About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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This Section - Chapter 22

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ch. 22:1-14    ch. 22:15-22    ch. 22:23-33

ch. 22:34-40    ch. 22:41-45

The Parable Of The Wedding Banquet  (ch. 22:1 - 14)


In verses 1 through 14 Jesus tells the following parable.  A king was giving a wedding feast for his son.  When the feast was ready he sent his servants out to call those who had been invited.  Those who were invited refused to come to the dinner.  So the kings sent out another group of people to tell the invitees that the dinners was ready.  They still refused to come.


When the invited guests never showed up, the king told his men to simply go out on the street corners and bring in anyone who wanted a free dinner.  So many ordinary street people came to the banquet.


The king noticed that there was one man not dressed appropriately and so the king told his servants to throw this man out into outer darkness where there’d be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  This weeping and gnashing of teeth is in allusion to the Lake of Fire .


It’s clear what this parable is all about.  The Jews were the invited guests to the banquet, but they refused to come even though many of the prophets invited them, including John the Baptist. 


Those on the street corners are the Gentiles, who were considered undesirables by the Jews. 


The last couple of parables that Jesus has been speaking about were directed towards the fall of Israel , and especially the fall of the Jewish leadership.  In 70 AD the Roman soldiers came and devastated Jerusalem and the people of Israel were dispersed throughout the world. 


This section ends with verse 14. It says, “many are called but few are chosen”.  The way I see it is the many who are called is everyone.  We are all called to the banquet.  We’re all called to join Jesus someday at the marriage feast of the Lamb that will take place at the end of this age.  But not all are chosen.  We need to understand why these people are chosen, and the parable gives us the reason very plainly.  Those in the parable that weren’t chosen to come to the dinner weren’t chosen because they did not want to come.  If they had wanted to come they could have went because they were initially invited to be there.  This idea of being chosen here has nothing to do with predestination.  They were not chosen because God predestined them not to be chosen.  They weren’t chosen because they refused to come. They refused to be chosen, even though they were called.  


You will notice that one person did show up to the meal but was not dressed appropriately for the dinner.  He was kicked out.  From this we take that the way in which people were dressed was key to getting into the dinner.  The spiritual significance to this is that salvation in Biblical terms is often associated with being dressed in new clothes, as in “robes of righteousness”.  If we are not dressed in these “robes of righteousness” that Jesus has for us, then we won’t be at the marriage feast of the Lamb.  Therefore, many are called, meaning, all are called.  Yet only those who are seen wearing the “robes of righteousness” provided by Jesus are allowed into the next life with Jesus that begins with the marriage feast of the Lamb as seen in the book of Revelation.   


Paying Taxes To Caesar (ch. 22:15 - 22)


Verse 15 tells us that the Pharisees went out to plan how they could trap Jesus.  They had plainly understood the meaning of the last few parables, and that for the most part they were directed against them.  They were part of the invited guests to the marriage dinner and they refused.  They understood Jesus to say that they’d be replaced by street people, and they didn’t like that. 


They understood the parable of the man owning the vineyard.  They understood that they were the renters of the vineyard that belonged to the owner. They knew that Jesus was speaking of them.  They were the ones who killed the servants and the son of the owner, and they were infuriated at such teaching.


Verse 16 tells us that the Pharisees sent their disciples along with the Herodians to trap Jesus.  The Herodians were actually hated by the Pharisees, because they were loyal to Herod.  So the Pharisees were actually teaming up with their enemies to get Jesus.  


Another point to be made about the Herodians is that they viewed the Herods in a Messianic sense.  That is to say, they hoped that Herod would deliver them from Roman domination.  The problem is though that Herod himself was a Roman appointed king, or, governor.


In verse 16 these men try to butter Jesus up, so to speak.   They call Him teacher, even though they did not believe in what He taught. They said that He was a man of integrity and taught the things of God, even though they really didn’t believe that. They said that Jesus wasn’t

swayed by what any man said, and that was correct.  I’m sure Jesus saw through their hypocrisy.


So in verse 17 they finally get to the trick question.  They ask Jesus if it’s right to pay taxes to Caesar.  It’s interesting to note how they asked the question.  They asked what Jesus’ “opinion” on the matter was, as if they wanted to enter into a dialogue with Jesus.  If they could dialogue with Jesus, they’d have  a better chance of trapping Him.  The more words anyone says, the more chances he will say something wrong.


Verse 18  is clear.  Jesus knew their intentions and called them hypocrites for trying to trap Him.  He knew very well that they weren’t interested in hearing Jesus’ opinion.


