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.
Go ye therefore into the highways - Διεξοδους των οδων, cross or by-paths; the places where two or more roads met in one, leading into the city, where people were coming together from various quarters of the country. St. Luke adds hedges, to point out the people to whom the apostles were sent, as either miserable vagabonds, or the most indigent poor, who were wandering about the country, or sitting by the sides of the ways and hedges, imploring relief. This verse points out the final rejection of the Jews, and the calling of the Gentiles. It was a custom among the Jews, when a rich man made a feast, to go out and invite in all destitute travelers. See in Rab. Beracoth, fol. 43.
As many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage - God sends his salvation to every soul, that all may believe and be saved.
Welfare Ministry on the Sabbath—According to the fourth commandment the Sabbath was dedicated to rest and religious worship. All secular employment was to be suspended, but works of mercy and benevolence were in accordance with the purpose of the Lord. They were not to be limited to time or place. To relieve the afflicted, to comfort the sorrowing, is a labor of love that does honor to God's holy day.—Redemption: or the Teachings of Christ, 4:46. WM 77.1
Early-Day Methods of Visitation—Let those who feel the burden of souls resting upon them go out and do house-to-house work, and teach the people precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little, gradually leading them into the full light of Bible truth. This is what we had to do in the early days of the message. As earnest efforts are put forth, the Lord will let His blessing rest upon the workers and upon those who are seeking for an understanding of the truth as it is in the Word of God. WM 77.2
There are precious truths, glorious truths, in God's Word, and it is our privilege to bring these truths before the people. In those parts of the field where many cannot attend meetings far away from their homes, we can bring the truth to them personally and can work with them in simplicity. WM 77.3Read in context »
This chapter is based on Matthew 22:1-14.
The parable of the wedding garment opens before us a lesson of the highest consequence. By the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity; the wedding garment represents the character which all must possess who shall be accounted fit guests for the wedding. COL 307.1Read in context »
In the parable of Matthew 22 the same figure of the marriage is introduced, and the investigative judgment is clearly represented as taking place before the marriage. Previous to the wedding the king comes in to see the guests, to see if all are attired in the wedding garment, the spotless robe of character washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Matthew 22:11; Revelation 7:14. He who is found wanting is cast out, but all who upon examination are seen to have the wedding garment on are accepted of God and accounted worthy of a share in His kingdom and a seat upon His throne. This work of examination of character, of determining who are prepared for the kingdom of God, is that of the investigative judgment, the closing work in the sanctuary above. GC 428.1
When the work of investigation shall be ended, when the cases of those who in all ages have professed to be followers of Christ have been examined and decided, then, and not till then, probation will close, and the door of mercy will be shut. Thus in the one short sentence, “They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut,” we are carried down through the Saviour's final ministration, to the time when the great work for man's salvation shall be completed. GC 428.2
In the service of the earthly sanctuary, which, as we have seen, is a figure of the service in the heavenly, when the high priest on the Day of Atonement entered the most holy place, the ministration in the first apartment ceased. God commanded: “There shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he comes out.” Leviticus 16:17. So when Christ entered the holy of holies to perform the closing work of the atonement, He ceased His ministration in the first apartment. But when the ministration in the first apartment ended, the ministration in the second apartment began. When in the typical service the high priest left the holy on the Day of Atonement, he went in before God to present the blood of the sin offering in behalf of all Israel who truly repented of their sins. So Christ had only completed one part of His work as our intercessor, to enter upon another portion of the work, and He still pleaded His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners. GC 428.3Read in context »
When the Lord is with the people who have knowledge and advantages in spiritual enlightenment, and when they impart that which they have received from God, they are fruit-bearing branches. They receive God's rich blessing, and are producers of fruit. As a sure result, in the hand of God and under the influence of the Holy Spirit they are mighty men. Constantly they represent before the world the great goodness of God, not only in spiritual lines, but in temporal lines as well. They shall prevail; for of a truth God is with them (Manuscript 65, 1912). 5BC 1097.1
28-31. Nothing to Commend—Christ did not condemn the first son for refusing the command. At the same time He did not commend him. The class who act the part of the son who said, “I will not,” deserve no credit for holding the position they do. This open frankness is not to be commended as a virtue. This openness of character, sanctified by truth and holiness will make bold witnesses for Christ; but used as it is by the sinner it is insulting and defiant, and approaches to blasphemy. Because a man is not a hypocrite he is none the less a sinner. When the appeals of the Holy Spirit come to the heart our only safety lies in responding to them without delay (Manuscript 127, 1899). 5BC 1097.2
More Than a Promise Is Needed—The history of Israel as presented in this parable should be studied by all who would practice the teachings of Christ. The vineyard represents the church. The two sons are the two classes of men and women in the world. The Lord calls every member of His church to work in His vineyard. We are to understand our relation to Christ. Christ must abide in our hearts that we may keep before us pure principles, high incentives to moral rectitude. Our work is not merely to promise, but to do. Honesty and integrity must bind us up with God to fulfill His word to the letter. Let those who hear the message God sends today beware, lest they follow the example of the self-exalted Jews. God does not propose to remove from our path everything that creates question or doubt in regard to the working of His servants. He gives ground for faith sufficient to convince the candid, sincere mind; but more evidence than this will never change the inward determination to resist light (Manuscript 127, 1899). 5BC 1097.3Read in context »