The Royal Wedding Banquet
Jesus, addressing them again, and speaking in parables, said:
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king, who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. And he sent his officers to collect those who were invited to the marriage; but they declined the invitation. Then he again sent other officers, commanding, 'Say to the invited, Consider that I have prepared my banquet; my bullocks and fat calves are killed, and everything is ready: come then to the marriage.' But treating the matter with contempt, they went off, one to his own farm, and another to his shop; while the others, seizing the officers, maltreated and murdered them. The king, on learning this, became furious; and sending his troops, he destroyed those murderers, and pillaged their city.
"He then said to his officers, 'The marriage is ready, but those invited were unworthy of it. Go out, therefore, to the main roads, and as many as you can find, bring them in to the marriage.' Those officers, going out into the main roads, accordingly collected all they could find, both bad and good; and the wedding was filled with guests. But the king entering to look at the guests, he observed a man who was not wearing a marriage robe; and he said to him, 'How, my good fellow, did you get in here without a wedding robe?' He, however, remained silent. The king then said to his attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot; take him and fling him into the darkness without; there will be the weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few chosen."
Tribute-Money as a Trap
The Pharisees then went and held a consultation among themselves, how they might ensnare Him in a discussion. And they sent to Him some of their own pupils along with the Herodians, who said, "Teacher, we see that You are true, and that You teach the way of God in truth, caring nothing about any one; because You do not look at human position. Therefore tell us, What do You think? Is it right to pay tribute to Caesar, or not?"
Jesus, however, perceiving their wickedness, said, "You impostors! Why do you try to entrap Me? Show Me the tribute-coin." They accordingly produced a denarius.1 He then asked them, "Whose portrait and inscription has it?"
"Caesar's," was their reply.
"Return," He then told them, "Caesar's own to Caesar; and God's dues to God!"
And hearing this, they were astonished; and leaving Him, they went away.
The Sadducces' Difficulty
During that same day, the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, approached Him, asking: "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies childless, his brother shall marry his widow, and shall raise up seed for his brother.' There were in our part seven brothers: and the first, after marrying, died childless, and left the woman to his brother; and the second, in turn, to the third, up to the seventh. And after them all the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, to which of the seven will she be wife? for all of them had her."
"You are in error," said Jesus in reply to them, "through not comprehending the Scriptures, nor yet the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as angels of God in heaven. Respecting the resurrection of the dead, however, have you not read the statement from God to you, which says, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?2 God is not God of the dead, but of the living." And the crowd, hearing this, were filled with admiration at His teaching.
The Greatest Commandment
When the Pharisees learned that He had silenced the Sadducees, they collected at once. And one from among them, a lawyer, in order to test Him, asked Him the question, "Teacher, which commandment of the law is most important?"
Jesus answered him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your intellect.3 That command is first, and most important. But the second is equal to it: Love your neighbour as yourself.4 In these two commands are comprised the whole law and the prophets."
The Pharisees in a Dilemma
"David's," was their reply.
The LORD said to my Lord,
Be seated at My right hand,
Until I make Your enemies a stool for Your feet.5
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on 01-01-2015