Matthew 22New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
The Story of the Wedding Dinner
22 Jesus told them more stories. He said, 2 “Here is what the kingdom of heaven is like. A king prepared a wedding dinner for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to those who had been invited to the dinner. The slaves told them to come. But they refused.
4 “Then he sent some more slaves. He said, ‘Tell those who were invited that I have prepared my dinner. I have killed my oxen and my fattest cattle. Everything is ready. Come to the wedding dinner.’
5 “But the people paid no attention. One went away to his field. Another went away to his business. 6 The rest grabbed his slaves. They treated them badly and then killed them. 7 The king became very angry. He sent his army to destroy them. They killed those murderers and burned their city.
8 “Then the king said to his slaves, ‘The wedding dinner is ready. But those I invited were not fit to come. 9 So go to the street corners. Invite to the dinner anyone you can find.’ 10 So the slaves went out into the streets. They gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good. Soon the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “The king came in to see the guests. He noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man couldn’t think of anything to say.
13 “Then the king told his slaves, ‘Tie up his hands and feet. Throw him outside into the darkness. Out there people will weep and grind their teeth.’
14 “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Is It Right to Pay the Royal Tax to Caesar?
15 The Pharisees went out. They made plans to trap Jesus with his own words. 16 They sent their followers to him. They sent the Herodians with them. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of honor. You teach the way of God truthfully. You don’t let others tell you what to do or say. You don’t care how important they are. 17 Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right to pay the royal tax to Caesar or not?”
18 But Jesus knew their evil plans. He said, “You pretenders! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin people use for paying the tax.” They brought him a silver coin. 20 He asked them, “Whose picture is this? And whose words?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. And give back to God what belongs to God.”
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
Marriage When the Dead Rise
23 That same day the Sadducees came to Jesus with a question. They do not believe that people rise from the dead. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “here is what Moses told us. If a man dies without having children, his brother must get married to the widow. He must provide children to carry on his brother’s name. 25 There were seven brothers among us. The first one got married and died. Since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brothers. It happened right on down to the seventh brother. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, when the dead rise, whose wife will she be? All seven of them were married to her.”
29 Jesus replied, “You are mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures. And you do not know the power of God. 30 When the dead rise, they won’t get married. And their parents won’t give them to be married. They will be like the angels in heaven. 31 What about the dead rising? Haven’t you read what God said to you? 32 He said, ‘I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.’ (Exodus 3:6) He is not the God of the dead. He is the God of the living.”
33 When the crowds heard this, they were amazed by what he taught.
The Most Important Commandment
34 The Pharisees heard that the Sadducees weren’t able to answer Jesus. So the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them was an authority on the law. So he tested Jesus with a question. 36 “Teacher,” he asked, “which is the most important commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) 40 Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
41 The Pharisees were gathered together. Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied.
43 He said to them, “Then why does David call him ‘Lord’? The Holy Spirit spoke through David himself. David said,
44 “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
45 So if David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be David’s son?” 46 No one could give any answer to him. From that day on, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
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