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Matthew Chapter Twenty-two


I. Content of the Chapter


The Parable of a Certain King Who Arranged a Marriage for His Son

I. Those who had been called rejected to come to the wedding (v.1-6).

II. The king called others to come to the wedding (v.7-10).

III. The one who did not have on a wedding garment was cast out into outer darkness by the king (v.11-14).


The Question behind Questions

I. The Pharisees and the Herodians asked the Lord whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar (v.15-22).

II. The Sadducees asked the Lord whose wife would the woman who get married again be in the resurrection (v.23-33).

III. The layer asked the Lord which was the great commandment in the Law (v.34-40).

IV. The Lord asked the Pharisees that what did they think about the Christ (v.41-46).

II. Verse by Verse commentary


Matt. 22:1 “And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:

   YLT: “And Jesus answering, again spake to them in similes, saying,”

   Literal Meaning: “again” shows that this parable followed the “parable of the wicked vinedressers” in former chapter and these two have the same nature.

   Spiritual Meaning: The parable of leasing the vineyard and the parable of a marriage all typified that the Jews rejected the Lord and therefore God also rejected them and gave His grace to the Gentiles.

   Enlightenment in the Word: the parable of leasing the vineyard shows that we should present the fruits of work and the parable of a marriage shows that we should enjoy what God has prepared. Those who dedicate the fruits of work to God are those who enjoy what God has prepared. Truly enjoying what God has prepared is the true service to God.


Matt. 22:2The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,

   YLT: “`The reign of the heavens was likened to a man, a king, who made marriage-feasts for his son,”

   The Background: “arranged a marriage for his son” According to the ancient custom of the Middle East, the wedding feast was held in the house of bridegroom and the parents of the bridegroom are responsible for the wedding itself.

   Spiritual Meaning: “a certain king” indicates God the Father; “his son” indicates God’s beloved son the Lord Jesus Christ; “a marriage” shows that in the dispensation of the New Testament, God will marry the church to Christ as His bride (See Eph. 5:22-32); “a marriage” symbolizes that God and men rejoice together (See Matt. 8:11; Rev. 19: 7-9). To men, this is an enjoyment of grace.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) God is greatly willing to make His son and us be one (“a marriage”) and let us enjoy His abundant preparation (“arranged a marriage”).

2) The more deeply one is united to Christ, the more he may enjoy the fullness of Christ.

3) Believers should also realize the mind of God and make the glad tidings multiply so that more people could receive the joy of salvation.


Matt. 22:3 “and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.

   YLT: “and he sent forth his servants to call those having been called to the marriage-feasts, and they were not willing to come.”

   Literal Meaning: the king invited guests and therefore the word “call” is used here.

   Spiritual Meaning: in the dispensation of the New Testament, God originally invited the Jews; “the servants” here indicate the first group of servants who were sent by God in the dispensation of the New Testament, i.e. the disciples of the Lord and John the Baptist. Unfortunately, Israel was unwilling to receive the calling of grace because of their obstinacy.

   Enlightenment in the Word: whether one partakes in the wedding depends on whether he who is invited is “willing” to come; we should ask the Lord to give us a “willing” heart because it is the prerequisite to enjoy spiritual abundance.


Matt. 22:4 “Again, he sent out other servants, saying, Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.’”

   YLT: “`Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Say to those who have been called: Lo, my dinner I prepared, my oxen and the fatlings have been killed, and all things [are] ready, come ye to the marriage-feasts;”

   Spiritual Meaning: “he sent out other servants” This indicates what had happened in Pentecost (See Acts. 1:8; 2: 1, 12); “other servants” indicate the second group of servants who were sent by God in the dispensation of the New Testament, i.e. apostles including Paul the Apostle and believers.

  “My oxen and fatted cattle are killed” It symbolizes that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God (See John. 1:29, 36) who was crucified for the sins of the world and became our enjoyment of grace.

  “All things are ready” indicate all spiritual blessings with which God has blessed us in heavenly places in Christ (See Eph. 1:3).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “Are killed” and “are ready” indicate that God has done what He should do on His part and He waits for our reactions on men’s part; God’s salvation is two-sided and both parts are indispensable.

2) Men have to receive with the hand of “faith” (See John. 3:16) what God has prepared with the hand of “love”; only when the two hands are joined together will the salvation of God be made perfect.


Matt. 22:5 “But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.

   YLT: “and they, having disregarded [it], went away, the one to his own field, and the other to his merchandise;”

   Literal Meaning: “one to his own farm” It is doing farming; “another to his business” It is doing business.

   Spiritual Meaning: the two kinds of people in this verse indicate the common Jewish people and they stress on the need and enjoyment of their flesh and soul more than their spiritual life and states before God.

