Monday, March 27, 2017

Matthew 22 Sermon Notes

Matthew 22:1-46
Unto Caesar Unto God
March 26, 2017
Lynchburg, Virginia

Two Sons- Which one will do the will of God?
Parable of the Vineyard- The unfaithful servants
Parable of the Wedding Feast- The wicked invited guests
Herodians and taxes- Evil intent

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.
         Many are invited.

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:
They were too busy.

6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
Finally, they grow weary of the invitation and spitefully treat the servants and even kill some of 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.
The King is gracious and kind but His mercy and kindness have a limit. Since His patience is so long, when his wrath falls, it falls hard.

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.
Those invited would not come but the King will have a full house to honor His Son. If the invitees won’t come, he will find others who will.

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.
The rejection of the invited guests gave a tremendous opportunity to others. This is the olive tree whose branches were cast away so that the Gentile could be grafted in. It says that bad and good were invited. The guests are wheat and chaff but these, too, shall be converted or sorted.

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
They came from the highways and byways but they must put on wedding garments suitable to the event and feast.

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
When you face the Father of glory without Jesus, you will be speechless. Imagine the surprise of masses who affirm the Father and yet deny the Son, when the Father accuses of them of refusing to put on their wedding garments. They are imposters to the feast. When God, the Father asks the question, they will be speechless.
This is very important. They will not be able to make excuses, blame their parents, blame their religious leaders, blame their country or origin of birth. They will receive their just due with a closed mouth.

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.
These are Jesus’s words and they are very scary. Bind him hand and foot and take him away, cast him into the outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matt. 22:15   Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
These wicked men knew that Jesus condemned them. They sought to catch Him in His words so that they could condemn Him to death.
This is very interesting setup. The Pharisees are opposed to supporting their occupiers, the Romans. The Herodians support the Roman government because they are have been set up as puppet rulers. So, once again the leaders in Israel come to Jesus not to hear truth but to catch Him in His words.
Jesus is able to reveal the wicked hearts of both of these groups.

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?
The Herodians wanted controversy. A controversial question was whether the Jews should pay taxes to Caesar or not. They were subjects of Rome but should they willingly submit to Rome’s taxes? Or rebel? A rebellion had large consequences.
The Herodians supported the Roman government. The Pharisees were opposed. Why were these two groups now facing Jesus as friends? The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
If Jesus answers that we are not to pay the tax, the Herodians will have him in a snare and can raise trouble with the Roman government. If Jesus answers that we ought to pay the tax, then the Pharisees can cause trouble for Him in the religious sector.
But Jesus points out their hypocrisies.

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.
Jesus knew it was a trap question. But He still answers it. He does so in a way that leaves them in awe of His answer.
The Herodians have forsaken the things of the God for the state. The Pharisees are rebellious about God’s rule of them through the Romans. Both groups have failed in fundamental ways and Jesus’s simple answer condemns them both.
However, He does answer the question. Yes, since the currency is Roman, we are under their rule and we are to pay the tax.

Matt. 22:23   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.
Again, note the context. The Sadducees come and ask Jesus about the Resurrection. They don’t believe in the Resurrection. They are not asking if there is a Resurrection. They are asking a hypothetical question set up to make the Resurrection look ridiculous.

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.
Jesus corrects their faulty view of what post-Resurrection relationships will look like. We will exist in the Resurrection with those to whom we were married, but they will not be married. This makes sense if the need for sex is gone. It may be hard to imagine a Resurrected world without babies but it appears that is exactly what it will be.

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.
Jesus is an excellent theologian. We should learn His example. He finds the simplest proof text and uses it without further explanation.
His argument here for life after death is incredibly simple and profound. God said that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and David. He said this on many occasions, even long after those three patriarchs were dead and gone. But God is the God of the living so those three men must be alive. Thus, we do live after we die.

33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
Why were they astonished? Because Jesus shut down the Sadducees so simply and completely. Why had no one thought of this simple answer before and said it with such authority?
It is amazing how we get caught up in controversies and long books about various topics while we have simple answers directly in front of us. The reason we do this is because we do not like the simple answers and it takes a long convoluted argument to get around the truth.
Take for example Hell and damnation. There are many people who have tried long and convoluted books designed to get around the fact that there is hell as well as heaven. But Jesus said ‘Cast them into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Matt. 22:34   But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
Pharisees are behind the scheming. But Herodians, down, Saducees down. Now, let’s get out the big guns. The Pharisees gather together. What can we do to get Jesus?

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.
It is interesting to me that this question is asked. I am not sure we know where the controversy in it is. Were there humanists in their midst advocating for the brotherhood of man? Not likely. But I can imagine a liberal push towards serving man that neglected doctrine and duties towards God. Or, an orthodusty push that focused on doctrine but neglected the weightier duties of the law. These two unbalanced emphases often exist in the Church. They even exist in a good church.
Getting out of balance leads even to drifting away from the truth. So, there is constant need for a return to doctrine, reformation, and practical application, revival.

Matt. 22:41   While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
Jesus has had enough of being asked. He now asks.

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.

Here comes that question again. Who do you say that I am?
         With a very simple argument, Jesus delivers the idea that the Christ is the Son of God. If the greatest of the kings, King David, calls the Christ, Lord, then the Christ cannot be inferior to David. He must be superior and the only way that can be the case is if He is the Son of God.
         This leaves the Pharisees no options. They must submit to Him or kill Him. Jesus shuts their mouths. Stop all the talk. Stop the long arguments to justify yourselves in God’s sight. Put away your commentaries, your convoluted explanations getting around Jesus, hell, resurrection, authority, and submission. Stop all that. Shut your mouth. Look to Him in faith. Believe. If you open your mouth, let it be praise and worship, thanksgiving and rejoicing, saying, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

Put On Christ

What are you doing here at church? Do you understand that this is the wedding feast of the Lamb? Have you come in appropriately dressed? Or, did you just sneak in uninvited for the free bread and wine?
         This is a most beautiful place but it is haunted by the Holy Ghost. You must put off the sandals from your feet for the place you stand is holy ground. You have soiled this ground with your sinful presence. Your garments are unclean and unwelcome. In fact, if you do not put on the wedding garments, then you will be banished to place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
         How do you dress for church? Haphazardly, in day old clothes and stinky socks? Or, do you prepare your body and clothes? If you prepare your body so, then why not prepare your heart also?

You must put on Jesus. You do this by dying to sin and death, receiving forgiveness through the finished work of Jesus Christ and rising from the dead. Only if you are clothed in Jesus are you welcome to the Supper of the Lamb. If not, judgment awaits. So, repent of your sins, change your clothes, put on Jesus and come to His feast.

These Two Commandments

All the law of the prophets rests on these two commandments, love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. What a wonderful picture we have in this Communion meal of these two great commandments.
         We love God because He first loved us and gave His Only Begotten for us. We love our neighbor because he is a sinner like us. We are freely forgiven, so we freely forgive. God has done us a good turn and we are to do a good turn for those in our midst. We are even to love our enemies, treating them as friends, for in this God is well pleased.

         Here is God’s promise to you, free forgiveness through Jesus. Love Him for it. Here is God’s promise to your brothers and sisters, in Jesus, you are forgiven and so forgive. Love them for His sake.