second set of servants, as many as survived, had returned and reported their ill-success.—λέγει, he says to them.—ἔτοιμος, ready, and more.Matthew 22:8. Τότε, κ.τ.λ., then, etc.) see Acts 13:46.—λέγει, κ.τ.λ., saith He, etc.) The Lord frequently reveals the principles of His counsel to His servants.—ἕτοιμός ἐστιν, is ready) and will not be dispensed with on account of the ingratitude of them which were bidden.[956]—οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι, were not worthy) cf. Acts 13:46. No one is considered unworthy until the offer has been made to and refused by him: by doing which he betrays himself. The past tense, were not worthy, is used to show that the opportunity of the unworthy has passed away.

[956] The Wedding is truly even still ready for the guests who are willing to come.—V. g.Verse 8. - Then saith he. This is supposed to take place after the destruction of the murderers and their city; and, indeed, the final rejection of the Jews and the substitution of the Gentiles were consummated by the overthrow of Jerusalem and the Hebrew polity. The wedding is ready. God's great design is not frustrated by the neglect of those first invited, only the guests are changed. Not worthy. Their unworthiness was proved by their rejection of the gracious call, as the worthiness of those subsequently called consisted in their acceptance thereof. The passage is well illustrated by the language of Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:46, 47).
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