   Enlightenment in the Word: earthly materials (“his own farm”) and wealth (“his business”) always become the greatest obstacle for men to seek heavenly things.


Matt. 22:6 “And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.

   YLT: “and the rest, having laid hold on his servants, did insult and slay [them].”

   Spiritual Meaning: “the rest” indicate those who opposed the glad tidings of the Lord actively. Most of them were fervent in the traditions of Judaism and therefore they persecuted and killed the servants of the Lord (See Acts. 7:57-8:3).


Matt. 22:7 “But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

   YLT: “`And the king having heard, was wroth, and having sent forth his soldiers, he destroyed those murderers, and their city he set on fire;”

   Literal Meaning: “burned up their city” It is the common military action in ancient time.

   Spiritual Meaning: this verse predicted the state that God judges the Jews in future and Jerusalem was ruined. It was fulfilled in A.D. 70, Titus led Roman army to break and ruin the city of Jerusalem. They also killed many Jewish people and their blood flowed and had become a river. 


Matt. 22:8 “Then he said to his servants, The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.

   YLT: “then saith he to his servants, The marriage-feast indeed is ready, and those called were not worthy,”

   Spiritual Meaning: “those who were invited were not worthy” “Those who were invited” indicate the Jews; “were not worthy” indicate that they did not receive God’s salvation. The Jews put themselves on the position of “unworthy” because they rejected the salvation of the Lord Jesus (See Acts. 13:46).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) On one hand, their “unworthy” is shown because of their “unwilling” (v.3) and “make light of it” (v.5); on the other, because of their “unworthy”, they were rejected.

2) Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not summated to the righteousness of God (See Rom. 9:31, 10:3), therefore they are unworthy to receive the grace of justification through faith. Those who have something to seek besides what God has prepared are unworthy before God.

3) The attitude of the unworthy towards the “full Christ” who is the God’s preparation:

a) “One to his own farm” (v.5) ------they support themselves by relying on themselves.

b) “Another to his business” (v.5) ------they secure personal gain and try to gain early richness.

c) “Seized the servants, treated them spitefully and killed them” (v.6) ------they firmly reject spiritual message.


Matt. 22:9 “Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.'

   YLT: “be going, then, on to the cross-ways, and as many as ye may find, call ye to the marriage-feasts.”

   Meaning of Words: “highways”: exist.

   Literal Meaning: “go into the highways” “highways” indicate broad ways at that time or the markets to go to fair. 

   Spiritual Meaning: because the Jews rejected God’s calling of grace, God has to turn to the Gentiles (See Acts. 13:46, Rom. 11:11).

  “As many as you find, invite to the wedding.” It shows that Gentile believers are saved because of God’s invitation of grace instead of our initiative pursuit.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We, the Gentile believers, originally walked in the “highways” of life and were anxious about where to go, are given grace unexpectedly.

2) While men are hesitant in “highways”, they are easy to be guided by others; those who are in trouble are easy to receive the glad tidings.


Matt. 22:10 “So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.

   YLT: “`And those servants, having gone forth to the ways, did gather all, as many as they found, both bad and good, and the marriage-feast apartment was filled with those reclining.”

   Literal Meaning: “gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good.” It indicates the man who were invited include all kinds of people. Anyone who is willing to come can come no matter he is bad or good.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We originally followed the masses and crowded into “the wide gate” which leads to destruction (See Matt. 7:13), however, we now become God’s guests. How fortune we are! How greatly we have been exalted by God!

2) The salvation is not through deeds but grace (See Eph. 2:8-9). Therefore our past misdeeds have been forgiven and no matter we were bad or good in the past, we are able to receive grace.

3) “Both bad and good” shows the principle of salvation fully exceeds men’s states------both the good and the bad are able to receive grace------mercy was shown to the chief of sinners (See 1Tim. 1:15-16).


Matt. 22:11But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.

   YLT: “`And the king having come in to view those reclining, saw there a man not clothed with clothing of the marriage-feast,”

   Literal Meaning: “he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment” At that time, they were invited to come to the wedding on the way (See v.9-10) and therefore they couldn’t have on wedding garments. The only reasonable explanation is that the Lord also prepared the garments for the wedding for all the guests. Since that guest had been invited, he was unwilling to have on the wedding garment which the Lord had prepared for him. It was very impolite to the Lord.

   Spiritual Meaning: “garment” in the Bible represents “the righteousness” (See Rev. 19:8). Because the guests who were invited were both bad and good (See v.10), here the righteousness must not be their own righteousness. At the same time, since the wedding garment was prepared by the lord, undoubtedly, this garment must be “the best robe” (Luke. 15:22) which was prepared by God, i.e. Christ Himself as the robe of righteous (See Is. 61:10).

