Matthew 22 New Century Version (NCV)
A Story About a Wedding Feast
22 Jesus again used stories to teach them. He said, 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. 3 The king invited some people to the feast. When the feast was ready, the king sent his servants to tell the people, but they refused to come.
4 “Then the king sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited that my feast is ready. I have killed my best bulls and calves for the dinner, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’
5 “But the people refused to listen to the servants and left to do other things. One went to work in his field, and another went to his business. 6 Some of the other people grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. 7 The king was furious and sent his army to kill the murderers and burn 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. 9 So go to the street corners and invite everyone you find to come to my feast.’ 10 So the servants went into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man who was not dressed for a wedding. 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. 13 So the king told some servants, ‘Tie this man’s hands and feet. Throw him out into the darkness, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.’
14 “Yes, many are invited, but only a few are chosen.”
Is It Right to Pay Taxes or Not?
15 Then the Pharisees left that place and made plans to trap Jesus in saying something wrong. 16 They sent some of their own followers and some people from the group called Herodians.[a] They said, “Teacher, we know that you are an honest man and that you teach the truth about God’s way. You are not afraid of what other people think about you, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 So tell us what you think. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18 But knowing that these leaders were trying to trick him, Jesus said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me a coin used for paying the tax.” So the men showed him a coin.[b] 20 Then Jesus asked, “Whose image and name are on the coin?”
21 The 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.”
22 When the men heard what Jesus said, they were amazed and left him and went away.
Some Sadducees Try to Trick Jesus
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 for him. 25 Once there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died. Since he had no children, 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. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Since all seven men had married her, when people rise from the dead, whose wife will she be?”
29 Jesus answered, “You don’t understand, because you don’t know what the Scriptures say, and you don’t know about the power of God. 30 When people rise from the dead, 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 what God said to you about rising from the dead. 32 God said, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[c] God is the God of the living, not the dead.”
33 When the people heard this, they were amazed at Jesus’ teaching.
The Most Important Command
34 When the Pharisees learned that the Sadducees could not argue with Jesus’ answers to them, the Pharisees met together. 35 One Pharisee, who was an expert on the law of Moses, asked Jesus this question to test him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”
37 Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[d] 38 This is the first and most important command. 39 And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’[e] 40 All the law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commands.”
Jesus Questions the Pharisees
41 While the Pharisees were together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
They answered, “The Christ is the Son of David.”
43 Then Jesus said to them, “Then why did David call him ‘Lord’? David, speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit, said,
44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
45 David calls the Christ ‘Lord,’ so how can the Christ be his son?”
46 None of the Pharisees could answer Jesus’ question, and after that day no one was brave enough to ask him any more questions.
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