Matthew 22
A Story About a Wedding Feast
1Jesus used stories to tell other things to the people. He said, 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. 3The king invited some people to the feast. When the feast was ready, the king sent his servants to tell the people to come. But they refused to come to the feast.
4“Then the king sent other servants. He said to them, ‘Tell those who have been invited that my feast is ready. I have killed my best bulls and calves for the dinner. Everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’
5“But the people refused to listen to the servants. They went to do other things. One went to work in his field, and another went to his business. 6Some of the other people grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. 7The king was very angry. He sent his army to kill the people who had killed his servants. And the army burned their city.
8“After that, the king said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready. I invited those people, but they were not worthy to come. 9So go to the street corners and invite everyone you see. Tell them to come to my feast.’ 10So the servants went into the streets. They gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11“Then the king came in to see all the guests. He saw a man there who was not dressed in the right clothes for a wedding. 12The king said, ‘Friend, how were you allowed to come in here? You are not wearing the right clothes for a wedding.’ But the man said nothing. 13So the king told some servants, ‘Tie this man’s hands and feet. Throw him out into the darkness. In that place, people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.’
14“Yes, many are invited. But only a few are chosen.”
The Pharisees Try to Trap Jesus
15Then the Pharisees left the place where Jesus was teaching. They made plans to trap Jesus with a question. 16They sent some of their own followers and some men from the group called Herodians.# A political group that followed Herod and his family. These men said, “Teacher, we know that you are an honest man. We know that you teach the truth about God’s way. You are not afraid of what other people think about you. All men are the same to you. 17So tell us what you think. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18But Jesus knew that these men were trying to trick him. So he said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19Show me a coin used for paying the tax.” The men showed him a silver coin.# A Roman denarius. One coin was the average pay for one day’s work. 20Then Jesus asked, “Whose picture is on the coin? And whose name is written on the coin?”
21The men answered, “Caesar’s.”
Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. And give to God the things that are God’s.”
22The men heard what Jesus said, and they were amazed. They left him and went away.
Sadducees Try to Trick Jesus
23That same day some Sadducees came to Jesus. (Sadducees believe that no person will rise from death.) The Sadducees asked Jesus a question. 24They said, “Teacher, Moses told us that a married man might die without having children. Then his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25There were seven brothers among us. The first one married but died. He had no children. So his brother married the widow. 26Then the second brother also died. The same thing happened to the third brother and all the other brothers. 27The woman was last to die. 28But all seven men had married her. So when people rise from death, whose wife will she be?”
29Jesus answered, “You don’t understand because you don’t know what the Scriptures say. And you don’t know about the power of God. 30When people rise from death, there will be no marriage. People will not be married to each other. They will be like the angels in heaven. 31Surely you have read what God said to you about the rising from death? 32God said, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’# Quotation from Exodus 3:6. God is the God of living people, not dead people.”
33All the people heard this. They were amazed at Jesus’ teaching.
The Most Important Command
34The Pharisees learned that the Sadducees could not argue with Jesus’ answers to them. So the Pharisees met together. 35One Pharisee was an expert in the law of Moses. That Pharisee asked Jesus a question to test him. 36The Pharisee asked, “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”
37Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.’# Quotation from Deuteronomy 6:5. 38This is the first and most important command. 39And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’# Quotation from Leviticus 19:18. 40All the law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commands.”
Jesus Questions the Pharisees
41While the Pharisees were together, Jesus asked them a question. 42He asked, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
The Pharisees answered, “The Christ is the Son of David.”
43Then Jesus said to them, “Then why did David call him ‘Lord’? David was speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit. David said,
44‘The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit by me at my right side,
until I put your enemies under your control.’ Psalm 110:1
45David calls the Christ ‘Lord.’ So how can he be David’s son?”
46None of the Pharisees could answer Jesus’ question. And after that day no one was brave enough to ask Jesus any more questions.
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