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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 22 - Verse 46
Verse 46. No Barnes text on this verse.
REMARKS ON MATTHEW CHAPTER 22
(1.) Multitudes of men, who are invited to be saved, reject the gospel,: and perish in their sins, Mt 22:3.
(2.) if they perish, they only will be to blame. The offer was freely made, the salvation, was provided, and the only reason why they were not saved was because they would not come, Mt 22:3.
(3.) Attention to the affairs of this life, the love of the world, will shut many out of the kingdom of heaven, Mt 22:6. Some attention to those things is necessary; but such as to lead to the loss of the soul never can be right.
(4.) It is treating God ungratefully to reject his gospel, Mt 22:3-5. He has sent his Son to die for us. He has entreated us to be saved, He has followed us with mercies. And to reject all these, and refuse to be saved, is to treat him with contempt, as well as to overwhelm ourselves in condemnation. Man has no right to be damned, He is under the most solemn obligations to be saved. And after what God has done for us, deep and awful woe will await us if we are so foolish and wicked as to be lost.
(6.) Let those who make a profession of religion look often to the great day when Christ will search them, Mt 22:11. There is a day coming that will try us. His eye will be upon us. He will read our hearts, and see whether we are clothed in his righteousness, or only the filthy rags of our own.
(7.) A profession of religion will not save us, Mt 22:11-13. It is foolish to deceive ourselves. It is vain to attempt to deceive God. Nothing but genuine piety, true faith in Jesus, and a holy life, will save us. God asks not profession merely, but the heart, he asks not mockery, but sincerity; not pretension, but reality.
(8.) The hypocrite must perish, Mt 22:13. It is right that he should perish. He knew his Master's will, and would not do it. He must perish with an awful, condemnation. No man sins amidst so much light; none with so high a hand. No sin is so awful as to attempt to deceive God, and to palm pretensions on him for reality.
(9.) Pretended friends are sometimes more dangerous than avowed enemies, Mt 22:16. Pretended friendship is often for the purpose of decoying us into evil. It throws us off our guard, and we are more easily taken.
(10.) The truth is often admitted by wicked men from mere hypocrisy, Mt 22:16. It is only for the purpose of deceiving and leading into sin.
(11.) Wicked men can decide correctly on the character of a public preacher, Mt 22:16. They often admit his claim in words, but for an evil purpose.
(12.) It may be right for us sometimes to attend to artful and captious questions, Mt 22:18. It may afford opportunity to do good, to confound the wicked, and to inculcate truth.
(13.) No cunning can overreach God, Mt 22:18. He knows the heart, and he will perceive the wickedness of all who attempt to deceive him.
(14.) It is right to obey the law of the land, Mt 22:21. Conscientious Christians make the best citizens.
(15.) We should give honour to civil rulers, Mt 22:21. We should pay respect to the office, whatever may be the character of the ruler. We should speak well of it, not abuse it, yield proper obedience to the requirements, and not rebel against it. Men may be wicked who hold an office, but the office is ordained by God, Ro 13:1,2. and for the sake of the office we must be patient, meek, submissive, and obedient, Mt 23:3.
(16.) Yet we are to obey civil rulers no farther than their commands are consistent with the law of God, Mt 22:21. God is to be obeyed rather than man. And when a civil ruler commands a thing contrary to the laws of the Bible and the dictates of our consciences, we may, we must resist it.
(17.) The objections of men to the doctrines of the Bible are founded on ignorance of what those doctrines are, and distrust of the power of God, Mt 22:29. Men often setup a notion which they call a doctrine of the Bible, and then fight a shadow, and think they have confuted the truth of God, while the truth was untouched. It is a totally different thing from what they supposed.
(18.) When men attack a doctrine, they should be certain that they understand it, Mt 22:29. The Sadducees did not understand the true doctrine of the resurrection. The inquiry which they should have made was, whether they had correct views of it. This is the inquiry which men ought always first to make when they approach a doctrine of the Bible.
(19.) We learn the glory and happiness of the state after the resurrection, Mt 22:30, (Luke.) We shall be in some respects equal to the angels. Like them we shall be free from sin, suffering, and death. Like them we shall be complete in knowledge and felicity. Like them we shall be secure of eternal joy. Happy are those, the good of all the earth, who shall have part in that resurrection of the just.
(20.) The dead shall be raised, Mt 22:31,32. There is a state of happiness hereafter. This the gospel has revealed; and it is the most consoling and cheering truth that has ever beamed upon the heart of man.
(21.) Our pious friends that have died are now happy, Mt 22:31,32. They are with God. God is still their God. A father, or mother, or sister, or friend, that may have left us, is there—there in perfect felicity. We should rejoice at that, nor should we wish them back to the poor comforts and the many sufferings of this world.
(22.) It is our duty to love God with all the heart, Mt 22:37. No half, formal, cold, and selfish affection comes up to the requirement. It must be full, entire, absolute. It must be pleasure in all his attributes—his justice, his power, his purposes, as well as his mercy and his goodness. God is to be loved just as he is. If man is not pleased with his whole character, he is not pleased with him at all.
(23.) God is worthy of love. He is perfect, He should be early loved. Children should love him more than they do father, or mother, or friends. Their first affections should be fixed on God, and fixed on him supremely, till they die.
(24.) We must love our neighbour, Mt 22:39. We must do to all as we would have them do to us. This is the law and the prophets. This is the way of justice, of peace, of kindness, of charity, and of benevolence. If all men obeyed these laws, the earth would be a paradise, and man would taste the bliss of heaven here below.
(25.) We may ask here of each one, what think you of Christ? Mt 22:42. What think you of the necessity of a Saviour? What think you of his nature. Is he God as well as man, or do, you regard him only as a man? What think you of his character? Do you see him to be lovely and pure, and is he such as to draw forth the warm affections of your heart? What think you of salvation by him? Do you depend on him, and trust in him, and expect heaven only on the ground of his merits? or do you reject and despise him, and would you have joined in putting him to death? Nothing more certainly tests the character, and shows what the feelings are, than the views which we entertain of Christ. Error, here, is fatal error; but he who has just views of the Redeemer, and right feelings towards him, is SURE OF SALVATION.
(26.) We have in this chapter an illustrious specimen of the wisdom of Jesus. He successfully met the snares of his mighty and crafty foes, and with infinite ease confounded them. No art of man could confound him. Never was wisdom more clear, never more triumphant!
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