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Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew

Fragments discussed: 7:12 | 7:13,14 | 7:24-27 | 8:11,12 | 10:28 | 22:1-14 | 25:1-13 | 28:19,20

Fragments discussed: 7:12 | 7:13,14 | 7:24-27 | 8:11,12 | 10:28 | 22:1-14 | 25:1-13 | 28:19,20

Matthew 7

Mt. 7:12

"Therefore all things, whatever you desire that men should do to you, do even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets" (MKJV)

Commentary: the basis of ethics, both the Old and the New Testament, is the principle given in verse 12. This is not a set of regulations, but a norm saying that our actions towards others must be judged by the measure of what we would like to receive. It also means that a refusal of a specific behaviour towards another will be ethical if I accept such behavior towards myself. Therefore, we are talking about obligatory love - an indispensable minimum of good will that man owes to another.

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Mt. 7:13,14

"'Go ye in through the strait gate, because wide [is] the gate, and broad the way that is leading to the destruction, and many are those going in through it; (14) how strait [is] the gate, and compressed the way that is leading to the life, and few are those finding it!'" (YLT)

Commentary: the reward related to walking down the narrow path is eternal life - immortal existence on the divine level. This hope is presented by God to the elect who, by accepting Him in repentance and conversion, choose the narrow path of sacrifice. The elect who do not perform the sacrifice for the Word of God are on the wide road - one that does not entail the limiting conditions, but whose end is apoleia - not perdition, but the loss of the reward of glory.

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Mt. 7:24-27

"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. (25) And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded on a rock. (26) And everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them shall be compared to a foolish man who built his house on the sand. (27) And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat on that house. And it fell, and great was its fall" (MKJV)

Commentary: the parable of two houses (Mt. 7:24-27) emphasizes the need for believers to develop a crystallized character reflecting the principles of the truth. Its source is the teachings of the Word of God, so continual listening is a necessary element. On the other hand, we develop character by action; not only through 'theoretical' development of understanding, but also its practical use. The builder who puts the house on the rock, listens to the Lord's words and performs them, shaping the character that will not succumb to the storms of trial and adversity. In turn, limiting our spiritual activity only to theorizing on Biblical matters means that our character does not crystallize and will not back us up when we need it the most.

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Matthew 8

Mt. 8:11,12

"And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven. (12) But the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (MKJV)

Commentary: the table represents the promises and teachings related to the implementation of the covenant concluded by God with Abraham. The ones coming from the East and West are pagans who were exempt from the covenant and are currently sitting at the table with Abraham due to faith in Jesus Christ. The sons of the kingdom are the chosen nation Israel, which for the most part did not show faith, did not repent, and therefore found itself in the external darkness - its members did not receive the spirit of the truth and, as a consequence, did not recognize it. While in this darkness, Israel experienced "weeping and gnashing of teeth" during the tribulation in the years 66-70.

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Matthew 10

Mt. 10:28

"And do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (MKJV)

Commentary: the concept of the soul defines personality in the Bible. That is why Jesus says that man can kill the body - which is obvious - but he cannot kill the soul because the 'record' of our personality, our identity, is with God who can give it a body as he wants to be resurrected. The one who can kill the soul in hell is God. Gehenna, which appears in the original, is the Biblical representation of the second (eternal) death. The one who is thrown into it receives a verdict of eternal perdition and simply ceases to exist forever. And this is a bigger problem according to Jesus then death of the material body, for if the evil of man's character turns out to be so great that no repentance is possible, then the only direction that God's justice can assign for him, is eternal destruction. Meanwhile, temporal death from the point of view of faith is the end of a certain stage, but it is not the end of everything because we hope for resurrection.

