Matthew Chapter Twenty-two
In chapter 22, their conduct with respect to the invitations of grace is presented in its turn. The parable is therefore a similitude of the kingdom of heaven. The purpose of God is to honour His Son by celebrating His marriage. First of all the Jews, already invited, are bidden to the marriage feast. They would not come. This was done during Christ's lifetime. Afterwards, all things being ready, He again sends forth messengers to induce them to come. This is the mission of the apostles to the nation, when the work of redemption had been accomplished. They either despise the message or slay the messengers.  The result is the destruction of those wicked men and of their city. This is the destruction that fell upon Jerusalem. On their rejection of the invitation, the destitute, the Gentiles, those who were outside, are brought in to the feast, and the wedding is furnished with guests. Another thing is now presented. It is true, that we have seen the judgment of Jerusalem in this parable, but, as it is a similitude of the kingdom, we have the judgment of that which is within the kingdom also. There must be fitness for the occasion. For a wedding feast there must be a wedding garment. If Christ is to be glorified, everything must be according to His glory. There may be an outward entrance into the kingdom, a profession of Christianity; but he who is not clothed with that which appertains to the feast will be cast out. We must be clothed with Christ Himself. On the other hand, all is prepared-nothing is required. It was not the guest's part to bring anything; the King provided all. But we must be imbued with the spirit of that which is done. If there is any thought of what was suitable to a wedding feast, the need of a wedding garment to appear in would surely be felt: if not, the honour of the King's Son has been forgotten. The heart was a stranger to it; the man himself shall become so by the judgment of the King when He takes cognizance of the guests who have come in.
Thus also grace has been shewn to Israel, and they are judged for refusing the invitation of the great King to the marriage of His Son. And then the abuse of this grace by those who appear to accept it is also judged. The bringing in of the Gentiles is declared.
Here concludes the history of the judgment of Israel in general, and of the character which the kingdom would assume.
After this (chap. 22:15, et seq.) the different classes of the Jews come forward, each in turn. First, the Pharisees and the Herodians (that is, those who favoured the authority of the Romans, and those who were opposed to it) seek to entangle Jesus in His talk. The blessed Lord answers them with that perfect wisdom that ever displayed itself in all He said and all He did. On their part, it was pure wickedness manifesting a total want of conscience. It was their own sin that had brought them under the Roman yoke-a position contrary indeed to that which should have belonged to the people of God on earth. Apparently therefore Christ must either become an object of suspicion to the authorities, or renounce His claim to be the Messiah and consequently the Deliverer. Who had occasioned this dilemma? It was the fruit of their own sins. The Lord shews them that they had themselves accepted the yoke. The money bore the mark of this: let them render it then to those unto whom it belonged, and let them also-which they were not doing-render unto God the things that were God's. He leaves them under the yoke which they were obliged to confess they had accepted. He reminds them of the rights of God; which they had forgotten. Such might moreover have been Israel's state according to the establishment of power in Nebuchadnezzar, as a "spreading vine of low stature."
The Sadducees come next before Him, and question Him as to the resurrection, thinking to prove its absurdity. Thus, as the condition of the nation had been exhibited in His discourse with the Pharisees, the unbelief of the Sadducees is displayed here. They thought only of the things of this world, seeking to deny the existence of another. But whatever the state of degradation and subjection into which the people had fallen, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, changed not. The promises made to the fathers remained sure, and the fathers were living to enjoy these promises hereafter. It was the word and the power of God which were in question. The Lord maintains them with power and evidence. The Sadducees were silenced.
The lawyers, struck with His reply, ask a question, which gives the Lord occasion to extract from the whole law, that which, in the sight of God, is its essence, presenting thus its perfection, and that which-by whatever means it may be reached-forms the happiness of those that walk in it. Grace alone rises higher.
Here their questioning ceases. All is judged, all is brought to light with respect to the position of the people, and the sects of Israel; and the Lord has laid before them the perfect thoughts of God respecting them, whether on the subject of their condition, of His promises, or of the substance of the law.
