October 22nd, 2006
Different people respond differently to invitations. Some people would do almost anything to obtain an invitation to a football grand final, whereas other people would throw such an invitation straight in the bin. But what if the invitation was to the biggest party ever held in the universe, and the invitation was a personal one from the most important person in the universe? Surprisingly, we would still see a range of different responses. Some people would accept the invitation with alacrity, but others might be a bit more skeptical. Do I really want to go to a party to which they would invite people like me?
Matthew’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 22
22:1 Jesus told them another parable, 22:2 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who organised a wedding banquet for his son. 22:3 He sent out his servants to call those who were invited, but they would not come. 22:4 He sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “I have prepared the meal, the oxen and fattened beasts have been killed, and everything’s ready to go. Come to the wedding banquet!”‘ 22:5 But they ignored it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 22:6 and the rest seized and insulted his servants and killed them. 22:7 The king became angry and sent his armies to destroy those murderers and burn their city.
22:8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited weren’t worthy. 22:9 So go to the street corners and invite anyone you can find to the wedding banquet.’ 22:10 The servants went into the streets and collected everyone they could find, bad and good, so that the wedding was filled with guests. 22:11 But as the king came in to see the guests he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing a wedding suit, 22:12 and said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding suit?’ The man said nothing. 22:13 Then the king ordered the servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the darkness outside; that’s where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 22:14 Many are called, but few chosen.”
22:15 Then the Pharisees went to discuss how they could trap him saying something unlawful. 22:16 They sent their students and the Herodians to ask him, “Teacher, we know that you are honest and teach God’s truth without caring if it upsets anyone because you don’t need approval from people. 22:17 So what’s your opinion on this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
22:18 Jesus saw through their wickedness and said, “Why are you trying me out, you hypocrites? 22:19 Show me the tax money.” They brought to him a denarius. 22:20 He asked them, “Whose is this image and inscription?” 22:21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said, “So give Caesar the things that belong to Caesar, and give God the things that belong to God.” 22:22 They were amazed to hear this, and they left him and went away.
22:23 The same day Sadducees who claim that there is no resurrection came to him. They asked, 22:24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies leaving no children, his brother must marry his widow and have children on his behalf.’ 22:25 There were once seven brothers. The first married and died childless, leaving his widow to his brother. 22:26 The same thing happened to the second and the third, all the way up to the seventh. 22:27 Last of all the woman died. 22:28 In the resurrection whose wife will she be of the seven? They were all her husbands.”
22:29 But Jesus answered, “You’re wrong. You don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God. 22:30 In the resurrection people don’t get married. They are like God’s angels in heaven. 22:31 Haven’t you read what God said to you about the resurrection of the dead, 22:32 ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?’ God is the God of the living, not of the dead.”
22:33 The crowds were amazed to hear his teaching. 22:34 But the Pharisees regrouped when they heard that he had silenced the Sadducees. 22:35 A lawyer amongst them asked him a question to try him out. 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” 22:37 Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 22:38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 22:39 A second is of similar importance, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 22:40 The whole law and the prophets are dependent on these two commandments.”
22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 22:42 “What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “David’s.” 22:43 He said to them, “Why then did David, inspired by the Spirit, call him Lord when he said, 22:44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?’
22:45 “If David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” 22:46 No one was able to answer him a word, and after that day no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Entry Filed under: Ungratefulness