THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

This program of daily Scripture studies is designed to help you in daily honoring God with adoration.

Each day, Monday through Friday, a Scripture with commentary is posted.

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TODAY'S SCRIPTURE STUDY

MATTHEW

CHAPTER 22

1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 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. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 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. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

In order to obtain the full impetus of this parable, we need to remember WHERE Jesus was when He taught it. He was in the temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 21:23).

Perhaps we should also remember WHEN Jesus was in the temple. It was the feast of Passover. The temple was very crowded because so many people were attending for this special feast (See Deuteronomy 16:16)

Third, let's remember TO WHOM Jesus was teaching. They were the "males" of all the tribes of Israel. They had come in obedience to God's command, which exemplified both their faith in God and their familiarity with His Word.

Now let's look at WHAT Jesus was teaching: another parable; or an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Being a parable does NOT imply that this was a mystical story. The story, in fact, was QUITE CLEAR to those who were listening!

In this particular parable "a king" gave a wedding feast for his son. The feast was given on the day of the "wedding." The king's "son" represents the one to whom will be passed rulership. To the listener, knowledgeable of the Word of God, this would represent the "lawgiver" of Genesis 49:10. Remember, in the last chapter, the people had called Jesus "THE Prophet," or the one spoken of in Deuteronomy 18:15. And from the other aspects of the parable, which we shall discuss further, these people should have recognized that Jesus was speaking of GOD being the "King," and Messiah being His Son.

Notice that the servants went to call those "that were bidden." In other words, these people had been sent a previous invitation and had been given time to prepare for the date of the wedding. Now they were being reminded and called to the wedding.

In the book of Isaiah, God, "the LORD" is referred to as the "Bridegroom," and Israel as the "bride" (See Isaiah 61:10). John the Baptist was most likely referring to this when he said of Jesus, "He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom...." (John 3:29). Certainly, those in attendance at the temple that day would have been familiar with the teachings of John the Baptist. Therefore the reference to the "king" and the "son" were quite clear!

Now, notice that those who had received an invitation, and who were now being called to come "made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them." The cares of the world took precedence over their lives, and kept them from paying due reverence to the "king" and his "son." This was the most IMPORTANT wedding they would ever attend, and they were intent to MISS it!

Especially to the learned "Chief Priests and elders" this was a very CLEAR teaching! They were so encumbered with selfish pride over their own lives, they failed to see the invitation of God to become the "bride" of JESUS!

Isn't it quite clear TODAY? The church is preaching throughout the world that Jesus is soon coming to receive His "bride." And yet many are too concerned about their own pride to give due reverence to the "Bridegroom!"

In verse 8, it is plain that those who refused were not worthy. The Greek word used here is axios, meaning "not ready to receive the reward." Therefore, the "king" said, "Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage." And again, the teaching is quite clear: WHOSOEVER WILL COME IS WORTHY!

God does not accept people based on lineage, education, wealth or reputation. He accepts those who are WILLING to COME and give due reverence to Jesus as LORD!

The "servants" did as the "king" requested, and the banquet hall was FILLED with guests! May I say, God's heaven is going to be FILLED with those who were willing to come to Christ?! And Christ Himself will serve the WEDDING FEAST!

Before we get to the next part of the parable, let us grasp some meaning of the term "wedding garment." There is a tradition, even today, that the bridegroom provide his "best man" and other attendants with the clothing to wear for the wedding. That tradition is from the past. In those days, when Jesus was teaching, a person who came to the wedding, was given a "garment" to wear that would identify them as invited. That garment would also compliment the bridegroom's attire.

Considering salvation, those who come willingly to Christ are given "robes of righteousness." That righteousness is certainly not ours, but it is the very righteousness of Christ imputed (See 2Corinthians 5:21, and Philippians 3:9, and Revelation 19:8).

However, NONE shall remain at the "wedding feast" of Christ without the "wedding garment!"
"For many are called, but few are chosen!"

In His "election," God has chosen ANY who willingly come to Christ as Lord. They each receive the "robes of righteousness" from Christ Himself. He meets them at their repentance, where they surrender their will to His will. He greets them with love because they show due reverence to the SON of the KING. And He adorns them with the appropriate "wedding garment."

But don't miss this important part: God's "election" to "whosoever" includes ONLY those who have received a "wedding garment!" The man in the parable thought he could come on his own goodness! I'll say it again, WITHOUT SURRENDER THERE IS NO SALVATION!

15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16 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. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 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. 22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

Now the Pharisees were legalists. They were strict in observing the law, but they refused to believe that God could come in a "Man." They did not believe Jesus was the long-awaited "Messiah," and refused to surrender to Him as Lord.

Since they would not surrender, they sought to discredit!

The intention of the Pharisees with the temptation of the money was to see if Jesus would ascribe lordship to Caesar. Under the "law" (of God), is it right to pay "tribute" to a person or government? Some try to do this today, saying that if a person really believes in God, he will not pay taxes. Taxation is a form of ascribing lordship.

But the truth is, money has a dual relationship! Yes, there are taxes to be paid. And yes, there are tithes to be paid!

Is "Caesar" lord over you? YES! Then DO what is right; pay what is DUE!
Is GOD "LORD" over all that you are? YES! He is LORD of lords, KING of kings! Then DO what is right; pay what is DUE!