It was now the Lord's turn to propose His question in order to bring out His own position. He asks the Pharisees to reconcile the title of Son of David with that of Lord which David himself gave Him, and that in connection with the ascension of this same Christ to sit at the right hand of God until God had made all His enemies His footstool, and established His throne in Zion. Now this was the whole of Christ's position at that moment. They were unable to answer Him, and no man durst ask Him any more questions. In fact, to understand that Psalm, would have been to understand all the ways of God with respect to His Son at the time they were going to reject Him. This necessarily closed these discourses by shewing the true position of Christ, who, although the Son of David, must ascend on high to receive the kingdom, and, while waiting for it, sit at the right hand of God according to the rights of His glorious Person-David's Lord, as well as David's Son.
There is another point of interest to be remarked here. In these interviews and these discourses with the different classes of the Jews, the Lord brings out the condition of the Jews on all sides with respect to their relations with God, and then the position which He took Himself. He first shews their national position towards God, as under responsibility to Him, according to natural conscience and the privileges belonging to them. The result would be their cutting off, and the bringing in of others into the Lord's vineyard. This is chapter 21:28-46. He then exhibits their condition with regard to the grace of the kingdom, and the introduction of Gentile sinners. Here also the result is the cutting off and the destruction of the city.  Afterwards the Herodians and the Pharisees, the friends of the Romans and their enemies, the pretended friends of God, bring out the true position of the Jews with respect to the imperial power of the Gentiles and to God. In His interview with the Sadducees, He shews the certainty of the promises made to the fathers, and the relationship in which God stood to them in respect of life and resurrection. After this He puts the real meaning of the law before the scribes; and then the position which He took, Himself the Son of David, according to Psalm 110, which was linked with His rejection by the leaders of the nation who stood around Him.
 Contempt and violence are the two forms of the rejection of the testimony of God, and of the true witness. They hate the one and love the other, or cleave to the one and despise the other.
 Observe here, that from chapter 21:28 to the end, we have the responsibility of the nation looked at as in possession of their original privileges, according to which they ought to have borne fruit. Not having done so, another is put in their place. This was not the cause of the judgment which was, and yet is in a more terrible way to be, executed on Jerusalem, and which even then accomplished the destruction of the city. The death of Jesus, the last of those who had been sent to look for fruit, brings judgment on His murderers (Matt. 21:33-41). The destruction of Jerusalem is the consequence of the rejection of the testimony to the kingdom sent to call them in grace. In the first case, the judgment was upon the husbandmen-the scribes, and chief priests, and leaders of the people. The judgment executed on account of the rejection of the testimony to the kingdom goes much farther (see chap. 22:7). Some despise the message, others ill-treat the messengers; and, grace being thus rejected, the city is burned up, and its inhabitants cut off. Compare chap. 23:36, and see the historical prophecy in Luke 21. The distinction is maintained in all three gospels.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Matthew》
The parable of the marriage feast. (1-14) The Pharisees question Jesus as to the tribute. (15-22) The question of the Sadducees as to the resurrection. (23-33) The substance of the commandments. (34-40) Jesus questions the Pharisees. (41-46)
Commentary on Matthew 22:1-14
(Read Matthew 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, John 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.
Commentary on Matthew 22:15-22
(Read Matthew 22:15-22)
The Pharisees sent their disciples with the Herodians, a party among the Jews, who were for full subjection to the Roman emperor. Though opposed to each other, they joined against Christ. What they said of Christ was right; whether they knew it or not, blessed be God we know it. Jesus Christ was a faithful Teacher, and a bold reprover. Christ saw their wickedness. Whatever mask the hypocrite puts on, our Lord Jesus sees through it. Christ did not interpose as a judge in matters of this nature, for his kingdom is not of this world, but he enjoins peaceable subjection to the powers that be. His adversaries were reproved, and his disciples were taught that the Christian religion is no enemy to civil government. Christ is, and will be, the wonder, not only of his friends, but of his enemies. They admire his wisdom, but will not be guided by it; his power, but will not submit to it.
Commentary on Matthew 22:23-33
(Read Matthew 22:23-33)
The doctrines of Christ displeased the infidel Sadducees, as well as the Pharisees and Herodians. He carried the great truths of the resurrection and a future state, further than they had yet been reveled. There is no arguing from the state of things in this world, as to what will take place hereafter. Let truth be set in a clear light, and it appears in full strength. Having thus silenced them, our Lord proceeded to show the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection from the books of Moses. God declared to Moses that he was the God of the patriarchs, who had died long before; this shows that they were then in a state of being, capable of enjoying his favour, and proves that the doctrine of the resurrection is clearly taught in the Old Testament as well as in the New. But this doctrine was kept for a more full revelation, after the resurrection of Christ, who was the first-fruits of them that slept. All errors arise from not knowing the Scriptures and the power of God. In this world death takes away one after another, and so ends all earthly hopes, joys, sorrows, and connexions. How wretched are those who look for nothing better beyond the grave!
