New Testament for Everyone
The Parable of the Wedding Feast
22 Jesus spoke to them once again in parables.
2 ‘The kingdom of heaven’, he said, ‘is like a king who made a wedding feast for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to call the invited guests to the wedding, and they didn’t want to come.
4 ‘Again he sent other slaves, with these instructions: “Say to the guests, Look! I’ve got my dinner ready; my bulls and fatted calves have been killed; everything is prepared. Come to the wedding!”
5 ‘But they didn’t take any notice. They went off, one to his own farm, another to see to his business. 6 The others laid hands on his slaves, abused them and killed them. 7 (The king was angry, and sent his soldiers to destroy those murderers and burn down their city.) 8 Then he said to his slaves, “The wedding is ready, but the guests didn’t deserve it. 9 So go to the roads leading out of town, and invite everyone you find to the wedding.” 10 The slaves went off into the streets and rounded up everyone they found, bad and good alike. And the wedding was filled with partygoers.
11 ‘But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who wasn’t wearing a wedding suit.
12 ‘ “My friend,” he said to him, “how did you get in here without a wedding suit?” And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, “Tie him up, hands and feet, and throw him into the darkness outside, where people weep and grind their teeth.”
14 ‘Many are called, you see, but few are chosen.’
Paying Taxes to Caesar
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might trap him into saying the wrong thing. 16 They sent their followers to him, with the Herodians.
‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we know that you are truthful, and that you teach God’s way truthfully. You don’t care what anyone thinks about you, because you don’t try to flatter people or favour them. 17 So tell us what you think. Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, or not?’
18 Jesus knew their evil intentions.
‘Why are you trying to trick me, you hypocrites?’ he said. 19 ‘Show me the tribute coin.’ They brought him a dinar.
20 ‘This . . . image,’ said Jesus, ‘and this . . . inscription. Who do they belong to?’
21 ‘Caesar,’ they said.
‘Well then,’ said Jesus, ‘you’d better give Caesar back what belongs to Caesar! And – give God what belongs to God!’
22 When they heard that they were astonished. They left him and went away.
The Question of the Resurrection
23 The same day some Sadducees came to him. (The Sadducees deny the resurrection.) Their question was this.
24 ‘Teacher,’ they began, ‘Moses said, “If a man dies without children, his brother should marry his widow and raise up seed for his brother.” 25 Well now, there were seven brothers living among us. The first got married, and then died, and since he didn’t have children he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened with the second and the third, and so on with all seven. 27 Last of all the woman died. 28 So: in the resurrection, whose wife will she be, of all the seven? All of them had married her, after all.’
29 This was Jesus’ answer to them: ‘You are quite mistaken,’ he said, ‘because you don’t know your Bibles or God’s power. 30 In the resurrection, you see, people don’t marry or get married off; they are like angels in heaven. 31 But as for the resurrection of the dead, did you never read what was said to you by God, in these words: 32 “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” He isn’t God of the dead, but of the living.’
33 The crowds heard this, and they were astonished at his teaching.
The Great Commandment, and David’s Master
34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they got together in a group. 35 One of them, a lawyer, put him on the spot with this question.
36 ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘which is the most important commandment in the law?’
37 ‘You must love the Lord your God’, replied Jesus, ‘with all your heart, with all your life, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first commandment, and it’s the one that really matters. 39 The second is similar, and it’s this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. 40 The entire law hangs on these two commandments – and that goes for the prophets, too.’
41 While the Pharisees were gathered there, Jesus asked them, 42 ‘What’s your view of the Messiah? Whose son is he?’
‘David’s,’ they said to him.
43 ‘Why then’, said Jesus, ‘does David (speaking by the spirit) call him “Master”, when he says,
44 The Master says to my master,
sit here at my right hand,
until I place your enemies
down beneath your feet.
45 ‘If David calls him “Master”, how can he be his son?’
46 Nobody was able to answer him a single word. From that day on nobody dared ask him anything any more.