Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to Matthew. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992.
“Matthew 22” pp. 546-567.
The first 14 verses of Matthew 22 contain the last of the three parables begun in chapter 21. Though the parable is similar to that of Luke 14:15-24, Morris does not think it is the same, due to significant differences in the setting and details (Morris 1992, 546). The thrust is the urgency of participating in the kingdom of God. Morris notes the common custom of an advance invitation and then a summons when a banquet was ready. It would be normal to acknowledge the invitation but not to come without the summons. It would be very rude to accept the first and refuse the second (Morris 1992, 548). The insult was grave and received a strong retaliation (Morris 1992, 550). The replacement guests were brought in from the roadways. When the king saw one who had not respected the occasion he greeted him, questioned his lack of decorum, and had him removed (Morris 1992, 552). Morris sees Jesus’ concluding remark in verse 14 as an affirmation that God’s call to repentance does not make a person one of God’s elect (Morris 1992, 553). Morris compares Matthew’s use of “chosen” to Paul’s use of “called,” saying when Paul speaks of a call it is effectual.
The balance of chapter 22 begins a conflict in which some Pharisees and Sadducees try to entrap Jesus in his words (Morris 1992, 553). The attempts were clearly well planned (Morris 1992, 554). The first question, of the poll tax, had little chance of an answer which would satisfy all the questioners (Morris 1992, 557). Jesus’ answer is carefully nuanced, indicating that something is owed to human laws, but something to divine law as well (Morris 1992, 557).
The next question posed to Jesus was about the resurrection. As it was brought by the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, it was a rather open attempt at deceit (Morris 1992, 558). Jesus’ response shows a fallacy in the question. “The Sadducees are basing their line of reasoning on Scripture, but they have not taken up a genuinely scriptural position; therefore they are in error” (Morris 1992, 560). The laws of marriage are not intended to teach about the resurrection. Jesus affirms that the resurrection is fundamentally different from this life (Morris 1992, 561).
The third question is about the great commandment of God (Morris 1992, 562). God’s great commandment from Deuteronomy 6:5 is to love God. Morris notes some variant in the wording, but the sense is always present (Morris 1992, 563). Jesus goes on to remind of live for the neighbor, from Leviticus 19:18, 34.
At this point Jesus asks his questioners about the identity of the Messiah (Morris 1992, 565). Since in Psalm 110 David confesses allegiance to the Messiah who is to be one of his descendants, the identity is unclear. Jesus, in effect, encouraged the pharisees to consider the nature of the Messiah. This could open the door to their accepting Jesus’ claim to be the Son of Man (Morris 1992, 567). In fact, it ended the discussion.