Matthew 22

Jesus tells a story about a meal at a marriage

1 Jesus continued to teach the people with stories. 2 He said, ‘This is what the kingdom of heaven is like. A king prepared a special meal for his son's marriage. 3 He asked many people to come. When the meal was ready, he sent his servants out to tell those people to come. But they refused to come.

4 So the king then sent out other servants. He said to them, “Tell this message to all those people that I have asked to come. Tell them that the master says, ‘My servants have prepared the meal. They have killed my large oxen and some fat young cows to eat. Everything is ready. Now come to the marriage party!’ ”

5 But the people did not think that the king's message was important. They went away to do their own work. One man went to his farm and another man went to his business. 6 Other people took hold of the king's servants. They hurt them and then they killed them. 7 The king was very angry. He sent his soldiers to the city where those people lived. They killed the people who killed the king's servants. They destroyed their city with fire.

8 Then the king said to his other servants, “The meal for my son's marriage is ready. But the people that I had asked to come did not deserve to come. 9 So go out now to the town's streets where people meet together. Ask all the people that you find there to come to the marriage party.” 10 Then those servants went out into the streets. They brought to the king's house all the people that they met. Some were good people and some were bad people. Very many people came. The room for the marriage was full!

11 Then the king came into the room to see all the people. He saw one man who was not wearing the right clothes for a marriage. 12 The king said to the man, “How did you come in here, my friend? You are not wearing the right clothes for a marriage.” The man could not answer the king.

22:11At that time, a man asked his friends to a special meal when he got married. He also gave them special clothes to wear. They wore these clothes when they came in to the meal. In the story, people came in from the streets, so they were not wearing special clothes. One person had not accepted the special clothes that the king gave to him. The special clothes are like what God gives us because of Jesus. Each person must accept what God gives. A person cannot save himself. That is what Jesus is teaching in this story.

13 The king said to his servants, “Tie his hands and his feet. Take him and throw him into the dark place outside. There, people will cry and they will bite their teeth together.”

14 God asks many people to come to him. But he only chooses a few people to be there with him.’

The Pharisees ask Jesus about taxes

15 After the Pharisees heard this, they thought about what they could do. They wanted to ask Jesus difficult questions. They wanted to make him say something wrong about the Roman ruler. 16 So the Pharisees sent their own disciples to Jesus. They also sent people who were friends of King Herod. They said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we know that you only say true things. You teach us what God wants us to do. It does not matter to you what other people think. If someone is important, you do not change your answers to make them happy. 17 So tell us your answer to this question: Should we pay our taxes to the Roman ruler, Caesar? Is it right to give that money to him, or not?’

18 Jesus knew that these men wanted to do bad things to him. So he said to them, ‘You are asking that question to cause trouble for me. You are not being honest! 19 Now, show me the coin that you use for the tax.’ So they brought a coin to him. 20 Then Jesus asked them, ‘Whose picture is on this coin? Whose name is on it?’

21 They replied, ‘It is Caesar's picture and Caesar's name.’

Jesus said to them, ‘So you should give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar. And give to God the things that belong to God.’

22 When they heard Jesus' answer, they were very surprised. So they left him and they went away.

The Sadducees ask Jesus a question

23 On that day, some Sadducees also came to Jesus. Sadducees do not believe that anyone becomes alive again after they die. They wanted to ask Jesus a question.

22:23The Sadducees were a group of Jewish leaders.

24 ‘Teacher,’ they said to him, ‘Moses said in the Bible: A man may die and leave behind a wife but no children. Then that man's brother must marry the woman. Then their children will be called the children of the brother who died. 25 Once, there were seven brothers who lived here. The oldest brother married a woman. Then he died before they had any children. So the second brother married the woman. 26 But then he also died with no children. So a third brother married this woman. And the same thing happened to all the brothers down to the seventh brother. They all died before the woman had any children. 27 After all this, the woman also died. 28 You teach that one day dead people will become alive again. On that day, whose wife will that woman be? She had married all seven of those brothers.’

29 Jesus said to the Sadducees, ‘You are wrong. This is because you do not know the Bible. And you do not know how powerful God is. 30 One day, God will raise people up after they have died. They will become alive again. But then men and women will not marry. They will not have husbands or wives. Instead, they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 It is true that one day dead people will become alive again. You have read in the Bible about what God said to you: 32 “I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.” God is not the God of people who are dead. He is the God of people who are alive.’

22:32See Exodus 3:6.

33 The crowd heard this. They were very surprised about what Jesus was teaching.

Jesus teaches the Pharisees about the most important Law

34 The Pharisees heard that Jesus had said these things to the Sadducees. Now the Sadducees could not say anything more to him. So the Pharisees met together. They decided what they would say to Jesus.

35 One of the Pharisees had studied God's Law very well. He asked Jesus a question to see how he would answer. 36 He said, ‘Teacher, which of God's Laws is the most important rule for us to obey?’

37 Jesus replied to him, ‘You should love the Lord your God completely: Love him with all your mind. Love him with all that you are. Love him in all that you think. 38 This is the greatest rule and the most important of all God's Laws. 39 The second rule is also important, like the first one. You should love other people as much as you love yourself. 40 All God's Laws that Moses gave us come from these two rules. All the things that the prophets wrote also come from them.’

Jesus teaches people about the Messiah

41 While the Pharisees met together with Jesus, he asked them, 42 ‘What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?’

The Pharisees replied, ‘He will be King David's son.’

43 Jesus said to them, ‘So think about this: God's Holy Spirit helped King David to call the Messiah his Lord. David said, 44 “The Lord said to my Lord:

Sit at my right side until I win against your enemies.

Then you will be able to put your feet on them.” 

45 We know that King David calls the Messiah his Lord. So can you really say that the Messiah is David's son?’ 46 Nobody could answer the question that Jesus asked. After this, everyone was afraid to ask Jesus any more questions.