Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Matthew 22:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He saith unto him, Friend - Rather, companion: so εταιρε should be translated. As this man represents the state of a person in the visible Church, who neglects to come unto the master of the feast for a marriage garment, for the salvation which Christ has procured, he cannot be with any propriety called a friend, but may well be termed a companion, as being a member of the visible Church, and present at all those ordinances where Christ's presence and blessing are found, by all those who sincerely wait upon him for salvation.

How camest thou in hither - Why profess to be called by my name while living without a preparation for my kingdom?

He was speechless - Εφιμωθη, he was muzzled, or gagged. He had nothing to say in vindication of his neglect. There was a garment provided, but he neither put it on, nor applied for it. His conduct, therefore, was in the highest degree insulting and indecorous. As this man is the emblem, by general consent, of those who shall perish in the last day, may we not ask, without offense, Where does the doctrine of absolute reprobation or preterition appear in his case? If Christ had never died for him, or if he had applied for the garment, and was refused, might he not well have alleged this in behalf of his soul? - and would not the just God have listened to it? But there is not the smallest excuse for him: Christ died, the sacrifice was offered, for him; the ministers of the Gospel invited him; the Holy Spirit strove with him; he might have been saved, but he was not: and the fault lies so absolutely at his own door that the just God is vindicated in his conduct, while he sends him to hell, not for the lack of what he could not get, but for the lack of what he might have had, but either neglected or refused it.

Then said the king to the servants - To the ministering angels, executors of the Divine will.

Cast him into outer darkness - The Jewish marriages were performed in the night season, and the hall where the feast was made was superbly illuminated; the outer darkness means, therefore, the darkness on the outside of this festal hall; rendered still more gloomy to the person who was suddenly thrust out into it from such a profusion of light. See all this largely treated of on Matthew 8:12; (note).

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Friend - Rather, “companions.” The word does not imply friendship.

He was speechless - He had no excuse. So it will be with all hypocrites.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
Counsels on Stewardship, 227

Christ declares, “He that will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Those who have on the wedding garment, the robe of Christ's righteousness, will not question whether they should lift the cross, and follow in the footsteps of the Saviour. Willingly and cheerfully they will obey His commands. Souls are perishing out of Christ. How inconsistent, then, is all striving after position and wealth. How feeble are the motives which Satan may present, which selfishness and ambition can furnish, in comparison with the lessons which Christ has given in His word! How worthless the reward the world offers beside that offered by our heavenly Father!—The Review and Herald, September 19, 1899. CS 227.1

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 41.1

Following a Self-established Standard—Many, many are trusting to their own righteousness. They set up a standard for themselves and do not submit to the will of Christ and allow Him to clothe them with the robe of His righteousness. They form characters according to their own will and pleasure. Satan is well pleased with their religion. They misrepresent the perfect character—the righteousness—of Christ. Themselves deceived, they deceive others. They are not accepted of God. They are liable to lead other souls into false paths. They will at last receive their reward with the great deceiver—Satan.—Manuscript 138, 1902. 1MCP 41.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 968

All these heavenly beings have one object above all others, in which they are intensely interested—His church in a world of corruption. All these armies are in the service of the Prince of heaven, exalting the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. They are working for Christ under His commission, to save to the uttermost all who look to Him and believe in Him. These heavenly intelligences are speeding on their mission, doing for Christ that which Herod and Pilate did against Him. They confederate together to uphold the honor and glory of God. They are united in a holy alliance, in a grand and sublime unity of purpose, to show forth the power and compassion and love and glory of the crucified and risen Saviour. 7BC 968.1

In their service, these armies of heaven illustrate what the church of God should be. Christ is working in their behalf in the heavenly courts, sending out His messengers to all parts of the globe, to the assistance of every suffering one who looks to Him for relief, for spiritual life and knowledge. 7BC 968.2

The church of Christ on earth is amid the moral darkness of a disloyal world, which is trampling upon the law of Jehovah. But their Redeemer, who has purchased their ransom with the price of His own precious blood, has made every provision that His church shall be a transformed body, illumined with the Light of the world, possessing the glory of Emmanuel. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, shining through His church, will gather into His fold every lost, straying sheep, who will come unto Him and find refuge in Him. They will find peace and light and joy in Him who is peace and righteousness for ever (Letter 89c, 1897). 7BC 968.3

12. See EGW on 1 Corinthians 15:51-55. 7BC 968.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 220-1

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” He feels that he is the purchase of the blood of Christ and bound by the most solemn vows to glorify God in his body and in his spirit, which are God's. The love of sin and the love of self are subdued in him. He daily asks: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” The true Christian will never complain that the yoke of Christ is galling to the neck. He accounts the service of Jesus as the truest freedom. The law of God is his delight. Instead of seeking to bring down the divine commands, to accord with his deficiencies, he is constantly striving to rise to the level of their perfection. 5T 220.1

Such an experience must be ours if we would be prepared to stand in the day of God. Now, while probation lingers, while mercy's voice is still heard, is the time for us to put away our sins. While moral darkness covers the earth like a funeral pall, the light of God's standard-bearers must shine the more brightly, showing the contrast between heaven's light and Satan's darkness. 5T 220.2

God has made ample provision that we may stand perfect in His grace, wanting in nothing, waiting for the appearing of our Lord. Are you ready? Have you the wedding garment on? That garment will never cover deceit, impurity, corruption, or hypocrisy. The eye of God is upon you. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. We may conceal our sins from the eyes of men, but we can hide nothing from our Maker. 5T 220.3

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