22 Matthew

Author

Rob Schulze

Scripture

Matthew 22:1-46

Observations

  • Jesus is in the temple courts and tells the people, including the Pharisees, elders and chief priests another parable of the God’s kingdom, which is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.
  • The king’s servants notify the invitees that it’s time to come to the wedding, the dinner has been prepared, but many are too busy with their daily business while others were hostile to the servants and killed them.
  • The king was enraged so he sent an army and destroyed the murderers and burned their city.
  • The king then sends his servants to invite anyone they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
  • The king arrives and notices a guest not wearing wedding clothes and tells his servants to throw him outside into the darkness and says, “many are invited, but few are chosen.”
  • The Pharisees and Herodians schemed to trap Jesus’ in his words by asking him if it is right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not but Jesus knew their evil intent to trap him
  • Jesus’ asks them to show him the coin used for paying the tax and when they bring him the denarius he asks them whose image and inscription is on the coin.
  • They reply Caesar’s so Jesus tells them, ““So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
  • The Pharisees and Herodians went away defeated. Next up were the Sadducees who present Jesus a complicated marriage scenario to challenge belief in the resurrection
  • Jesus counters their question by showing that they do understand the Scriptures or God’s power because there will not be marriage after the resurrection since people will be like angels.
  • The Pharisees hear that Jesus silenced the Sadducees so one of them, an expert in the law asks Jesus, “what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
  • Jesus replies: “‘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.’
  • Jesus asks the Pharisees, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”  They replied, “The son of David.”
  • Jesus then asks them why did David call the Messiah, “Lord” in Psalm 110:1 and therefore how can the Messiah be David’s son?  No one could say a word in reply and no one dare asked Jesus anymore questions.

Application

  • Jesus often says, “he who has an ear let him hear” and although many can hear, few respond to Jesus words.  In the wedding parable Jesus describes what God’s “chosen people” did to the prophets and their God brought judgment to Jerusalem.  Jesus invites me to participate in the kingdom everyday.  Am I too busy to respond or do I respond with a religious spirit that wears clothing of works vs. clothing of grace?
  • In 7 verses (v15-21) we learn how to be a people of faith within a pagan (or secular) culture and authority much like the Jews living within the Roman world.  Paying the imperial tax to Caesar did not fit within the Pharisees and Herodians vision for a theocracy where they were in power.  Jesus reveals that his kingdom can co-exist with the pagan and secular cultures of the world.  Therefore if I’m a bi-vocational pastor and my day job is a county clerk I can marry a same sex couple because it is a civic marriage and yet if the same couple asks me to marry them as a pastor in a Christian ceremony I can refuse them.  The church and state are unique institutions and we do not see Jesus, Peter or Paul ever encourage believers to pursue a theocracy where the two are one.
  • As a husband, father, employee, son, brother, neighbor and friend… how can I love God in action today?  With my head, heart and hands?  And how can I love my neighbor as myself?

Prayer

“Holy Father, thank you for your Word and the gospels that reveal to us what Jesus is like so that we may obey you and your word and become more like Jesus.  Father, may I have ears to hear your Word today and to not overthink life but to love you like a child.  May I delight in your creation and in my relationship with you.  May I experience your love and love you and others in simple and tangible ways today.  Take my eyes off of myself and may I love others well, In Jesus name.  Amen”

 

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