Commentary on Matthew 22:34-40
(Read Matthew 22:34-40)
An interpreter of the law asked our Lord a question, to try, not so much his knowledge, as his judgment. The love of God is the first and great commandment, and the sum of all the commands of the first table. Our love of God must be sincere, not in word and tongue only. All our love is too little to bestow upon him, therefore all the powers of the soul must be engaged for him, and carried out toward him. To love our neighbour as ourselves, is the second great commandment. There is a self-love which is corrupt, and the root of the greatest sins, and it must be put off and mortified; but there is a self-love which is the rule of the greatest duty: we must have a due concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies. And we must love our neighbour as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves; in many cases we must deny ourselves for the good of others. By these two commandments let our hearts be formed as by a mould.
Commentary on Matthew 22:41-46
(Read Matthew 22:41-46)
When Christ baffled his enemies, he asked what thoughts they had of the promised Messiah? How he could be the Son of David and yet his Lord? He quotes Psalm 110:1. If the Christ was to be a mere man, who would not exist till many ages after David's death, how could his forefather call him Lord? The Pharisees could not answer it. Nor can any solve the difficulty except he allows the Messiah to be the Son of God, and David's Lord equally with the Father. He took upon him human nature, and so became God manifested in the flesh; in this sense he is the Son of man and the Son of David. It behoves us above all things seriously to inquire, "What think we of Christ?" Is he altogether glorious in our eyes, and precious to our hearts? May Christ be our joy, our confidence, our all. May we daily be made more like to him, and more devoted to his service.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Matthew》
 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
A king, who made a marriage feast for his son — So did God, when he brought his first - begotten into the world.
 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Them that were invited — Namely, the Jews.
 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
Fatlings — Fatted beasts and fowls.
 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
One to his farm, another to his merchandise — One must mind what he has; another, gain what he wants. How many perish by misusing lawful things!
 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
The king sending forth his troops — The Roman armies employed of God for that purpose.
Destroyed those murderers — Primarily the Jews.
 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
Go into the highways — The word properly signifies, the by-ways, or turnings of the road.
 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
They gathered all — By preaching every where.
 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
The guest — The members of the visible Church.
 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
A wedding garment — The righteousness of Christ, first imputed, then implanted. It may easily be observed, this has no relation to the Lord's Supper, but to God's proceeding at the last day.
 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Many are called; few chosen — Many hear; few believe. Yea, many are members of the visible, but few of the invisible Church. Matthew 20:16.
 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
The Herodians were a set of men peculiarly attached to Herod, and consequently zealous for the interest of the Roman government, which was the main support of the dignity and royalty of his family.
Thou regardest not the person of men — Thou favourest no man for his riches or greatness.
 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
Is it lawful to give tribute to Cesar? — If he had said, Yes, the Pharisees would have accused him to the people, as a betrayer of the liberties of his country. If he had said, No, the Herodians would have accused him to the Roman governor.
 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
Ye hypocrites — Pretending a scruple of conscience.
 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription
The tribute money — A Roman coin, stamped with the head of Cesar, which was usually paid in tribute.
 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
They say to him, Cesar's — Plainly acknowledging, by their having received his coin, that they were under his government. And indeed this is a standing rule. The current coin of every nation shows who is the supreme governor of it. Render therefore, ye Pharisees, to Cesar the things which ye yourselves acknowledge to be Cesar's: and, ye Herodians, while ye are zealous for Cesar, see that ye render to God the things that are God's.
 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:
Now there were with us seven brethren — This story seems to have been a kind of common-place objection, which no doubt they brought upon all occasions.
 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Ye err, not knowing the Scriptures — Which plainly assert a resurrection.
Nor the power of God — Which is well able to effect it. How many errors flow from the same source?
 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
They are as the angels — Incorruptible and immortal. So is the power of God shown in them! So little need had they of marriage!
 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
Have ye not read — The Sadducees had a peculiar value for the books of Moses. Out of these therefore our Lord argues with them.