In verses 19 to 21 Jesus comes up with a very good answer as He always does.  He asks for a coin.  Upon receiving the coin He asks whose inscription was on the coin.  They said that it was Caesars.  So Jesus simply says, “give to Caesar what belong to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God”.  Jesus has no problem with paying taxes to the Roman government. 


The answer is also interesting in the sense that the disciples of the Pharisees would have disagreed with Jesus’ answer because they did not believe it was right for them to pay taxes to Rome , but the Herodians would have agreed with Jesus because they were loyal to Rome . Thus the group that came united to trap Jesus left separated and in disagreement.


Verse 22 tells us that this group of men left Jesus in amazement.  They could not trap Him. No one could trap Him.  Jesus being gentle and humble was very smart and witty. 


It is interesting to note that the question asked of Jesus was basically a question that  needed a simple yes or no answer. “Do you believe in paying taxes, yes, or no”?  But the way in which Jesus answered the question was not just yes or no.  His answer combined both yes and no. He did this by saying pay to Caesar and pay to God.  Thus, both the disciples of the Pharisees and the Herodians went away unhappy.        


Marriage At The Resurrection  (ch. 22:23 - 33)


It seems like everyone is taking their last shot at Jesus to try to trap Him into doing or saying something wrong.  It’s now the Sadducees turn.  The big thing that distinguishes the Sadducees from the Pharisees is that the  Sadducees don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead.  They did not believe in any life after death as the Pharisees did.


With this in mind their question is appropriate to their thinking. Before they actually ask the question they build a scenario in verses 24 to 28.  They point out the fact that the Law of Moses said that if a man dies without having a chance to have children by his wife, the wife would be married to the man’s brother.  So the Sadducees’ scenario is this. There is a man who had six brothers.  The man dies with no children.  The wife is then married to another brother. He dies with no children, so she is marred to yet another brother.  The same thing happens with all of the six brothers until the woman dies as well.


In verse 28 the Sadducees ask whose wife she will be in the resurrection since she was married to seven men.  This is to be the trick question since the Sadducees believe there is no such resurrection in the first place.  How would Jesus answer them?


In verse 29 Jesus tells these men that they “are in error” because they don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God.  It is interesting that Jesus tells these men that they are in error.  He is certainly interested in what men think, and when they think wrong, Jesus says they are in error.  This flies in the face of those who believe Jesus isn’t interested in what they call “doctrinal issues”.  But this is not the case.  It is clear that Jesus wants us to think right and not be in error.


The Sadducees are in error because of two things.  They don’t understand the Scriptures, which for them is the Old Testament.  The second thing is that they don’t understand the power of God.   Here we see the importance of both the Scriptures and the power of the Spirit.  As Christians these two work together, and if they are out of balance then there will be problems.  One of the ongoing problems throughout church history is to keep these two things in proper balance.


Verse 30 gives us a little clue to the next life.  What the next life will be like isn’t really clearly laid out for us in a nice concise fashion in the Bible.  We just get clues like this one.  Jesus says that in the next life men and women won’t be married, but they will be like the angels in heaven. 


We should understand the phrase concerning the angels properly in the context.  Jesus is not saying that we will be like angels in every respect. He’s only saying that we will be like them in one respect and that is concerning marriage.  Angels don’t get married, and we won‘t get married in the days of the resurrection.


Some people suggest that the New Heaven and New Earth as seen in Revelation is a restoration of life before the fall of man. I don’t think we can say that for sure.  There’s no clear written evidence of this thinking.  If this is truly the case, that would mean that God never meant man and woman to be married.  It would mean that men and women before the fall, before sin, was free to be with many partners at the same time.  God specifically told them to give birth to children and fill the earth with human beings, and if men and women aren’t married in the next life, and that is a refection on pre-fall days, then men and women weren’t intended to be married.  All this is uncertain though, because we really don’t know if the next life is something totally new and different or a restoration of pre-fall days.  My thinking is that it will be new and different and it is not a restoration to pre-fall days.


In verses 31 and 32 Jesus reminded the Sadducees that God says that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He’s the God of the dead and not the living.  The reason why Jesus said this was to challenge the Sadducees’ misunderstanding of the resurrection of the dead.


What Jesus is saying here is that God is Abraham’s, Isaac’s, and Jacob’s God, and they are dead.  If God is presently their God, then these three men can’t be dead in every sense of the word.  They may be dead physically from and earthly perspective, but they must be alive somehow and somewhere. 


We see in verse 33 that once again the crowd was astonished at the teaching of Jesus.  I’m not so sure the Sadducees were so astounded.  They were probably upset because once again, Jesus showed them up to be not so smart in front of those who they wanted to appear smart and intelligent. Thus we have another failed attempt to trick Jesus, but another reason why the Jewish leaders needed Jesus dead.


