The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
1 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The Question about Paying Taxes
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. 16 So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” 21 They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.
The Question about the Resurrection
23 The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, 24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies childless, his brother shall marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died childless, leaving the widow to his brother. 26 The second did the same, so also the third, down to the seventh. 27 Last of all, the woman herself died. 28 In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be? For all of them had married her.”
29 Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the crowd heard it, they were astounded at his teaching.
The Greatest Commandment
34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
The Question about David’s Son
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: 42 “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,
44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet” ’?
45 If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” 46 No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. Matthew 22
THE STORY OF THE WEDDING BANQUET
1 Jesus responded by telling still more stories. 2 “God’s kingdom,” he said, “is like a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent out servants to call in all the invited guests. And they wouldn’t come!
4 “He sent out another round of servants, instructing them to tell the guests, ‘Look, everything is on the table, the prime rib is ready for carving. Come to the feast!’
5 “They only shrugged their shoulders and went off, one to weed his garden, another to work in his shop. 6 The rest, with nothing better to do, beat up on the messengers and then killed them. 7 The king was outraged and sent his soldiers to destroy those thugs and level their city.
8 “Then he told his servants, ‘We have a wedding banquet all prepared but no guests. The ones I invited weren’t up to it. 9 Go out into the busiest intersections in town and invite anyone you find to the banquet.’ 10 The servants went out on the streets and rounded up everyone they laid eyes on, good and bad, regardless. And so the banquet was on—every place filled.
11 “When the king entered and looked over the scene, he spotted a man who wasn’t properly dressed. 12 He said to him, ‘Friend, how dare you come in here looking like that!’ The man was speechless. 13 Then the king told his servants, ‘Get him out of here—fast. Tie him up and ship him to hell. And make sure he doesn’t get back in.’
14 “That’s what I mean when I say, ‘Many get invited; only a few make it.'”
15 That’s when the Pharisees plotted a way to trap him into saying something damaging. 16 They sent their disciples, with a few of Herod’s followers mixed in, to ask, “Teacher, we know you have integrity, teach the way of God accurately, are indifferent to popular opinion, and don’t pander to your students. 17 So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18 Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Do you have a coin? Let me see it.” They handed him a silver piece.
20 “This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”
21 They said, “Caesar.”
“Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”
22 The Pharisees were speechless. They went off shaking their heads.
MARRIAGE AND RESURRECTION
23 That same day, Sadducees approached him. This is the party that denies any possibility of resurrection. 24 They asked, “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies childless, his brother is obligated to marry his widow and get her with child. 25 Here’s a case where there were seven brothers. The first brother married and died, leaving no child, and his wife passed to his brother. 26 The second brother also left her childless, then the third—and on and on, all seven. 27 Eventually the wife died. 28 Now here’s our question: At the resurrection, whose wife is she? She was a wife to each of them.”
29 Jesus answered, “You’re off base on two counts: You don’t know your Bibles, and you don’t know how God works. 30 At the resurrection we’re beyond marriage. As with the angels, all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God. 31 And regarding your speculation on whether the dead are raised or not, don’t you read your Bibles? The grammar is clear: God says, 32 ‘I am—not was—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.’ The living God defines himself not as the God of dead men, but of the living.” 33 Hearing this exchange the crowd was much impressed.
THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMAND
34 When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. 35 One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: 36 “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”
37 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ 38 This is the most important, the first on any list. 39 But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ 40 These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
DAVID’S SON AND MASTER
41 As the Pharisees were regrouping, Jesus caught them off balance with his own test question: 42 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said, “David’s son.”
43 Jesus replied, “Well, if the Christ is David’s son, how do you explain that David, under inspiration, named Christ his ‘Master’?
44 God said to my Master,
“Sit here at my right hand
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
45 “Now if David calls him ‘Master,’ how can he at the same time be his son?”
46 That stumped them, literalists that they were. Unwilling to risk losing face again in one of these public verbal exchanges, they quit asking questions for good. Matthew 22