One can pay taxes, serving the "lords" of the world without compromising the Lordship of God!

23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 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: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 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. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

While the Pharisees were legalistic in their view of the law, the Sadducees were aristocratic in nature, and had developed a ritualistic view of the law. They were the "Chief Priests," and sometimes tended to interpret the law even more strictly than the Pharisees. They believed that ONLY the "seventh" brother would be correctly married to the woman. AND the Sadducees did not believe in a "resurrection."

But the truth is, BOTH were too rigid in their interpretation to see the truth! The genuineness of the "law" is sometimes tainted by men's perspective. BOTH the Pharisees and the Sadducees were so intent on this age-old problem, they failed to see the TRUTH in the law.

The TRUTH, Jesus pointed out is that there are NO husbands and wives in heaven!!! Everyone there is going to be married to Jesus!

Jesus also pointed out a second truth: there IS a resurrection! Yes, EVERY soul will be resurrected and face Christ in a judgment. Those who have received Christ through repentance and surrender to His Lordship, will be acquitted of all sin! They shall receive the eternal judgment of heaven! Those who have not surrendered to Christ will receive the eternal judgment of hell!

Jesus wanted these people to know that there is no escape from final judgment. The soul is created to exist for eternity (See Genesis 2:7)(See also Revelation 20:11-15). All souls will exist for eternity SOMEWHERE!

Jesus concluded with saying, "God is not the God of the dead, but of the LIVING!" God exists for eternity, and His "breath" exists for eternity. And all those created by His breath exist for eternity.

Jesus' clear interpretation of the Scriptures "astonished" those who were listening.

34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 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. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The Pharisees heard the comments on the question presented by the Sadducees. They were glad that the Sadducess had been stymied, but they still wanted to ensnare Jesus. This "lawyer" was not a lawyer like we know. He was skilled in the law of Moses. Obviously, the Pharisees thought he was more likely to ensnare Jesus than the Sadducees.

First, Jesus quoted part of the Shema, which is the Jewish equivalent of a profession of faith. The part Jesus quoted was Deuteronomy 6:5.

The Shema asserts the unity of One God, and the assurance there is One and only ONE God. It also asserts that our devotion and allegiance is to be given to this One God alone. We are to surrender to Him as Creator and Master of our souls. We are to learn from His Holy Word. And we are to continually teach that Word to our children.

Jesus stated that this was the "first and great commandment." THAT is the answer to the question posed by the "lawyer."

Jesus also stated that the SECOND greatest commandment is: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." This was also a quote. It comes from Leviticus 19:18. The Hebrew word rea', literally meant one near - an associate, or a fellow-created person. Traditionally, this word had been later translated to mean a friend, or one who lived in like manner as oneself. However, Jesus taught (in Luke Luke 10:30-37) that ALL humans are "neighbours!"

Thus, these two laws form hinges for relationships. First, our relationship to God; and second, our relationship to our fellow man.

Remember, when God gave Moses the ten commandments, He gave them in TWO tablets. The first contained the four laws governing our relationship with God. The second contained the 6 laws governing our relationship with others. (See Exodus 20:1-17)

Perspective is the issue here. Jesus was stating that these two laws would give the right perspective to obedience of all other laws.

41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Now, the Pharisees had all been "gathered together in a little corner listening to this interchange between the "lawyer" and Jesus.

Jesus took the opportunity to confront them with the most basic of questions for salvation: WHAT SHALL I DO WITH JESUS? Jesus did not ask them what they thought of "Jesus of Nazareth." He asked them what they thought of "CHRIST." Remember "Christ" is the Greek translation of "Messiah." Messiah is the One Whom the Jews anticipated coming to bring salvation.

Jesus was asking them, "Who's son is the Messiah?"
Their answer was "The Son of David."

But Jesus now pointed to the veracity of the Scripture, and asked them another question: "If David then call Him LORD, how is he his son?"

Indeed David called Messiah "Lord" in Psalm 110:1. What David was saying was that the long-awaited Messiah was to be "son of David" physically, but God in flesh Spiritually!

These Pharisees did not believe God would come as a man! But they purportedly believed the Scriptures! This statement of Jesus directly opposed their faith in the Scriptures! For if they truly believed the Scriptures, they MUST believe that God would come in a man, and would be of the lineage of David! (See Isaiah 43:11)

If God did not come Himself, He could not be perfectly righteous and win the fight over evil.
But if God did not come as a man, He could not pay the price for sin, the blood of man.

Yes, the "Lord" (Messiah) had existence before and during the time of David. He was both David's Creator and Master. He is the ETERNAL "Son of God!"

And, yes, He DID come in the form of a man, that He might pay to God man's price for sin - death!

God has "highly exalted Him (Messiah-Jesus)," and placed Him at His "right hand." He has placed the enemies of Satan, sin and death at the feet of Jesus, and made them "His footstool!"

So here's the question of the day: WHAT SHALL YOU DO WITH JESUS?

Shall you receive Him as LORD?
Shall you honor Him as MASTER?
Is He not God come in man to bring salvation to all mankind?

THIS is the question that ultimately faced the Pharisees. But they were not able to "answer Him a word." And neither did they ask Him any more questions trying to trip Him up!

Now Jesus will speak to the "multitude" and apply the lessons of these arguments.

PLEASE CONTINUE WITH US IN BIBLE STUDY TOMORROW.