Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 22:23-25:46

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Matthew 22:23

Sadducees who say there is no resurrection. There were different opinions among the Jews of Jesus' day regarding several theological issues. This included differences of belief regarding the final era of the world and whether this included a resurrection of all people from the dead. This idea is only hinted at in the Old Testament but is developed much more in the centuries before Jesus' time. The Sadducees did not follow these resurrection teachings.

Matthew 22:24

His brother must marry his wife. This practice is described as levirate marriage and is designed to ensure that the male lineage is preserved by having a man sire children in the name of his deceased brother (Deut. 25:5).

Matthew 22:30

They neither marry nor are given in marriage. There is much we do not know about the final era of the world, but Jesus taught here that the marriage relationship will not be part of that redeemed, final reality. Man and woman will no longer be alone (Gen. 2:18) and in need of this kind of companionship because God will be everyone's life and light (Rev. 21:1-4).

Matthew 22:36

which is the greatest commandment in the law. This was a question that many rabbis discussed before Jesus. Jesus' answer is recognized as wise, focusing on whole person love for God and others, a helpful summary of the two parts of the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:1-17; cf. also Gal. 5:14; Rom. 13:8-13).

Matthew 22:40

law and the prophets. Jesus has used this phrase before (Matt. 5:17; 7:12) and together this phrase refers to the entirety of the Old Testament and particularly to a way of reading the Law through the lens of the latter prophets.

Jesus Confounds His Accusers – Matthew 22:41-46

Jesus taught three sonship parables that were words of judgment against the Jewish leaders (21:28–22:14). The Jewish leadership responded with three questions in a failed attempt to entrap Jesus (22:15-40). Now in this final story before the next major teaching block (Matt 23–25) Jesus challenged his enemies with a question that confounds and shames them. This question centers on himself as the Son of David who is also at the same time David's Lord. This is an unresolved mystery in the Psalms that Jesus explained it by showing it refers to himself.

Judgment Now and in the Future - Matthew 23:1–25:46

These three chapters contain Matthew's fifth and final block of teaching, focusing on judgment now and in the future. This section contains woes, predictions, warning, and parables all designed to challenge hearers to faithfulness and vigilance until God brings his heavenly kingdom fully on the earth.

Matthew 23:2

Sit in Moses' seat. This expression refers to those who teach the Law and thus have authority over God's people. 23:3 explains that the bad teachers opposed to Jesus aren't always wrong in what they say but that they are bad models because they do not obey God from a heart of love for God and others (Matt. 22:37-40). See WLC 130.

Matthew 23:4

They bind heavy burdens. The Pharisees put onto God's people unrealistic expectations of piety followed by judgment for not being able to do them perfectly.

Matthew 23:5

To be seen by people. As in the Sermon on the Mount, the Pharisees are condemned not for external immoral behavior but for doing good things with the motive of receiving praise from other people rather than from God (see Matt. 6:1-21).

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