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FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

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FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 22

v.1-14 The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

v.15-22 Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

v.23-33 Marriage at the Resurrection

v.34-40 The Greatest Commandment

v.41-46 Whose Son Is the Messiah?


v.1-14 The Parable of the Wedding Banquet


v.1 (Jesus continues teaching in parables) Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:

v.2 (now he tells of a king planning a banquet for his son) “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.

v.3 (when he sent out, the guests refused to come) He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

v.4 (he tried again) “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'

v.5 (but to no avail) “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.

v.6 (some dealt harshly with his servants) The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.

v.7 (so he had them killed) The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

v.8,9 (so he sends his servants to find people on the street) “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.'

v.10 (they gather a mixture of people) So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

v.11 (but one ‘guest' had no wedding clothes) “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.

v.12 (he challenged him) He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?' The man was speechless.

v.13 (he was cast out) “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

v.14 (a principle: God's word goes out to all, but only a few respond and are thus ‘chosen') “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”


[Comment: Jesus next parable is about a banquet and the excuses people made not to come – a warning to those rejecting God's rule.]



v.15-22 Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar - the 1st of several attempts to trap Jesus.


v.15 (the Pharisees plot against Jesus) Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.

v.16 (they ‘butter up' Jesus) They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.

v.17 (they ask about paying tax to Caesar [which the people didn't like doing]) Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”

v.18 (Jesus saw through their plot) But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?

v.19,20 (he asks for a Roman coin) Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

v.21 (give to Caesar what is his and give God what is His) “Caesar's,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.”

v.22 (they were amazed and left him) When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.


[Comment: Jesus overcomes the trap laid for him by the Pharisees – getting him to rebel against Caesar or be seen to be for Caesar and against the people.]



v.23-33 Marriage at the Resurrection - the 2nd attempt to trap Jesus.


v.23 (Sadducees came to trap him) That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.

v.24 (they state Moses' law of succession) “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him.

v.25-27 (they spin a tale of a widow) Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died.

v.28 (they then question about the situation at the resurrection [though not believing in it]) Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”

v.29 (Jesus declares their ignorance) Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

v.30 (marriage is for now, not for heaven) At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

v.31 (he refers them to scripture) But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you,

v.32 (God is eternally present, God of living and dead) ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? [Exo 3:6] He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

v.33 (this creates astonishment in his listeners) When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.


[Comment: Jesus next has to reject the teaching of the Sadducees as they also sought to trap him with a difficult question.]



v.34-40 The Greatest Commandment - the 3rd attempt to trap Jesus.


v.34 (the Pharisees will not give up) Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.

v.35 (they send an expert in the law) One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

v.36 (they ask about the greatest commandment) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

v.37,38 (Jesus points them to Deut 6:5) Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' [Deut 6:5] This is the first and greatest commandment.

v.39 (then to Lev 19:18) And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.' [Lev 19:18]

v.40 (these two are at the heart of the whole Law) All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


[Comment: Jesus has to answer the next confrontation by a teacher of the law about which is the greatest commandment.]



v.41-46 Whose Son Is the Messiah? – counter attack!


v.41 (as they gather, Jesus questions them) While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,

v.42 (whose son is the Messiah. David's, they say) “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied.

v.43 (but how come David calls the Messiah Lord) He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord'? For he says,

v.44 (that's what scripture shows) “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”' [Psa 110:1]

v.45 (if he's David's lord, how can he be his son?) If then David calls him ‘Lord,' how can he be his son?”

v.46 (this silenced them) No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.


[Comment: Jesus takes the initiative and challenges the Pharisees about their understanding of just who the Messiah is.]



Continue to Chapter 23