  “A man there who did not have on a wedding garment” Since he was one of the guests, he must have received God’s invitation. The one who was invited but “did not have on a wedding garment” should be a nominal Christian who had not truly repented, believed in the Lord or was saved. To the false Christians, they were unable to enjoy the joy of salvation.

  Some Bible exegetes explained that the wedding here will be performed until the beginning of the kingdom of a thousand years, the time of the marriage of the Lamb (See Rev. 19:7). Therefore, the garment in the wedding should be the fine line, i.e. the righteousness of saints (Rev. 19:8). Therefore the one who “did not have on the wedding garment” should have been saved and received Christ as his objective righteousness and make him be justified before God (See 1Cor. 1:30; Rom. 3:26); the problem is that after he was saved, he did not live out Christ as his subjective righteousness (See Pill. 3:9) and therefore he was a failing Christian who did not walk worthy of the calling (See Eph. 4:1) and did not put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 13:14, Gal. 3:27). Because the joy and glory of the kingdom in future are prepared for the overcoming Christians, the failing Christians are unqualified to enjoy the wedding.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) God gave the unworthy ones the invitations which they were unworthy to receive and supplied the righteousness which those who had received the invitations needed------all these are grace.

2) Those who hold themselves righteous think that their own clothes are good and therefore they are unwilling to put on the clothes which God has prepared and rely on the righteousness of Christ.

3) If one wants to enjoy Christ, he has to put on Christ, hide in Christ, boast in Christ and manifest Christ. Anyone who is unwilling to fully rely on Christ is unable to completely enjoy Christ. 


Matt. 22:12 “So he said to him, Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.

   YLT: “and he saith to him, Comrade, how didst thou come in hither, not having clothing of the marriage-feast? and he was speechless.”

   Literal Meaning: “and he was speechless” shows that he commits the mistake intentionally and there is no room for him to defend himself.


Matt. 22:13 “Then the king said to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

   YLT: “`Then said the king to the ministrants, Having bound his feet and hands, take him up and cast forth to the outer darkness, there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth;”

   The Background: in ancient times, the wedding of the Jews was held in night. The house is ablaze with lights and the outer is in darkness.

   Spiritual Meaning: “the servants” indicate angels (See Matt. 13:41, 49).

  “Cast him into outer darkness” “outer darkness” has two meanings:

    a) If the one who did not have on a wedding garment is the one who has not been saved, it is the everlasting perdition.  

    b) If the one who did not have on a wedding garment is a failing Christian, it is the punishment of the kingdom of a thousand years (See Matt. 25:30); in the kingdom of a thousand years, they shall be cast out from the light of the Lord’s countenance temporarily and shall not partake in the wedding of the kingdom of God (See Matt. 8:11-12), however, they shall be saved finally (See 1Cor. 3:15).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Anyone who does not believe in or rely on Christ will sink into “outer darkness” and has neither part nor lot in Christ.

2) In the kingdom of a thousand years, the overcoming believers shall also be manifested with Him in the bright glory (See Col. 3:4), however, the failing Christians will receive God’s punishment in outer darkness.


Matt. 22:14For many are called, but few are chosen.’”

   YLT: “for many are called, and few chosen.’”

   Spiritual Meaning: this verse has three different kinds of explanations:

  a) The Jews who were called were many, however, those who received were few.

  b) Those who called themselves Christians were many, however, those who were truly saved were few; in the so-called world of Christianity, the tares may be more than the wheat (See Matt. 13:24-30) because the nominal Catholics and Christians are countless.

  c) Those who were saved were many, however, the overcomers were few; “being called” indicates to receive the salvation (See Rom. 1:7; 1Cor. 1:2, Eph. 4:1) and “being chosen” indicates to gain the reward.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Believers should not be satisfied with being called and they should seek to be chosen.

2) They which run in a race run all, but one receives the price; believers should run like this, that we may obtain (1Cor. 9:24).


Matt. 22:15 “Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk.

   YLT: “Then the Pharisees having gone, took counsel how they might ensnare him in words,”

   The Background: “the Pharisees” were Judaists who loved the traditions of their elders (See Acts. 15:1-2). They, with the strong national consciousness, certainly opposed the dominion of the Raman Empire.

   Enlightenment in the Word: the Pharisees cannot take hold of the Lord Jesus in deeds, then they tried to find fault with His words; believers should beware of deeds and words (See Col. 4:5-6).


Matt. 22:16 “And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men.

   YLT: “and they send to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, `Teacher, we have known that thou art true, and the way of God in truth thou dost teach, and thou art not caring for any one, for thou dost not look to the face of men;”

   Meaning of Words: “way”: journey, highway.

