The NT365 Experiment: Matthew 22

I apologize for the delay in posting these comments.

At this point in the Gospel, the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders was at a fever pitch. They did not like Jesus and were prepared to stop at nothing to get rid of him. They had kicked their plotting into high gear.

Three Parables of Judgement

Chapter 22 begins with the parable of the wedding feast. This parable is actually the third of three that Jesus told in response to the religious leaders’ challenge of his authority. These parables express God’s judgment on the religious leaders for not embracing Jesus as the Christ and for not encouraging the people to do the same. In the first, The Parable of the Two Sons (21:28-32), Jesus exposes the religious leaders’ hypocrisy as they failed to live up the profession of repentance at John’s baptism. In the second, The Parable of the Tenants (21:33-46), Jesus declares that God will take the kingdom away from Israel for their rejection of the “cornerstone,” which is Christ. And, in the third, The parable of the Wedding Feast (22:1-14), Jesus clearly describes the certain consequences of the religious leaders’ actions.

Four Attempts to Trap Jesus

As you can imagine, this public rebuke did not sit well with the religious leaders. They sought desperately to make him pay for embarrassing them. So, they plotted how “to trap him in his own words” (22:15).

Attempt #1 

Question: Should we pay taxes to Caesar?
Jesus’ Answer: Yes
Why?: Because Caesar’s inscription was on the coin. We are to give to Caesar’s what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.

Attempt #2

Question: If a woman is married to seven brothers and they all die, the who’s wife is she at the resurrection of the dead?
Jesus Answer: Neither of the brothers
Why?: Because the institution of marriage as we know it presently will not continue into heaven. That doesn’t mean there will not be some connection eternally, but certainly our understanding of marriage will not continue. What will be will be much better and glorious than we now know!

Attempt #3

Question: What is the greatest Commandment?
Jesus Answer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (22:37-39).
Why?: All the Law and Prophets depend on these two commandments

Attempt #4

Jesus’ Question: Whose son is the Christ?
People’s Answer: ___________

The Result of the Interactions

Jesus is the true Son of God. He reveals that to the people. They are afraid to ask him more questions. He emerges the supreme authority through these interactions. He is the king of the world.

I am left with two questions at the end of chapter 22. They are:

  1. Am I encouraging others to embrace Jesus as Savior? Am I doing it through my words, my actions, and my interactions? Am I living missionally?
  2. How do I respond to these four interactions Jesus has with the religious leaders? Do I understand that I am to pay to Caesar what is Caesars? Do I look forward to a better way of life and better relationships in heaven through faith in Christ? Do I seek to build my life on the two great commandments — love God and love people?

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