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Matthew 22

Mt. 22:1-14

"And Jesus answering, again spake to them in similes, saying, (2) 'The reign of the heavens was likened to a man, a king, who made marriage-feasts for his son, (3) and he sent forth his servants to call those having been called to the marriage-feasts, and they were not willing to come. (4) 'Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Say to those who have been called: Lo, my dinner I prepared, my oxen and the fatlings have been killed, and all things [are] ready, come ye to the marriage-feasts; (5) and they, having disregarded [it], went away, the one to his own field, and the other to his merchandise; (6) and the rest, having laid hold on his servants, did insult and slay [them]. (7) 'And the king having heard, was wroth, and having sent forth his soldiers, he destroyed those murderers, and their city he set on fire; (8) then saith he to his servants, The marriage-feast indeed is ready, and those called were not worthy, (9) be going, then, on to the cross-ways, and as many as ye may find, call ye to the marriage-feasts. (10) 'And those servants, having gone forth to the ways, did gather all, as many as they found, both bad and good, and the marriage-feast apartment was filled with those reclining. (11) 'And the king having come in to view those reclining, saw there a man not clothed with clothing of the marriage-feast, (12) and he saith to him, Comrade, how didst thou come in hither, not having clothing of the marriage-feast? and he was speechless. (13) 'Then said the king to the ministrants, Having bound his feet and hands, take him up and cast forth to the outer darkness, there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth; (14) for many are called, and few chosen'" (YLT)

Commentary: the feast to which the king invites is the feast of God's Word. Its participants are invited by servants - evangelists and teachers. Everyone is invited whom the Gospel message reaches. Some of the invited (called) come to the feast through repentance and conversion to God through Jesus Christ. However, only the elect can feed on the menu served to guests - those predestined by God who receive on the condition of repentance and conversion the spirit of sacrifice for the truth, which introduces the elect to the knowledge of spiritual matters by the direct study of the Scriptures. At the same time, the spirit of truth is for the elect the source of birth of the new character (a new inner man), due to which the ones invited to the feast cover themselves with the robe of just deeds. The man without the robe does not participate in the feast and similarly believers who did not receive the spirit of new birth do not feed on the Word directly through the instructions of the Holy Bible, but through prophets and teachers.

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Matthew 25

Mt. 25:1-13

"Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (2) And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. (3) The foolish ones took their lamps, but took no oil with them. (4) But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. (5) While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. (6) And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him. (7) Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. (8) And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps have gone out. (9) But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there be not enough for us and you. But rather go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves. (10) And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came. And they who were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. (11) Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. (12) But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you. (13) Therefore watch, for you do not know either the day or the hour in which the Son of Man comes" (MKJV)

Commentary: the night in the parable represents the delay of the Bridegroom, which began in 1918 after the disappointment of waiting for the Lord's coming in 1914. The morning will come in 2036 with the revelation of Jesus Christ, first in the apocalypse that will destroy the present world order, and then in the epiphany by sending the spirit upon all flesh. Midnight falls in 1977 when the last winner of the Gospel Age calling entered the class of kings with the Lord Jesus. The virgins who then lacked the oil of spirit were not ready to meet the Bridegroom's call and thus lost the highest prize to which they aspired.

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Matthew 28

Mt. 28:19,20

"...having gone, then, disciple all the nations, (baptizing them -- to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days -- till the full end of the age" (YLT)

Commentary: believers in Jesus Christ are to make disciples of all nations. They fulfill this duty, proclaiming faith in Jesus Christ and the need for repentance in his name. Repentance means turning away from the current way of thinking and behavior, and in this sense it is the death of the old man. The name means character in the Bible. Repentance in the name of Jesus is an adoption of the principles represented in the Lord and in this sense the 'new man' is born - the new character in place of the character put to death by repentance. Water baptism, with which believers in Christ are baptized, illustrates this twofold process: spiritual death in repentance (immersion in water) and spiritual resurrection (emergence). Because the goal is to identify the character of believers with the character of Jesus Christ, we are baptized in his name (not: in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit).

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Keywords: Gospel of Matthew commentary interpretation
 
Bible translations used in the commentary:
YLT - Young's Literal Translation
MKJV - Modern King James Version


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