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Matthew 22 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Great Banquet

22 Once again Jesus used stories to teach the people:

The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a king gave a wedding banquet for his son. The king sent some servants to tell the invited guests to come to the banquet, but the guests refused. He sent other servants to say to the guests, “The banquet is ready! My cattle and prize calves have all been prepared. Everything is ready. Come to the banquet!”

But the guests did not pay any attention. Some of them left for their farms, and some went to their places of business. Others grabbed the servants, then beat them up and killed them.

This made the king so furious that he sent an army to kill those murderers and burn down their city. Then he said to the servants, “It is time for the wedding banquet, and the invited guests don’t deserve to come. Go out to the street corners and tell everyone you meet to come to the banquet.” 10 They went out on the streets and brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike. And the banquet room was filled with guests.

11 When the king went in to meet the guests, he found that one of them wasn’t wearing the right kind of clothes for the wedding. 12 The king asked, “Friend, why didn’t you wear proper clothes for the wedding?” But the guest had no excuse. 13 So the king gave orders for that person to be tied hand and foot and to be thrown outside into the dark. That’s where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 14 Many are invited, but only a few are chosen.

Paying Taxes

15 The Pharisees got together and planned how they could trick Jesus into saying something wrong. 16 They sent some of their followers and some of Herod’s followers[a] to say to him, “Teacher, we know that you are honest. You teach the truth about what God wants people to do. And you treat everyone with the same respect, no matter who they are. 17 Tell us what you think! Should we pay taxes to the Emperor or not?”

18 Jesus knew their evil thoughts and said, “Why are you trying to test me? You show-offs! 19 Let me see one of the coins used for paying taxes.” They brought him a silver coin, 20 and he asked, “Whose picture and name are on it?”

21 “The Emperor’s,” they answered.

Then Jesus told them, “Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God.” 22 His answer surprised them so much that they walked away.

Life in the Future World

23 The Sadducees did not believe that people would rise to life after death. So that same day some of the Sadducees came to Jesus and said:

24 Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry the widow. Their first son would then be thought of as the son of the dead brother.

25 Once there were seven brothers who lived here. The first one married, but died without having any children. So his wife was left to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brothers and finally to all seven of them. 27 At last the woman died. 28 When God raises people from death, whose wife will this woman be? She had been married to all seven brothers.

29 Jesus answered:

You are completely wrong! You don’t know what the Scriptures teach. And you don’t know anything about the power of God. 30 When God raises people to life, they won’t marry. They will be like the angels in heaven. 31 And as for people being raised to life, God was speaking to you when he said, 32 “I am the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”[b] He isn’t the God of the dead, but of the living.

33 The crowds were surprised to hear what Jesus was teaching.

The Most Important Commandment

34 After Jesus had made the Sadducees look foolish, the Pharisees heard about it and got together. 35 One of them was an expert in the Jewish Law. So he tried to test Jesus by asking, 36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus answered:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets[c] are based on these two commandments.

About David’s Son

41 While the Pharisees were still there, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose family will he come from?”

They answered, “He will be a son of King David.”[d]

43 Jesus replied, “How then could the Spirit lead David to call the Messiah his Lord? David said,

44 ’The Lord said to my Lord:
    Sit at my right side[e]
until I make your enemies
    into a footstool for you.’

45 If David called the Messiah his Lord, how can the Messiah be a son of King David?” 46 No one was able to give Jesus an answer, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions.


  1. 22.16 Herod’s followers: People who were political followers of the family of Herod the Great (see 2.1) and his son Herod Antipas (see 14.1), and who wanted Herod to be king in Jerusalem.
  2. 22.32 I am the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: Jesus argues that if God is worshiped by these three, they must still be alive, because he is the God of the living.
  3. 22.40 the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament.
  4. 22.42 son of King David: See the note at 9.27.
  5. 22.44 right side: The place of power and honor.

Matthew 22 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

22 Jesus again used parables in talking to the people. “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. He sent his servants to tell the invited guests to come to the feast, but they did not want to come. So he sent other servants with this message for the guests: ‘My feast is ready now; my steers and prize calves have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!’ But the invited guests paid no attention and went about their business: one went to his farm, another to his store, while others grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. The king was very angry; so he sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city. Then he called his servants and said to them, ‘My wedding feast is ready, but the people I invited did not deserve it. Now go to the main streets and invite to the feast as many people as you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, good and bad alike; and the wedding hall was filled with people.

