And yet another interesting topic considered in the footnotes of Deuteronomy 33

7th Apr 2015

And yet another interesting topic considered in the footnotes in An Exposition of Deuteronomy 33: The Blessings of Moses on the Children of Israel. As presented in a series of sermons by William Parkinson

In the footnote on pages 202-203, Parkinson provides an interesting interpretation as to the intent of Christ’s words in the parable in Matt. 22:12-13: “And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless....” Parkinson believes this text primarily refers to “the notice which God takes of hypocrites in the gospel-church—his influence in bringing them to light—and the authority which he has given to his church, in a way of discipline, to put them away.” Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:13. “In this event,” he writes, “ ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ occur—weeping on the part of the church, at seeing any of her members prove to be of such character, and ‘gnashing of teeth,’ on the part of the excluded hypocrites and their ungodly associates….Ultimately, however, the parable under consideration, no doubt, regards the final separation of all false professors from the kingdom of Christ. Compare Matt. 13:36-43.” He goes on to add that in reference to this parable, “some have taken occasion to say, If the doctrine of election, or that of particular redemption were true, a sinner found without a wedding-garment, would not need to be speechless, but might justly excuse himself, by saying to God, No such garment was prepared for me. Shocking presumption! But it should be recollected, that the question the king puts to the man in that condition, is not—Why hast thou not on a wedding-garment? But, ‘Friend,’ (or companion, as hetairos, the word used, properly signifies,) ‘how camest thou in hither—how couldst thou presume to intrude thyself among the guests, ‘not having on a wedding-garment?’ See ver. 12. The members of the church are companions of Christ and one another. Song of Sol. 8:13. Hence hypocrites, being among the members of the Church, are called companions also. Song of Sol. 1:7. Compare Matt. 20:13 and 26:50, in each of which places the same compellation to a similar character. The design, therefore, in this part of the parable before us,” Parkinson concludes, “is not to illustrate the sin of unbelief, but that of persons making a hypocritical profession of religion and thereby getting into the visible church, while they are not regenerated, and consequently have no true faith in the justifying righteousness of Christ [i.e. no need of the wedding garment]; also to remind them, that however they may, for a time at least, deceive the church, they cannot deceive God, who knows their hearts, and who, (if he do not renew them,) will most assuredly, sooner or later, separate them from among his children, and consign them to hell. See Luke 13:23-28.”