The Story of the Wedding Dinner
1Jesus told them more stories. He said, 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his slaves to the guests he’d invited to tell them to come, but they refused.
4“Then he sent out some more slaves. He said, ‘Tell those who were invited that I’ve prepared my dinner. I’ve killed the oxen and the fattened cattle. Everything is ready, so come to the wedding banquet.’
5“But the people paid no attention. One went off to his field and another went to his business. 6The rest grabbed his slaves, treated them badly, and killed them. 7This made the king so angry that he sent his army to destroy those murderers and burn down their city.
8“Then the king said to his slaves, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but the people I invited didn’t deserve to come. 9Go to the street corners and invite anyone you can find to come to the dinner.’ 10So the slaves went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good. Soon the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11“When the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who wasn’t wearing wedding clothes. 12‘Friend,’ he said, ‘how’d you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no excuses.
13“Then the king told his slaves, ‘Tie him up by his hands and feet and throw him outside into the darkness, where people will weep and grind their teeth.’
14“Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Is It Right to Pay the Royal Tax to Caesar?
15The Pharisees went out and made a plan to trap Jesus with his own words. 16They sent their disciples to him with some of the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you’re a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God truthfully. You don’t let others influence what you do or say, no matter how important they are. 17Tell us, then, what do you think? According to the law of Moses, should we pay the royal tax to Caesar?”
18But Jesus knew they had bad motives for asking. He said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19Show me the coin people use for paying the tax.” They brought him a silver coin, and he asked them, 20“Whose picture is on this coin? And whose name and titles?”
21“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
22When they heard this, they were amazed. They left him and went away.
Marriage After the Dead Rise
23That same day the Sadducees, who don’t believe that people rise from the dead, came to Jesus with a question. 24“Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man marries but dies without having children, his brother has to marry the widow so she can have children to carry on her late husband’s name. 25There were seven brothers among us. The first one got married, but he died without having any children, so the next brother married his widow. 26But then the same thing happened to him, and to the third brother, right on down to the seventh brother. 27Finally, the woman died. 28Now then, when the dead rise, whose wife will she be? All seven brothers were married to her.”
29Jesus replied, “You’re going wrong here because you don’t know the Scriptures and you don’t know the power of God. 30When the dead rise, people won’t get married, and parents won’t arrange marriages for their children. Everyone will be like the angels in heaven. 31But as for whether people rise from the dead, haven’t you read what God said to you? 32‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He isn’t the God of the dead; he’s the God of the living.”
33When the crowds heard this, they were amazed by what Jesus taught.
The Most Important Commandment
34The Pharisees heard that the Sadducees hadn’t able to answer Jesus. So they got together, 35and one of them, an authority on the law, tested Jesus with a question. 36“Teacher,” he asked, “which commandment in the Law is the greatest?”
37Jesus answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38That is the first and most important commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ 40Everything written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
41While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied.
43He said to them, “Then why does David, speaking by the Spirit, call him ‘Lord’? David said,
44“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your control.” ’
45So if David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be David’s son?” 46No one knew how to answer him, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions.