Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“Showdown in the Temple (Matthew 22:1-23:39)” pp. 280-300.
Matthew 22-23 locates Jesus in the temple courts in Jerusalem, continuing in discourse with scribes and Pharisees (Mitch 2010, 280). Jesus’ first example in this setting is that of a king whose invitations to a wedding feast were refused (Mitch 2010, 281). The king gathers guests from every walk of life, a move Mitch sees as referencing the mission of the Church to all nations, not just Israel (Mitch 2010, 281). The guest not wearing a wedding garment is a frequent topic of commentary. Mitch finds “no clear evidence for wearing special attire at a marriage feast” (Mitch 2010, 281). so takes it to be the disrespect shown by someone who would not respect a royal reception. The man was found unwilling to repent and bear good fruit (Mitch 2010, 282).
In 22:15-22 Jesus is out paying taxes. His response is that paying taxes is permitted and does not conflict with God’s work. This defuses the dilemma presented to him (Mitch 2010, 285).
The discourse is renewed by a question about resurrection (22:23-33). The questioners denied the resurrection (Mitch 2010, 287). Jesus’ response is that God’s character and the resurrection do not work in this way. The Sadducees have misunderstood Scripture.
In 22:34-40 another test is set for Jesus, asking what God’s great command is (Mitch 2010, 288). Jesus replies with the same orthodox answers all Israel should give - love God and the neighbor. Jesus follows this by asking the Pharisees to discuss the Messiah (Mitch 2010, 289). While the Messiah is clearly to be David’s son, Jesus’ quotation from Psalm 110 is cryptic (Mitch 2010, 290). It is only by considering Jesus’ incarnation and his human descent that we can make sense of the Messiah as David’s son and David’s lord (Mitch 2010, 290).
At the outset of Matthew 23 Jesus turns to address others around his urging a humility unlike the Pharisees (Mitch 2010, 290). Many apply the message specifically to those who would be pastors (Mitch 2010, 291). When religious observance is “more of a show than an act of service” the leaders are guilty (Mitch 2010, 291). Jesus continues with a sharp condemnation of those who would keep others out of heaven by their teaching (23:13-36). Mitch observes the seven woes arranged in three groups of two related statements followed by one final summation (Mitch 2010, 294). Mitch summarizes each complaint.
Jesus closes his discourse by expanding the “woe to Jerusalem which has a history of rejecting God’s grace” (Mitch 2010, 299). The call of Jesus is once again that Israel would repent and believe (Mitch 2010, 300).