 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
I am the God of Abraham — The argument runs thus: God is not the God of the dead, but of the living: (for that expression, Thy God, implies both benefit from God to man, and duty from man to God) but he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: therefore, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not dead, but living. Therefore, the soul does not die with the body. So indeed the Sadducees supposed, and it was on this ground that they denied the resurrection. Exodus 3:6.
 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
At his doctrine — At the clearness and solidity of his answers.
 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
A scribe asking him a question, trying him — Not, as it seems, with any ill design: but barely to make a farther trial of that wisdom, which he had shown in silencing the Sadducees.
 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
How doth David then by the Spirit — By inspiration, call him Lord? If he be merely the son (or descendant) of David? If he be, as you suppose, a mere man, the son of a man?
 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
The Lord said to my Lord — This his dominion, to which David himself was subject, shows both the heavenly majesty of the king, and the nature of his kingdom.
Sit thou on my right hand — That is, remain in the highest authority and power. Psalms 110:1.
 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
Neither durst any question him any more — Not by way of ensnaring or tempting him.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Matthew》
Chapter 22. The Wedding Feast
Caesar's to Caesar
God's to God
I. Parable of a Prince's Wedding Feast
II. Wise Reply to Tricky Questions
III. The Essence of the Greatest Commandment
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
The Wedding Feast (Mt 22:1-14)
1. We come to the third of three parables Jesus told when challenged by
the religious leaders in the temple during His last week...
a. "The Two Sons" was told in regards to their rejection of John the
Baptist - Mt 21:28-32
b. "The Wicked Vinedressers" described how God would reject them
because they had rejected His prophets, and ultimately His own
Son! - Mt 21:33-46
c. In "The Wedding Feast", the wickedness and rebelliousness of the
religious leaders is even more vividly described - Mt 22:1-14
2. In "The Wedding Feast", the Lord is revealing Himself and the nature
of their rejection more clearly than He did in the previous
a. There He was indeed the son; but here He is a royal son
b. There they were rejecting what they rightfully owed by way of
contract; but here they are rejecting kindness which had been
graciously offered to them!
3. In this parable, we also see an expansion of the element of Divine
a. The previous parable described judgment upon
for rejecting Israel
b. So does this parable, but it also describes judgment upon those
who have accepted the King's invitation, yet not in the way it
was intended to be received!
[Let's read the parable beginning in Mt 22:1 (READ). Now let's spend
a few moments taking a closer look...]
I. THE PARABLE ANALYZED
A. AN INVITATION SPURNED (1-10)
1. The kingdom of heaven is likened to a wedding feast - Mt 22:
a. Isaiah had used the figure of a feast to prophecy of the
Messianic age - Is 25:6
b. The Book of Revelation describes a future marriage of the
Lamb and His Bride - Re 19:7
2. And yet the invitation is spurned...
a. By those indifferent - Mt 22:3-5
b. By those rebellious - Mt 22:6
-- Jesus may have reference here to the Jewish nation, as He
did in the parable of "The Wicked Vinedressers" - Mt 21:
3. The King's furious reaction - Mt 22:7
a. Those who had so callously rejected His invitation, abused
His servants, are themselves destroyed
b. Many understand this to be a prophecy of the destruction of
, which occurred in Jerusalem 70 A. D. - Lk 19:41-44
4. The invitation is extended to others - Mt 22:8-10
a. As in the parable of "The Wicked Vinedressers", the
opportunity to enjoy the blessings of the
is kingdomof God
extended to others - Mt 21:43
b. This has reference to the offer of the gospel and the
kingdom to the Gentiles - cf. also Mt 8:5-12
B. A GUEST IMPROPERLY ATTIRED (11-14)
1. Without a wedding garment - Mt 22:11-12
a. It was customary for the hosts to provide their guests
b. To not wear the provided garment showed a lack of respect
c. No real excuse could be offered for not wearing one ("he
2. The King's furious reaction - Mt 22:13
a. The seriousness of the insult is seen in the reaction of
b. The punishment described is similar to that found in other
parables - Mt 13:42,50
3. Jesus' conclusion - Mt 22:14
a. This summarizes the main point of the entire parable
b. The invitation (call) of God is extended to many, but few
receive it in such a way to be among the "chosen"
[This parable was clearly told in response to the rejection of the
King's Son and His Kingdom by the Jewish nation. However, elements of
the parable apply to us as well, for the invitation to attend "The
Wedding Feast" is still being offered through the call of the Gospel!