11 “The king went in to look at the guests and saw a man who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ the king asked him. But the man said nothing. 13 Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark. There he will cry and gnash his teeth.’”

14 And Jesus concluded, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

The Question about Paying Taxes

15 The Pharisees went off and made a plan to trap Jesus with questions. 16 Then they sent to him some of their disciples and some members of Herod's party. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you tell the truth. You teach the truth about God's will for people, without worrying about what others think, because you pay no attention to anyone's status. 17 Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?”

18 Jesus, however, was aware of their evil plan, and so he said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin for paying the tax!”

They brought him the coin, 20 and he asked them, “Whose face and name are these?”

21 “The Emperor's,” they answered.

So Jesus said to them, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.”

22 When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

The Question about Rising from Death

23 That same day some Sadducees came to Jesus and claimed that people will not rise from death. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses said that if a man who has no children dies, his brother must marry the widow so that they can have children who will be considered the dead man's children. 25 Now, there were seven brothers who used to live here. The oldest got married and died without having children, so he left his widow to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second brother, to the third, and finally to all seven. 27 Last of all, the woman died. 28 Now, on the day when the dead rise to life, whose wife will she be? All of them had married her.”

29 Jesus answered them, “How wrong you are! It is because you don't know the Scriptures or God's power. 30 For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven and will not marry. 31 Now, as for the dead rising to life: haven't you ever read what God has told you? He said, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is the God of the living, not of the dead.”

33 When the crowds heard this, they were amazed at his teaching.

The Great Commandment

34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together, 35 and one of them, a teacher of the Law, tried to trap him with a question. 36 “Teacher,” he asked, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and the most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ 40 The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

The Question about the Messiah

41 When some Pharisees gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose descendant is he?”

“He is David's descendant,” they answered.

43 “Why, then,” Jesus asked, “did the Spirit inspire David to call him ‘Lord’? David said,

44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
    Sit here at my right side
    until I put your enemies under your feet.’

45 If, then, David called him ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be David's descendant?”

46 No one was able to give Jesus any answer, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Matthew 22 The Message (MSG)

The Story of the Wedding Banquet

22 1-3 Jesus responded by telling still more stories. “God’s kingdom,” he said, “is like a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out servants to call in all the invited guests. And they wouldn’t come!

“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!’

5-7 “They only shrugged their shoulders and went off, one to weed his garden, another to work in his shop. The rest, with nothing better to do, beat up on the messengers and then killed them. The king was outraged and sent his soldiers to destroy those thugs and level their city.

8-10 “Then he told his servants, ‘We have a wedding banquet all prepared but no guests. The ones I invited weren’t up to it. Go out into the busiest intersections in town and invite anyone you find to the banquet.’ 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.

11-13 “When the king entered and looked over the scene, he spotted a man who wasn’t properly dressed. He said to him, ‘Friend, how dare you come in here looking like that!’ The man was speechless. 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.’”

Paying Taxes

15-17 That’s when the Pharisees plotted a way to trap him into saying something damaging. 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. So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

18-19 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? 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

23-28 That same day, Sadducees approached him. This is the party that denies any possibility of resurrection. They asked, “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies childless, his brother is obligated to marry his widow and get her with child. 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. The second brother also left her childless, then the third—and on and on, all seven. Eventually the wife died. Now here’s our question: At the resurrection, whose wife is she? She was a wife to each of them.”

29-33 Jesus answered, “You’re off base on two counts: You don’t know your Bibles, and you don’t know how God works. At the resurrection we’re beyond marriage. As with the angels, all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God. And regarding your speculation on whether the dead are raised or not, don’t you read your Bibles? The grammar is clear: God says, ‘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.” Hearing this exchange the crowd was much impressed.

The Most Important Command

34-36 When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”

37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

David’s Son and Master

41-42 As the Pharisees were regrouping, Jesus caught them off balance with his own test question: “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said, “David’s son.”

43-45 Jesus replied, “Well, if the Christ is David’s son, how do you explain that David, under inspiration, named Christ his ‘Master’?

God said to my Master,
    “Sit here at my right hand
    until I make your enemies your footstool.”

“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.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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