0 The wedding garment (Matthew 22-23)

Episode 245: The wedding garment

Matthew 22-23

The parable of the wedding banquet (and the psycho king)

22 1 Jesus told another parable, saying,

2 The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a marriage banquet for his son.

3 He sent out his servants to invite people to the banquet, saying, 4 "Come to the marriage feast."

5 But they didn't want to go. One went to his farm, another to his store.

6 Others took the servants and killed them.

7 When the king heard what had happened, he was angry, and sent out his armies to kill them and burn their city.

8 Then the king then said to his servants,

The wedding is ready, but those I invited weren't worthy.

9 So go into the streets and invite everyone to the marriage banquet.

10 So the servants went out to the streets and gathered whoever they could find, both bad and good.

11 When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man without a wedding garment.

12 He said to the man,

Friend, why did you come here without a wedding garment?

But the man didn't answer.

13 Then the king said to his servants,

Tie him up, take him away, and cast him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Pay your taxes

15 The Pharisees met to devise a way to get Jesus to say something that would incriminate him.

16 They sent some of their disciples with the Herodians, saying, 17 "Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar?"

18 Jesus saw their wickedness, and said, 19 "Show me the money."

20 He said to them, "Whose image and inscription are on the coin?"

21 They said, "Caesar's'".

Then Jesus said to them,

Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and give God the things that are God's.

There is no marriage in heaven

23 Then the Sadducees, who don't believe in an afterlife, asked Jesus,

24 Master, Moses said that if a man dies without children, his brother must marry his wife and raise children for him.

25 Now what if there were seven brothers, and the first, after marrying, died without children. So his brother took his wife.

26 Then the second brother died, and the third died without children, etc. to the seventh.

27 And then the wife died.

28 In the afterlife, which of the seven brothers will be her husband?

29 Jesus said,

30 In the afterlife, no one marries, but are like the angels in heaven.

32 God isn't the God of the dead, but of the living.

The greatest commandment

35 One of the Pharisees, a lawyer, asked Jesus, "Master, what is the greatest commandment?"

37 Jesus said,

Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.

38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

39 And the second is like the first: Love your neighbor as yourself.

40 These two commandments are the basis for all the laws and the prophets.

Jesus is not the son of David

41 When the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, "Whose son is Christ?"

42 They answered, "The son of David."

43 Jesus said,

Why then did David call him Lord, saying,

44 The Lord said to my Lord,

Sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool?

45 If David called him Lord, how is he his son?

46 No one could answer him, and no one asked him any questions after that.

Woe to scribes and Pharisees!

23 1 Then Jesus spoke to his disciples and to the crowd, saying

2-3 Do as the scribes and Pharisees say, not as they do.

5 They wear large phylacteries and have fancy tassels on their robes.

7 The scribes and Pharisees love to be greeted in the markets with "Rabbi, Rabbi".

8 But none of you should be called Rabbi.

9 Don't call anyone on earth father. Your only father is in heaven.

10 And don't call anyone on earth master. Your only master is Christ.

11 Whoever is greatest among you will be your servant.

12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 Woe to you scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites!

15 You travel all over land and sea to make one convert, then make him twice as worthy of hell as you are.

17 You blind fools!

27 You are like whited tombs that appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are filled with dead people's bones and all unclean things.

31 You are the children of those who killed the prophets.

33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how will you escape the damnation of hell?

34 I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes, and you crucify some of them, scourge them in your synagogues, and persecute them in the cities.

35 You are guilty of all of the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias.

36 All these things will come upon this generation.

37 O Jerusalem, you kill the prophets, and stone those who are sent to you. How often I would have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused!

38 Your house will be desolate.

39You won't see me again until you say, "Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord."

A few more words about this episode

The king sent out his armies to kill those who murdered his servants and burn their city. (22:7)
This is probably a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 CE. (If so, the gospel must have been written after that occurred.)
The Herodians (22:16)
Presumably the "Herodians" were a group that was loyal to Herod Antipas, who ruled Galilee and Perea at the time. (See Mark 3:6, 12:13) The term is not mentioned outside of the Gospels.
If a man dies without children, his brother must marry his wife. (22:24)
The levirate law. See Dt 25:5-10, Gen 38:8-10, Ruth 4:10
In the afterlife, no one marries, but are like the angels in heaven. (22:30)
There is no sex or marriage in heaven. (Married people either don't go to heaven or they get divorced after death. Marriages aren't made in heaven; they die there.)
Love your neighbor as yourself. (22:39)
Jesus quotes Leviticus 19:18, by far the best verse in Leviticus, and one of the best in the entire bible.
If David called him Lord, how is he his son? (22:45)
Jesus says he is not the son of David.
Was Jesus the son of David?
Phylacteries (23:5)
Pylacteries are leather boxes containing scripture verses, worn on the forehead and left arm by Jewish males while praying. (See Ex 13:9, 16; Dt 6:8, 11:18; Episode 30)
Phylactery of hand and forehead
You blind fools! (23:17)
Jesus calls his critics fools (among other things like hypocrites and vipers), thus making himself eligible for "hell fire."
Is it ok t call someone a fool?
You are guilty of all of the righteous blood that has been shed on earth. (23:35)
Jesus blames the Jews (who were then living) for "all the righteous blood" from Abel to Zecharias, whom he mistakenly calls the son "Barachias" (See 2 Chr 24:20).
Who was Zechariah's father?
Has there ever been a righteous person?
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