   The Background: “the Herodians” was not a religious group. It was a political party, the puppet government which supported the Roman Empire------the dominion of the Herod Dynasty in the Jews. Therefore, they were deeply hated by the Pharisees.

   Literal Meaning: “they sent their disciples” “they” indicate the Pharisees (See v.15).

  “With the Herodians” Usually the Pharisees and the Herodians opposed against each other and they were incompatible as fire and water. Unexpectedly, they joined hands to take hold of Jesus in langue in order to set a trap for Him now.

  “Teach the way of God” indicate to teach men to understand the will of God so as to walk on the way of God. 

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In daily life, believers may be in a dilemma between things of God and things of men or between being of spiritual and of the world. We could learn the principle to deal with this kind of problems from the response of the Lord Jesus.

2) In behaviors and works, believers should imitate the Lord as an example. Believers should never make a trade of the word of God (2Cor. 2:17) and the word should not be “Yes and No” (2Cor. 1:18). At the same time, we should not make a difference among men (James. 2:4) or be puffed up one for another against another (1Cor. 4:6).

3) Our enemies are not only from the outside of the church but also from the inside; they are not only from the outside of ourselves, but also from the within.

4) Those who want to set a trap for you may say sweat words to you; even Satan may hide in the beautiful snake and transform itself into an angel of light (See 2Cor. 11:3, 14). Therefore we should learn not to be deceived by men’s outward sweat words.

5) Believers should not be carless in dealing with people; the Lord teaches us to beware of men and be wise as serpents (See Matt. 10:16-17).


Matt. 22:17 “Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’”

   YLT: “tell us, therefore, what dost thou think? is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?’”

   The Background: “pay taxes to Caesar” “Tax” means capitation in the original and it was only applied in provinces which were directly administered by the Roman Empire. Every male above fourteen and every female above twelve must pay the capitation until they are sixty-five.

   Literal Meaning: this problem is very treacherous and it is the trap of Satan. One may be taken hold of whether he answers yes or no. If the Lord says yes, the Pharisees would accuse Him before the Jews that He is unfaithful to the kingdom of the Jews as a slave of the foreign power and the betrayer of the Jews. If the Lord says no, the Herodians would accuse that He is rebellious to the Roman governor and He may be sentenced to death for this.


Matt. 22:18 “But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?

   YLT: “And Jesus having known their wickedness, said, `Why me do ye tempt, hypocrites?”

   Enlightenment in the Word: when dealing with others, firstly we should have spiritual sight to see men’s hidden hearts and thoughts. This ability grows by the growth of spiritual life because the spiritual discerns all things (1Cor. 2:15).


Matt. 22:19 “Show Me the tax money. So they brought Him a denarius.

   YLT: “show me the tribute-coin?’ and they brought to him a denary;”

   The Background: “show Me the tax money” At that time, three kinds of currency systems were in common use in the land of Palestine. One was the denarion which was molded in Rome and one had to use this kind of currency to “pay the tax” (See v.17); the second was the drachma molded according to the Greek standard and it was the currency of provinces and was molded in Antioch and Tyre; the third was the local currency of the Jews and it was called shekel which may be molded in Caesarea.

   Literal Meaning: please note that there was not “the tax money” in the Lord Jesus; the Pharisees brought the money with them, however, they were unwilling to pay the tax and therefore the Lord Jesus called them “the hypocrites” (See v.18), for their works were evil.

   Enlightenment in the Word: the one who has the “the tax money” on them should pay the tax (Rom. 13:7).


Matt. 22:20 “And He said to them, Whose image and inscription is this?’”

   YLT: “and he saith to them, `Whose [is] this image and the inscription?’”

   The Background: the image of the Roman Emperor Caesar was carved on one side of the Roman coin in common use at that time. And the inscription of Caesar was written in Latin on the other side.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “The image and inscription” symbolize the authority of men and the Lord admitted that God had given men some authority (Rom. 13:1).

2) The authority which was given by God has its realm and boundary. Anyone who is under this realm and boundary should fear, honor and obey the authority (See Rom. 13:1-7).


Matt. 22:21 “They said to Him, Caesar's. And He said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.’”

   YLT: “they say to him, `Caesar’s; `then saith he to them, `Render therefore the things of Caesar to Caesar, and the things of God to God;’”

   Meaning of Words: “Caesar”: to slit, cut open along a line (today men call the operation to cut the belly open for birth as Caesarian operation).

Literal Meaning: “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” “Caesar” is the title of the Roman Emperor and it represents the whole Roman regime; paying tax to the one who is in power is the duty the citizens should do. To God’s people who live in this world, paying tax to the government is not contrary to being a citizen of the kingdom of God.