For those who think Jesus wasn’t interested in right thinking, this event proves these people wrong. Jesus clearly said that these men were in error and He proved His point by going to the Scriptures that backed Him up.  He also told these men that their lack of knowing the Scriptures permitted this error. When we fail to understand the Bible, we are well on our way to wrong thinking.     


The Greatest Commandment (ch. 22:34 - 40)


Verse 34 tells us that upon hearing that Jesus silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. They figured that the Sadducees couldn’t trick Jesus so they’d try again.


Verse 35 tells us that one of the Pharisees, who was an expert of the Law was chosen to ask Jesus the trick questions.  Experts of the Law and also known as teachers of the Law, and were part teacher and part lawyer.


Verse 36 gives us the question.  It is, “what is the greatest commandment in the Law”, that is the Law of Moses.


In verses 37 to 40 Jesus replies by saying, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and prophets hang on these two commands”.  


The Pharisee asks for one great command.  Jesus gives the first great command but carries on with another one that is associated with it, or connected to it.  Loving your God is the most important thing, but from the love you have for your God, this same love should extend to those around you. 


In my thinking, the proof that you really love God is how you love those around you.  Anyone can say they love God, but how can we see this.  It’s seen by how we love others. 


Jesus says that the Law and the prophets hang on these two commands.  As a shirt hangs on a hanger so the whole Law and the prophets as well hang on these two commands.  This means that without these two commands the rest of the Law could not exist, and the rest of the Law only exists because of these two commands.  Jesus is not ruling out the rest of the Law or the prophets by these words, although in other places He does say that Law will soon be replaced by trusting Him.


Whose Son Is The Christ (ch. 22:41 - 45)


In verse 41 while the Pharisees were gathered around each other trying to figure out what to do Jesus asks them two questions.  It appears that Jesus is taking the initiative this time to ask a question.  This goes to show that Jesus is not afraid of entering into dialogue with those who oppose Him, although as I’ve said before, Jesus never gets carried away into a long drawn out discussion with the Jewish leadership.


The two questions are found in verse 42. They are.  “What do you think about the Christ”, and “whose Son is He”?  Over the three years of Jesus’ ministry this was one issue that He did not want to talk too much about with the Jewish leadership.  Yet as time drew closer to the end, He was willing a bit to discuss this issue, and now, right at the end, He brings the subject up. It’s almost as if He is opening the door for His capture.   Which in one sense of the word is correct.  There was a set time for Jesus to be arrested and die.  That time was decided by His Father and no one would change that.  When Jesus was before Pilate, and when Pilate announced that he had the authority to save Jesus’ life or to kill Him, Jesus told Pilate that he had no such authority.  The only authority that Pilate had in this matter was that from which God gave Him.  All the events concerning the end of Jesus’ life was totally in the hands of God and Jesus Himself.


The Pharisees answered in verse 42 by saying, “the son of David”.  By this they were saying that the Christ, or the Messiah would be in the lineage of David and for that they were correct.


In verse 43 Jesus answers with yet another question.  He asks, “how is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls Him Lord”?   One thing to note here is that Jesus states that David was inspired or speaking by the Spirit.  This speaks to the doctrine of inspiration. From this we can easily say that the Psalms of David were inspired by God.


When Jesus uses the word “Him” as in “call Him Lord”, Him refers to the Christ.


The quote of David can be found in verse 44. It reads, “the Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”. 


When David said, “the Lord said to my Lord”, he was saying, “the Lord, as in God, said the Lord, as in the Messiah or Christ”.  So God said to Christ, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.


So the question of verse 43 was, “how could David call Him, as in the Christ Lord, if the Christ was his son.   Verse 45 asks the same question.  It reads, “ If then David called Him, that is the Christ, Lord, how can He be his son”?  That’s a good question.  How can the Christ of God be both the Christ of God and the son of David.  It doesn’t really make sense.


In verse 46 we see that this question totally stumps the Pharisees. They can’t answer, or at least they won’t answer.  They then give up with their questions and attempt to find a way to kill Jesus.


We know the answer to Jesus’ question, even though Jesus doesn’t tell the answer here. Jesus was born through the lineage of David.  He was a direct descendent of David in his earthly lineage.  But because marry gave birth to Jesus through the Holy Spirit and not by any man, Jesus was a direct descended of God.  He was God’s son as well as David’s ancestor.  So this is how David could call the Messiah Lord even though the Messiah was one of his descendents.



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