A Story About a Wedding Feast(A)
22 Jesus again used ·stories [parables] to teach them. He said, 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding ·feast [banquet] for his son. 3 When the ·feast [banquet] was ready, the king sent his servants to ·tell [inform; call] the people who had been invited, but they refused to come.
4 “Then the king sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited that my ·feast [banquet] is ready. I have killed my best ·bulls [or oxen] and [L fattened] calves for the dinner, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding ·feast [banquet].’
5 “But the people ·refused to listen [paid no attention] to the servants and ·left to do other things [went their own way]. One went to ·work in his field [his field/farm], and another went to his business. 6 ·Some of the other people [or The rest] grabbed the servants, ·beat [mistreated; insulted] them, and killed them. 7 The king was furious and sent his army to ·kill [destroy] the murderers and burn their city [C probably an allusion to the destruction of Jerusalam in ad 70].
8 “After that, the king said to his servants, ‘The wedding ·feast [banquet] is ready. I invited those people, but they ·were not worthy [do not deserve] to come. 9 So go to the ·street corners [crossroads; or main roads] and invite everyone you find to come to my ·feast [banquet].’ 10 So the servants went into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and ·bad [evil]. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “[L But] When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man who was not dressed ·for a wedding [in wedding clothes]. 12 The king said, ‘Friend, how were you allowed to come in here? You are not dressed for a wedding.’ But the man ·said nothing [was speechless/silent]. 13 So the king told some servants, ‘Tie this man’s hands and feet. Throw him out into the ·darkness [darkness outside; or outermost darkness], where ·people will cry and grind their teeth with pain [L there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth; C symbols of agony and torment].’
14 “·Yes [L For], many are ·invited [called], but only a few are chosen.”
Is It Right to Pay Taxes or Not?(B)
15 Then the Pharisees left that place and ·made plans [plotted] to ·trap [catch] Jesus in ·saying something wrong [his words]. 16 They sent some of their own ·followers [disciples] and some people from the group called Herodians [C a political group that supported king Herod and his family]. They said, “Teacher, we know that you are ·an honest man [true; sincere] and that you teach ·the truth [with sincerity/honesty] about God’s way. You are not ·afraid of [L concerned about] what other people think about you, because you ·pay no attention to who they are [play no favorites; are impartial; aren’t swayed by appearances]. 17 So tell us what you think. Is it ·right [permissible; lawful] to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” [C Saying “yes” would anger Jews who hated Roman rule; saying “no” could result in being charged with insurrection.]
18 But knowing ·that these leaders were trying to trick him [their evil/malicious motives], Jesus said, “You hypocrites! Why are you ·trying to trap [testing] me? 19 Show me a coin used for paying the tax.” So the men ·showed him a coin [L brought him a denarius; C a Roman coin worth a day’s wages]. 20 Then Jesus asked, “Whose ·image [likeness; portrait] and ·name [inscription] are on the coin?”
21 The men answered, “Caesar’s.” [C Ironically, the religious leaders were carrying coins bearing the idolatrous image of Caesar.]
Then Jesus said to them, “·Give [T Render] to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and give to God the things that are God’s.”
22 When the men heard what Jesus said, they were amazed and left him and went away.
Some Sadducees Try to Trick Jesus(C)
23 That same day some Sadducees came to Jesus and asked him a question. (Sadducees believed that people would not rise from the dead.) 24 They said, “Teacher, Moses said if a married man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and ·have children [L raise up offspring/seed] for him [Deut. 25:5]. 25 Once there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died. Since he had no ·children [offspring], his brother married the widow. 26 Then the second brother also died. The same thing happened to the third brother ·and all the other brothers [L down to the seventh]. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Since all seven men had married her, ·when people rise from the dead [L at the resurrection], whose wife will she be?”
29 Jesus answered, “You ·don’t understand [are mistaken/deceived], because you don’t know what the Scriptures say, and you don’t know about the power of God. 30 [L For] ·When people rise from the dead [L At the resurrection], they will not marry, nor will they be given to someone to marry. They will be like the angels in heaven. 31 ·Surely you have read [L Have you not read…?] what God said to you ·about rising [concerning the resurrection] from the dead. 32 God said, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob [Ex. 3:6; C God is still the God of the patriarchs, so they must have a continued existence after death].’ God is the God of the living, not the dead.”
33 When the people heard this, they were ·amazed [astounded] at Jesus’ teaching.
The Most Important Command(D)
34 When the Pharisees learned that ·the Sadducees could not argue with Jesus’ answers to them [L Jesus had silenced the Sadducees], the Pharisees met together. 35 One Pharisee, who was an expert on the law of Moses, asked Jesus this question to ·test [trap] him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the ·most important [greatest]?”
37 Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind [Deut. 6:5].’ 38 This is the first and ·most important [greatest] command. 39 And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself [Lev. 19:18].’ 40 All the law and the ·writings of the prophets [L prophets] ·depend [are based; L hang] on these two commands.”
Jesus Questions the Pharisees(E)
41 While the Pharisees were together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the ·Christ [Messiah]? Whose ·son [descendant] is he?”
They answered, “The Son of David [see 2 Sam. 7:12].”
43 Then Jesus said to them, “Then why did David call him ‘Lord’? David, speaking ·by the power of the Holy Spirit [L in/by the Spirit], said,
44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit by me at my right ·side [L hand; C the place of greatest honor beside the king],
until I put your enemies ·under your control [L beneath your feet; C meaning defeated or made subject to your authority; Ps. 110:1].”’
45 David calls ·the Christ [the Messiah; L him] ‘Lord,’ so how can ·the Christ [the Messiah; L he] be his son?”
46 ·None of the Pharisees [L No one] could answer ·Jesus’ question [a word], and after that day no one ·was brave enough [dared] to ask him any more questions.