  “To God the things that are God’s.” It seems that all the possession of believers are gained by their own abilities, physical power and time, but actually they are given by God (See 1Tim. 6:17) and therefore we should thank God and dedicate to Him (See Mal. 3:8-10).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Political and spiritual things should never be mentioned in the same breath. In political things, we should obey the authority (Rom. 13:1-7); in spiritual things we should obey God and serve God wholeheartedly.

2) On one hand, believers are under the direct authority of God, on the other, believers are under the indirect authority of men. When men’s authority exceeds the realm and trespasses the authority of God, believers ought to “obey God rather than men” (See Acts. 5:29).

3) We should learn to discern what is of God and what is of men, and spiritual things and worldly things and should not garble them with each other.

4) “To Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” shows that God won’t accept anything that is not of Him. We should not use worldly things in spiritual things (such as using rock and other worldly ways to spread the glad tidings).

5) “Caesar” means to cut; Satan wants to cut off all that is of God and God is willing to cut off all that is of Satan.

6) “To God the things that are God’s” shows that God never allows anyone to trespass all that is of Him; believers should be separated to God and should not be gained by the king of this world.  


Matt. 22:22 “When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.

   YLT: “and having heard they wondered, and having left him they went away.”

   Literal Meaning: this implies that the Lord had overcome the difficulty. The enemy could do nothing for Him and had to leave him.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Believers should not rely on themselves to deal with difficulties, but look up to the Holy Spirit to give us what we shall speak (See Matt. 10:19-20).

2) Once the Lord speaks, the opposed shall shrink back from difficulties; therefore when facing hecklings, the best way is to call upon Him because whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (See Rom. 10:13).


Matt. 22:23 “The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him,

   YLT: “In that day there came near to him Sadducees, who are saying there is not a rising again, and they questioned him, saying,”

   The Background: “the Sadducees” did not believe resurrection. They held that men perish completely after death and therefore there were no ghosts or angels. They only received the Pentateuch.

   Enlightenment in the Word: “the Sadducees” were “rationalists” in Judaism. They are likened to the “Modernism Liberalism” in Christianity------they only stress on actuality and disregard the future and they only have hope in this life (See 1Cor. 15:19).


Matt. 22:24 “saying: Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.

   YLT: “`Teacher, Moses said, If any one may die not having children, his brother shall marry his wife, and shall raise up seed to his brother.”

   Literal Meaning: this is a law in the Jewish social system in the dispensation of the Old Testament and it was the law concerning to raise up offspring for one’s brother (Deut. 25:5-6). Originally it was set up to protect widows and assure the continuation of the family pedigree. This is the well-known “Levirate Marriage”. The early ancestors of the Jews already had this established precedent (See Gen. 38:8).


Matt. 22:25 “Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother.

   YLT: “`And there were with us seven brothers, and the first having married did die, and not having seed, he left his wife to his brother;”

   Literal Meaning: “now there were with us” This is the fictitious narrative.


Matt. 22:26 “Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh.

   YLT: “in like manner also the second, and the third, unto the seventh,”


Matt. 22:27 “Last of all the woman died also.

   YLT: “and last of all died also the woman;”


Matt. 22:28 “Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.’”

   YLT: “therefore in the rising again, of which of the seven shall she be wife for all had her?’”

   Literal Meaning: they made up this story with the aim of making the resurrection seem to be ridiculous through this problem. They did not believe the resurrection and held that the so-called resurrection of others was only the resurrection of body and men would keep on the family life in this life. If the resurrection is so in deed, it may bring difficult problems to everybody. 

   Enlightenment in the Word: just like the Sadducees imagine the state after resurrection by the view of this life, if we live in nature and walk by sight, not by faith (See 2Cor. 5:7), we won’t comprehend spiritual things and absolutely there will be many queer opinions and problems.


Matt. 22:29 “Jesus answered and said to them, You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.

   YLT: “And Jesus answering said to them, `Ye go astray, not knowing the Writings, nor the power of God;”

   Literal Meaning: the Lord Jesus pointed that the Sadducees were wrong not only because they did not believe the fact of resurrection but also because of their wrong concept of resurrection. Firstly, they “did not know the Scriptures” and therefore they misunderstood the words of the Scriptures; secondly, they “did not know the power of God” and therefore they did not believe that God not only is able to rise men from dead but also could solve the difficult problems such as the complicated family problem that they mentioned here.

  “The power of God” is clearly manifested in resurrection (See Rom. 1:4, Eph. 1:19-20).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The reason why the concepts of the unbelievers, those who live in nature and liberalists are wrong is nothing more than two reasons: firstly, they do not know the Scriptures, i.e. not having spiritual knowledge; secondly, they do not know the power of God, i.e. not having spiritual experience.

