Matthew 22:9
Go you therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, bid to the marriage.
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(9) Into the highways.—Literally, the openings of the ways, the places where two or more roads met, and where, therefore, there was a greater probability of meeting way-farers. In the interpretation of the parable, we may see in this feature of it a prophecy of the calling of the Gentiles, and find an apt illustration of it in St. Paul’s words when he turned from the Jews of the Pisidian Antioch who counted, themselves “unworthy of eternal life” (Acts 13:46) to the Gentiles who were willing to receive it.

22:1-14 The provision made for perishing souls in the gospel, is represented by a royal feast made by a king, with eastern liberality, on the marriage of his son. Our merciful God has not only provided food, but a royal feast, for the perishing souls of his rebellious creatures. There is enough and to spare, of every thing that can add to our present comfort and everlasting happiness, in the salvation of his Son Jesus Christ. The guests first invited were the Jews. When the prophets of the Old Testament prevailed not, nor John the Baptist, nor Christ himself, who told them the kingdom of God was at hand, the apostles and ministers of the gospel were sent, after Christ's resurrection, to tell them it was come, and to persuade them to accept the offer. The reason why sinners come not to Christ and salvation by him, is, not because they cannot, but because they will not. Making light of Christ, and of the great salvation wrought out by him, is the damning sin of the world. They were careless. Multitudes perish for ever through mere carelessness, who show no direct aversion, but are careless as to their souls. Also the business and profit of worldly employments hinder many in closing with the Saviour. Both farmers and merchants must be diligent; but whatever we have of the world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it come between us and Christ. The utter ruin coming upon the Jewish church and nation, is here represented. Persecution of Christ's faithful ministers fills up the measure of guilt of any people. The offer of Christ and salvation to the Gentiles was not expected; it was such a surprise as it would be to wayfaring men, to be invited to a royal wedding-feast. The design of the gospel is to gather souls to Christ; all the children of God scattered abroad, Joh 10:16; 11:52. The case of hypocrites is represented by the guest that had not on a wedding-garment. It concerns all to prepare for the scrutiny; and those, and those only, who put on the Lord Jesus, who have a Christian temper of mind, who live by faith in Christ, and to whom he is all in all, have the wedding-garment. The imputed righteousness of Christ, and the sanctification of the Spirit, are both alike necessary. No man has the wedding-garment by nature, or can form it for himself. The day is coming, when hypocrites will be called to account for all their presumptuous intruding into gospel ordinances, and usurpation of gospel privileges. Take him away. Those that walk unworthy of Christianity, forfeit all the happiness they presumptuously claimed. Our Saviour here passes out of the parable into that which it teaches. Hypocrites go by the light of the gospel itself down to utter darkness. Many are called to the wedding-feast, that is, to salvation, but few have the wedding-garment, the righteousness of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit. Then let us examine ourselves whether we are in the faith, and seek to be approved by the King.The highways - Literally, the "exit" or "going out" of the "paths or roads." It means the square or principal street, into which a number of smaller streets enter; a place, therefore, of confluence, where many persons would be seen, and persons of all descriptions. By this is represented the offering of the gospel to the Gentiles. They were commonly regarded among the Jews as living in highways and hedges cast out and despised. 9. Go ye therefore into the highways—the great outlets and thoroughfares, whether of town or country, where human beings are to be found.

and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage—that is, just as they are.

See Poole on "Matthew 22:14". Go ye therefore into the highways,.... Either of the city, which were open and public, and where much people were passing to and fro; or of the fields, the high roads, where many passengers were travelling; and may design the Gentile world, and Gentile sinners, who, in respect of the Jews, were far off; were walking in their own ways, and in the high road to destruction; and may denote their being the vilest of sinners, and as having nothing to recommend them to the divine favour, and to such privileges as this entertainment expresses:

and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage; to the marriage feast, not the marriage supper, but the dinner, Matthew 22:4, their orders were to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature, Jew or Gentile, high or low, rich or poor, outwardly righteous, or openly profane, greater or lesser sinners, and exhort them to attend the Gospel ministry, and ordinances.

{3} Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

(3) God first calls us when we think nothing of it.

Matthew 22:9. Ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν] to the crossings of the roads, where people were in the habit of congregating most. It is evident from Matthew 22:7, according to which the city is destroyed, that what is meant is not, as Kypke and Kuinoel suppose, the squares in the city from which streets branch off, but the places where the country roads cross each other. Comp. Babyl. Berac. xliii. 1. Gloss.: “Divitibus in more fuit, viatores pauperes ad convivia invitare.”Matthew 22:9. ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους is variously interpreted: at the crossing-places of the country roads (Fritzsche, De Wette, Meyer, Goebel); or at the places in the city whence the great roads leading into the country start (Kypke, Loesner, Kuinoel, Trench, Weiss). “According as we emphasisc one or other prep. in the compound word, either: the places whence the roads run out, or Oriental roads passing into the city through gates” (Holtz, H. C.). The second view is the more likely were it only because, the time pressing, the place where new guests are to be found must be near at hand. In the open spaces of the city, strangers from the country as well as the lower population of the town could be met with; the foreign element = Gentiles, mainly in view.Matthew 22:9. Τὰς διεξόδους, the cross ways) It would be pleasant to see a map of the journeys of all the apostles through the world, like that of St Paul’s Voyages and Travels.—ὁδὸς signifies the whole road,—διεξοδοι, the parts, and as it were, branches of it.Verse 9. - The highways; τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν: exitus viarum; the partings, or outlets of the ways. The places where roads meet, beyond the city bounds in the country, which would naturally be a centre of concourse. The city where the marriage feast was now held is not named, because it is no longer Jerusalem, but somewhere, anywhere, in the Gentile world; for the call of the Gentiles is here set forth. As many as ye shall find. The invitation is no longer confined to the Jews; the whole human race is called to the marriage of the Lamb, to participate in the fruits of the Incarnation. This general evangelization was begun in apostolic times (see Acts 8:5, 38; Acts 10:28, 48; Acts 13:46), and has been carried on ever since. The apostles' special ministrations to the Jews seemed to have ended at the martyrdom of St. James the Less, A.D. 62 (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 20:09, l). Highways (διεξόδους)

Literally, the word means a way out through ; passage, outlet, thoroughfare. The idea of crossings grows out of the junction of the smaller cross-ways with the trunk roads.

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