With that in mind, consider a few more thoughts on...]
II. THE PARABLE APPLIED
A. HAVE YOU SPURNED THE FATHER'S INVITATION?
1. Through indifference?
a. Many people do not know God because of a lack of interest
b. Yet God has so ordered the affairs of life to encourage
faith and interest in Him - Ac 17:26-27; Ro 1:20; 1 Ti 2:
c. For this reason, even those who through indifference do not
know God and obey the gospel will be condemned - 2 Th 1:
2. Through rebelliousness?
a. There are many who know full well the Father's invitation
b. But for whatever reason they rebel against it
c. In so doing, they despise riches of God's grace and store
up for themselves God's righteous indignation - Ro 2:4-11
[Certainly all should respond to the Father's invitation if they
desire to enjoy the spiritual blessings of the kingdom of heaven.
But as we learn from the parable, there is more...]
B. ARE YOU ATTIRED FOR THE WEDDING?
1. Many seek to attend the "wedding" in apparel of their own
a. Some, not knowing the righteousness of God, have sought to
establish their own - Ro 10:1-3
b. People do this today, when they expect salvation on terms
different than those taught in the gospel
1) E.g., trying to obtain salvation based upon their own
2) E.g., trying to obtain salvation on faith without
repentance and obedience
2. We must be willing to put on the "apparel" that God gives us:
a. We must "put on" Jesus Christ!
1) First and foremost this involves clothing ourselves with
2) Which Paul explains takes place in baptism - Ga 3:26-27
-- Have you put Christ on in baptism?
b. We must "put on" the new man!
1) Paul applies the figure of putting on a garment to the
development of Christian conduct and character - Co 3:
2) Do we wish to be found at the wedding feast adorned with
the apparel of the "old man with his deeds"?
-- Are you putting off the "old man", and putting on the
c. We must "put on" righteous deeds!
1) John described the preparation for glorious wedding of
the Lamb and His bride - Re 19:6-9
2) We understand that the "righteous acts of the saints"
are not done to merit salvation - Ti 3:4-5
3) They are done to bring honor to God, and therefore we
are to be ever ready and zealous to do good works - cf.
Mt 5:16; Ti 3:1,8,14
-- Are you doing what you can to "beautify" the wedding
garment of the bride?
1. We have truly been blessed to be given the opportunity to receive
the Father's invitation to the wedding feast of His Son!
2. But we learn from Jesus and His parables that the "kingdom of
heaven" is for those who thankfully and properly receive the grace
that God has to offer
3. The example of the nation of
should serve as a warning to Israel
all, both Jew and Gentile, that while God's call of the gospel is
open to all, the saying of Jesus still remains true...
"For many are called, but few are chosen."
You have been called, but will you be chosen?
Our Duty To God And Country (22:15-22)
1. Teaching in the temple, Jesus was approached by the Pharisees and
a. They came with the intention of entangling Him in His teaching
- Mt 22:15-16
b. They questioned Him whether one should pay taxes to Caesar
- Mt 22:17
2. Ever the Master Teacher, Jesus easily dealt with their question...
a. Seeing through their hypocrisy, He called for a coin - Mt 22:
b. He asked whose inscription was on it, and they answered
"Caesar's" - Mt 22:20-21
c. His reply cause them to marvel, and to go away - Mt 22:21-22
3. The reply of Jesus:
a. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's"
b. "And to God the things that are God's"
...not only silenced His critics, but provided important teaching
for His disciples
4. His reply reveals that we have responsibilities to both God and
a. There are things that we must render to Caesar (country)
b. There are things that we must render to God
[What is our duty to God and country? In this study we shall review
what the Scriptures tell us about our responsibilities as citizens and
as disciples. We start with...]