2) If Christians lack spiritual knowledge or experience, we may fall in mistake without any consciousness.

3) The Scriptures is able to make men wise unto salvation (2Tim. 3:15). If one wants to know the Scriptures, he has to have the correct intention and attitude, otherwise, one may always learn and is never able to come to the knowledge of truth (See 2Tim. 3:7).

4) What Paul the Apostle prayed and asked is to know more about the power of God and so that he may attain more unto the resurrection of dead (See Eph. 1:19, Pill. 3:10-11).


Matt. 22:30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.

   YLT: “for in the rising again they do not marry, nor are they given in marriage, but are as messengers of God in heaven.”

   Literal Meaning: “are like angels of God in heaven” The main point is that angels do not have the body of flesh and therefore there aren’t differences between male and female and certainly they do not get married to have heirs. The Lord Jesus mentioned “angels of God in heaven” and this also rebutted wrongness of the Sadducees that they did not believe angels of God.

  Our bodies now are earthly, corruptible, dishonorable, weak, of soul and of earth. However, the bodies after resurrection are heavenly, incorruptible, honorable, strong, of spirit and of heaven (See 1Cor. 15:35-50). Men’s lifetime and after death are of totally two different realms and therefore we should not infer the states that we will face in future according to works and deeds in this body today.


Matt. 22:31 “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,

   YLT: “`And concerning the rising again of the dead, did ye not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying,”

   Enlightenment in the Word: From the words of the Lord we could know that being familiar with and knowing the Scriptures are the key to open the mysteries of the word to come.


Matt. 22:32I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’”

   YLT: “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not a God of dead men, but of living.’”

   Literal Meaning: When the Lord Jesus investigated the resurrection of dead with the Sadducees, He quoted the words in Pentateuch (See Exod. 3:6) because the Law of Moses was still in authority to the Sadducees who did not believe the resurrection. Jesus means that:

  a) Since God calls Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and He Himself is not the God of the dead. Therefore though Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were dead, God will rise them (See Matt. 8:11), otherwise He may be the God of the dead.

  b) Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all dead, however, when God mentioned them before Moses, they seemed to be still alive just like in the same age with Moses. Now God said that He is the God of them, it is clearly seen that they are still alive in God’s eyes.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “God is the God of living” shows that:

   a) He is the originator of life and should not be held by death (Acts. 3:15).

   b) All that make men die and make men not experience the life have nothing with God.

   c) He is the source of “life” and we can live only by drawing near to Him and enjoying Him.

   d) If believers are not “living”, we cannot supply life and then we bring disgrace to our God.

2) Believers should let Christ be magnified in their body whether by life or by death (See Pill. 1:20); in this way, though we may be dead in flesh, our spirits still live before God.


Matt. 22:33 “And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

   YLT: “And having heard, the multitudes were astonished at his teaching;”

   Enlightenment in the Word: His teachings were from the knowledge of the Scriptures and the power of God. Only the teachings that are given to others under these two principles are able to silence the enemy and give true help to believers.


Matt. 22:34 “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.

   YLT: “and the Pharisees, having heard that he did silence the Sadducees, were gathered together unto him;”


Matt. 22:35 “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,

   YLT: “and one of them, a lawyer, did question, tempting him, and saying,”

   Literal Meaning: “one of them, a lawyer” “Lawyer” was the scribe who was very familiar with the Law of the Moses and was of the Pharisees.

  “Testing Him” This lawyer must hold himself that He was very familiar with the Law and commandments. He wanted to examine the Lord Jesus in order to show that the knowledge of the Scriptures of the Lord Jesus was so so by this and make a fool of the Lord.


Matt. 22:36Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’”

   YLT: “`Teacher, which [is] the great command in the Law?’”

   The Background: the layers who searched the Law of the Old Testament carefully publicly acknowledged that there were six hundred and eleven commandments and this number was equal to the number of the Hebrew numbers which were used in the Ten Commandment. Two hundred and forty-eight of them were positive laws and this number was equal to the total number of the structure of human body. Three hundred and sixty-five of them were negative laws and this number was equal to the days of a year. 

   Literal Meaning: The original meaning of this question asked by the layer was not that which was the greatest commandment in all the six hundred and eleven commandments but what was the principle to judge the greatness of commandments.

  On one hand, every commandment of the Law is very important and whoever offends in one point, he is guilty of all (James. 2:10, Matt. 5:19); on the other, if men could catch the quintessence of some commandments, and so on they may grasp the whole commandments. Therefore there is a saying of the great commandment. From the following answer of the Lord we could see that He also agree on this method of clarification of greatness.

   Enlightenment in the Word: when searching the Bible, we should also seize the importance of the Bible. Then we cannot go so far as to stress on the shadows (such as the meat, the drink, the Sabbath and etc) and phenomenon (such as speaking dialects, healing the sick and etc) and neglect spiritual body and reality (See Col. 2:16-17, 1Cor. 13:8).


Matt. 22:37 “Jesus said to him, You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'

   YLT: “And Jesus said to him, `Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thine understanding”

   Meaning of Words: love: divine love (agapao).

   Literal Meaning: “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” means that love God with the whole body and the whole life (See Deut. 6:4-5). Here the triple descriptions mainly have the tone of emphasis.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha (1Cor. 16:22); we love because He has first loved us (1John. 4:19).

2) What God demands us is to love Him “with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark. 12:30). We have to admit that we cannot do it by ourselves. Only when we are filled up, immersed and compelled by God’s love (2Cor. 5:14) can we reveal His love naturally.


Matt. 22:38 “This is the first and great commandment.

   YLT: “this is a first and great command;”

   Literal Meaning: “the first and great” could also be “great and primary”.

  Even if men have obeyed all the commandments, what they have done are worthless before God if they have done all these not for the sake of loving God. Therefore loving God is the first and great commandment.


Matt. 22:39 “And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

   YLT: “and the second [is] like to it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself;”

   The Background: the Ten Commandments could be divided into two parts. One part is towards God and the other towards men (See Exod. 20:3-17). At that time, this passage from v.37 to v.39 was in the prayer of the Jews. The common Jews knew that the great principle of the Old Testament is to love God and men.

   Literal Meaning: “the second is like it” “Like” means that love must be manifested.

  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” is quoted from Lev. 19:18.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Men have to love God first and then are able to love men and love your neighbor as yourselves.

2) We, in our behaviors, should do our duty both to God and men. To God, the hinge must be love; to men, certainly love should be the key.

3) Those who love God are able to love men and therefore loving God includes the whole Law. Today the principle of Christians’ life is to love the Lord your God.

4) “Love your neighbor as yourself” is to love unconditionally, i.e. the love of sacrifice. Only those who live in the divine life are able to do this. He loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20).

5) Men should love others just like how they love themselves and are self-centered (See Matt. 7:12). The principle of prayer is also the life (not in word only).


Matt. 22:40 “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’”

   YLT: “on these the two commands all the law and the prophets do hang.’”

   Meaning of Words: “hang”: stand on, string up, and lean on.

Literal Meaning: “these two commandments” These two commandments include all commandments. The former includes all commandments towards God and the latter includes all commandments towards men.

  “The Law and the Prophets” is the whole Old Testament.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) All the Law and the prophets all hang on and stand on “love”. Though we have kept all the commandments of the Law and known all the Law and the prophets, I have not love, all these are in vain and the vanity of vanities (See 1Cor. 13).

2) On love hang the Law, showing that the principle of the Law is the grace of love instead of the deeds of righteousness. Anyone who keeps the Law only according to letters has not understood the heart of God.


Matt. 22:41 “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,

   YLT: “And the Pharisees having been gathered together, Jesus did question them,”


Matt. 22:42 “saying, What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He? They said to Him, The Son of David.’”

   YLT: “saying, `What do ye think concerning the Christ? of whom is he son?’ They say to him, `Of David.’”

   Meaning of Words: “Christ”: the anointed one.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Common people only notice various kinds of questions beyond Christ, however, the Lord is only deeply concerned about our knowledge towards Him because it is the question behind questions and it is the greatest question of life.

2) The reason why men doubt about many things is that they lack the knowledge of Christ.

3) Common people pay attention to the problems of politics, religion and the letters of the Law and neglect Christ; the politics, religion and the letters of the Law without Christ are vanity of vanities.

4) The most important problem of the world is the knowledge of Christ. Only Christ is the answer of all problems.

5) Paul the Apostle had known the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, for whom he had suffered the loss of all things, and counted them dung (See Pill. 3:8) therefore he knew nothing save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified (1Cor. 2:2).


Matt. 22:43 “He said to them, How then does David in the Spirit call HimLord,' saying:

   YLT: “He saith to them, `How then doth David in the Spirit call him lord, saying,”

   Literal Meaning: “in the Spirit”.

  The Pharisees could only know that the coming “Messiah” (the name of Christ in Hebrew and it means the anointed one) is the Son of David according to the literal prophecy of prophets. They did not seek to understand the words written by David in the Spirit thoroughly (Ps. 110:1).

   Enlightenment in the Word: only when we are in the Spirit and by the revelation of God can we know Christ (See Eph. 3:5).