I. OUR DUTY TO COUNTRY
A. PAY TAXES...
1. This was the point of Jesus in our text - Mt 22:17-21
2. Paul also taught us to pay taxes - Ro 13:6
B. OBEY LAWS...
1. We are to submit to the ordinances (laws) of the land - Ro 13:
1-5; Ti 3:1
2. This we do for the Lord's sake, that we might silence foolish
men - 1 Pe 2:13-16
C. FEAR AND HONOR...
1. We are to respect and honor those in positions of authority
- Ro 13:7b
a. We are to fear the king - cf. Pro 24:21
b. We are not to speak evil of our rulers - cf. Exo 22:28; Ac
23:5; Ti 3:2; 2 Pe 2:10; Ju 8-9
2. Even as we are to honor all and love the brethren - 1 Pe 2:17
-- Do you notice that Paul or Peter never had unkind words about
D. DO GOOD...
1. We are to be ready for every good work - Ti 3:1
2. We are to have conduct that is honorable before all - 1 Pe 2:
1. To make supplications, offer prayers, intercessions, and
giving of thanks - 1 Ti 2:1
2. To pray for kings and all who are in authority - 1 Ti 2:1-3
[Christians are but sojourners and pilgrims in this world (1 Pe 2:11).
While our true citizenship is in heaven (Ph 3:20), we are to be a
blessing to those earthly countries in which we sojourn. Fulfill our
God-given obligations, and we will be an asset to any country in which
we live! Now let's review...]
II. OUR DUTY TO GOD
A. LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR BEING...
1. Jesus considered this the greatest commandment of the Law
- Mt 22:34-38
2. Being the greatest command, I would suggest this is our
B. OBEY GOD FROM THE HEART...
1. If we love God, we will keep His commandments - 1 Jn 5:3
2. Even as Jesus taught that keeping His commandments is evidence
of true love - Jn 14:15,21,23
C. MAKE GOD OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY...
1. His will, His rule, His righteousness, should be our first
priority - Mt 6:33
2. Not only over our personal concerns, but even over our duty to
a. Whenever there is a conflict between duty to God and duty
to country, God must come first
b. As stated by Peter: "We ought to obey God rather than men"
- Ac 5:27-29
3. This helps to answer questions that often arise concerning the
Christian's duty to government
a. Can a Christian vote?
b. Can one serve in political office?
4. If such duties and privileges come at too high a price (i.e.,
placing country before God), then a Christian must obey God
rather than men
a. In some countries, the price may be too high, and a
Christian could not serve in political office or exercise
certain rights as a citizen
b. Other countries may allow for God to take precedence in
one's conduct, permitting the Christian to participate in
1. Christians ought to be a blessing for any country in which they
a. A source of revenue, with respect for laws, and reverence for
those in authority
b. Contributing to the general welfare, through good deeds and
2. Christians can be such a blessing when...
a. They render first to God what is His due, and then what is due
b. The country respects the priority that must be given God by its
While those in authority might not always understand their proper
place, and expect more of their citizens than what is right, may we who
are disciples of Christ never fail to "Render therefore to Caesar the
things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Two Great Commandments (22:34-40)
1. In the temple during His final week prior to His crucifixion, Jesus
was questioned by various religious groups...
a. The Pharisees and Herodians sought to entangle Him with a
question about paying taxes - Mt 22:15-22
b. The Sadducees tried to trip Him on the subject of the
resurrection - Mt 22:23-33
-- His answers caused people to marvel and be astonished - Mt 22:22,
2. The Pharisees tried once again, this time sending one of their
a. Testing Him as to which is the great commandment in the law - Mt
b. Jesus replied by offering two great commandments
1) The first pertained to loving God - Mt 22:37-38
2) The second pertained to loving one's neighbor - Mt 22:39
-- Upon these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets
- Mt 22:40
3. While we no longer live under the Old Law, these "Two Great
Commandments" are still very important to the Christian...
a. For they certainly have their counterpart in the New Covenant
b. And keeping the commandments of God is just as important now as
it was under the Old Covenant - cf. 1 Co 7:19; 1 Jn 5:3
[It is proper to ask, therefore, do we love God and our neighbor as we
should? Do we understand what is involved in loving God and our fellow
man? Perhaps by reflecting upon these "Two Great Commandments" we can
find the answer to such questions...]
I. THE COMMAND TO LOVE GOD
A. UNDER THE OLD COVENANT...
1. The Israelites were expected to love God (Deu 6:5)...
a. "with all your heart"
b. "with all your soul"
c. "with all your strength"
d. "with all your mind" - cf. Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30; Lk 10:27
(the Septuagint has "mind, soul, strength" in Deu 6:5)
-- Emotionally, physically, intellectually, they were to love
2. Thus they were to love God with their whole being, not like
a. Serve God emotionally, while committing intellectual
b. Serve God intellectually, but with no emotion
c. Serve God emotionally and intellectually, but with no
actual obedience requiring the exercise of strength (i.e.,
-- Note how the Law stated their responsibility in Deu 10:
B. HOW WE ARE TO LOVE GOD TODAY...
1. Does God expect any less of us? Of course not! We are to
a. With all our heart - cf. 1 Co 16:22 (note the use of the
b. With all our soul (body and mind) - cf. Ro 12:1-2
c. With all our strength - cf. He 10:36
d. With all our mind - cf. Co 3:1; Ph 4:8
2. We demonstrate our love for God through keeping His
a. This is the love of God - 1 Jn 5:3
b. This is evidence that we love Jesus - Jn 14:15
C. THE BLESSING OF KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS...
1. We enjoy a special relationship with God and Jesus - Jn 14:
2. We will abide in the love of God - Jn 15:10; 1 Jn 2:5
3. Our prayers will be answered - 1 Jn 3:22
D. HOW TO GROW IN OUR LOVE FOR GOD...
1. By allowing God's love for us to move us - cf. 1 Jn 4:9-10;
a. God loved us, even while we were still sinners
b. When we reflect upon His love for us, we will love Him
2. By asking God to help us grow in love - cf. 2 Th 3:5
a. Paul prayed that the Lord would direct the Thessalonians
into the love of God
b. If he could pray such for others, can we not pray the same
3. By praying, and growing in love when He answers - cf. Psa 116:
a. David loved the Lord because He heard His supplications
b. Perhaps if we prayed more, and received answers to our
prayers more, we would love God more!
4. By keeping the word of God - cf. 1 Jn 2:5
a. The love of God is perfected in those who keep God's word
b. Therefore the more we obey Him, the more our love for God
[Do we love God any less than what was expected of the Israelites? We
certainly have compelling reasons to love Him even more (e.g., the gift
of His Son)! Now let's consider...]
II. THE COMMAND TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR
A. ENJOINED UPON CHRISTIANS...
1. We owe it to our neighbors to love them - Ro 13:
2. When fully applied, it fulfills what the Law required - Ro 13:
a. Five of the Ten Commandments spoke to working no ill toward
our fellow man
b. If one truly loves his or her neighbor, they will not be
guilty of killing, adultery, stealing, lying, or
c. For sins (and many others) do grave harm to our neighbor
B. ENHANCED BY A NEW COMMAND...
1. Jesus taught us to love one another - Jn 13:34-35
2. This new command takes our love to a higher level
a. No longer do we just love one another as we love ourselves
b. We must love one another as Christ loved us!
1) He loved us with the greatest love - Jn 15:13
2) He became poor, that we might be rich - 2 Co 8:9
3. Thus no one can use low self-esteem (or low self-love) as an
excuse not to love others as they should
C. EXPERIENCED WHEN WE KEEP GOD'S COMMANDMENTS...
1. We demonstrate true love of one another by keeping the
commandments of God - 2 Jn 5-6
2. This is how we know that we really love one another - 1 Jn 5:2
a. Not by just claiming to love one another
b. But by setting the proper example, and encouraging each
other by the example we set!
D. EDUCATED BY THE EXAMPLE OF GOD...
1. We develop love for one another by being taught of God - cf.
1 Th 4:9-10
a. The Thessalonians had been taught of God to love their
b. They did so remarkably, though there was always room for
2. Jesus by His own example demonstrates what true love is - 1 Jn
-- If we wish to learn how to love one another properly, look to
God and Jesus!
1. How great were these two commandments...to love God, and to love
a. "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
- Mt 22:40
b. "Love is the fulfilling of the Law." - Ro 13:9
-- These two commands summed up what the Old Law required of the
2. When one truly loves God, and loves his neighbor as himself...
a. He is on the road that leads to eternal life! - cf. Lk 10:25-28
b. He is on the path that leads to the
! - cf. Mk 12: kingdomof God
If you wish to receive eternal life, and become a citizen of the
kingdom, then demonstrate your love for God by obeying His commands
(cf. Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:16), and live a life of faith in Jesus that is
focused on loving God and your fellow man!