Matt. 22:44The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool?

   YLT: “The Lord said to my lord, Sit at my right hand, till I may make thine enemies thy footstool?”

   Literal Meaning: “the LORD said to my Lord” The first “LORD” is Jehovah God and the second “Lord” is the Messiah. The key of this quotation is “my Lord”.

   Spiritual Meaning: note that this verse typifies the state that the Lord sits by the right hand of the Father now.


Matt. 22:45 “If David then calls Him Lord,' how is He his Son?’”

   YLT: “If then David doth call him lord, how is he his son?’”

   Spiritual Meaning: according to the flesh, Christ is “the Son of David”; according to the Spirit of holiness, Christ is also “the Lord of David” (See Rom. 1:3-4).

  Christ is “the Son of David”, showing the aspect of the lowliness of His humanity; Christ is “the Lord of David”, showing the other aspect of the glory of His divinity.

   Enlightenment in the Word: today do we have complete knowledge of this glorious and all-sufficient Christ? Wish the Lord ask this question to each of us.


Matt. 22:46 “And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

   YLT: “And no one was able to answer him a word, nor durst any from that day question him any more.”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Beyond Christ, we may have many excuses and reasons, however, if we have been brought to the Lord truly, all the excuses and reasons would become unnecessary. It was without exception and none of the words is meaningful.

2) All the problems of life will disappear in Christ. He is the answer of all questions. He is the one that “I am” (John. 8:58). If we need something, He is that what we need.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons              


The Parable of the Kingdom of Heaven

I. The content of the kingdom of heaven------God has arranged a marriage for His son (v.1-2).

II. The people who were predestinated to be invited to the kingdom of heaven originally------Israel (v.3-4).

III. Those who were called were not worthy------Israel rejected the kingdom of heaven and was punished by God (v.5-8).

IV. God turned to invite the Gentiles------the servants went out into highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good (v.9-10).

V. A man of the guests did not have on a wedding garment------he was cast out into outer darkness (v.11-13).

VI. Those who were in the kingdom of heaven must be chosen------many are called, but few are chosen (v.14).


The Nature of the Kingdom of Heaven

I. One has to appropriate the righteousness of Christ by God’s grace and then he is able to partake in the kingdom of heaven (v.1-14).

II. One should bring the earthly things into the kingdom of heaven, there must be separation between what is of earth and what is of heaven (v.15-22).

III. What is in the kingdom of heaven must be the life of resurrection (v.23-33).

IV. On loving God and men hang the Law of the kingdom of heaven (v.34-40).

V. The knowledge of Christ is the way to enter into the kingdom of heaven (v.41-46).


Men Held the Attitude of Ignorance

I. They made light of the glad tidings (v.1-14):

  A. Some of them were unwilling to come (v.3).

  B. Some of them valued money more, made light of it and went their ways (v.5).

  C. Some of them treated them spitefully and killed them (v.6).

  D. Some of them did not have on wedding garments though they came to the feast (v.11).

II. They made light of God’s words preached by Christ (v.15-22):

  A. They wanted to set a trap for Him by His words (v.15).

  B. They tried to tempt Him with political persons (v.17).

III. They made light of the resurrection (v.23-33):

  A. They used fictitious narrative to heckle Him (v.24-28).

  B. Because they did not know the Scriptures nor the power of God (v.29).

IV. They made light of the body of the Law (v.29-46):

  A. They only reached the letters of the Law (.v36).

  B. They did not know that the Law is the shadow of Christ (v.42).


The King Is the Answer of All Questions

I. The practical problems in daily life:

  A. The dilemma of obeying God and obeying men (v.15-17).

  B. To Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s (v.18-22).

II. The problem of lifetime and after death:

  A. Natural men do not comprehend spiritual things (v.23-28).

  B. We should know the Scriptures and the power of God (v.29-33).

III. The problem of the great commandment:

  A. The layers think themselves that they are proficient in the commandments of the Law (v.34-36).

  B. ON loving God and men hang all the Law and the prophets (v.37-40).

IV. Christ is the answer of all problems:

  A. The question behind questions------what do you think about Christ (v.41-45)?

  B. Once the problem of Christ has been solved, the other problems will disappear (v.46).


Christ Overcame All

I. Christ overcame politics (v.15-22).

II. Christ overcame religions (v.23-33).

III. Christ overcame the Law (v.34-40).

IV. Christ overcame finally------He is the king of kings (v.41-46).


Concerning the Resurrection

I. The existence of resurrection is the power of God (v.29).

II. The state of resurrection is just like angels of God in heaven (v.30).

III. The proof of resurrection is that God is the God of the living (v.32).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren