Matthew 22: The Greatest Commandment

What were the main characteristics of the stories Jesus told?

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Matthew 22:1 Again, Jesus taught using illustrations.
King James
Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

What does a wedding feast have to do with the Kingdom of Heaven?

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Matthew 22:2–14 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. He sent servants to invite everyone on the guest list, but no one would come. So he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell everyone on the list that preparations are complete. The fattened calves and bulls have been butchered, and the table is set. Come to the wedding.’ But the people were not impressed. They pursued their own interests on their farms and in other places of business. Those who remained grabbed the servants, abused them, and finally killed them. When the king heard what had happened, he was furious. He sent his soldiers to destroy the murderers and burn their city to the ground. He said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but the people we invited did not deserve the honor. Go down the streets and invite everyone you can find.’ The servants brought in all the people from the streets, paying no attention to how good or bad they looked, and filled the place with willing guests. When the king came to meet the guests, he saw a man who was not appropriately dressed. ‘How is it that you are here without a garment suitable for a wedding?’ The man did not know what to say. ‘Tie him hand and foot,’ the king said, ‘and throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be bitterness and weeping.’ Many are called, and few are chosen.”
King James
Matthew 22:2–14 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.

Who is the one without a wedding garment? If this was a travesty, how did the man get into the feast?

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Matthew 22:11–13 “When the king came to meet the guests, he saw a man who was not appropriately dressed. ‘How is it that you are here without a garment suitable for a wedding?’ The man did not know what to say. ‘Tie him hand and foot,’ the king said, ‘and throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be bitterness and weeping.'”
King James
Matthew 22:11–13 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

How was the Pharisees’ question about taxation a “trap”?

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Matthew 22:15–17 The Pharisees gathered to plot how they might trap Jesus into saying something that could be used against him. They sent some of their group and people loyal to Herod to say, “Teacher, we know you are sincere and completely honest. You teach the truth about God’s ways without concern for what people think. So tell us what you believe. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?”
King James
Matthew 22:15–17 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

Why did Jesus say the Pharisees were hypocrites?

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Matthew 22:18 Jesus recognized their evil scheming. “You hypocrites. Why are you testing me?”
King James
Matthew 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

Was Jesus’ response to the taxation question politically correct? Why?

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Matthew 22:19–22 “Bring me a coin used to pay the tax.”
They handed him a Roman coin.
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
“Caesar’s,” they said.
“Then pay to Caesar what belongs to him, and give God all that is God’s.”
Amazed at his answer, they walked away.
King James
Matthew 22:19–22 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

Why didn’t the Sadducees believe in the resurrection?

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Matthew 22:23 The same day, some Sadducees, who believed there was no resurrection, came to question Jesus.
King James
Matthew 22:23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,

Why did the Sadducees’ scenario involve seven brothers and not just two or three?

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Matthew 22:24–28 “Teacher, Moses said, If a brother dies with no children, the widow must not marry someone outside the family. The surviving brother should marry her and have children for him. Once, there were seven brothers and the oldest brother died without children, leaving his widow to his younger brother. Likewise, the second brother had no children when he died. This continued until the barren wife had married all seven brothers. Finally, the woman died, still childless. On the day when the dead rise to life, whose wife will this woman be? All seven were married to her.”
King James
Matthew 22:24–28 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

Why didn’t the Sadducees “know the scriptures”? How did Jesus know the scriptures and how God works?

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Matthew 22:29 “Your logic is wrong,” Jesus said, “because you do not know the scriptures, and you do not understand how God works.”
King James
Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

How did Jesus know that people would be like the angels in Heaven, not marrying?

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Matthew 22:30 “In the resurrection, people will not marry but will be like the angels of Heaven.”
King James
Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

What was impressive about Jesus’ teaching? In what ways were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the rest of the crowd differently impressed?

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Matthew 22:30–34 “In the resurrection, people will not marry but will be like the angels of Heaven. Now, on the issue of rising from the dead, haven’t you read the scripture where God says, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is the God of the living, not of the dead.”
The crowd was impressed with his teaching.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together with Jesus.
King James
Matthew 22:30–34 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

How was the Pharisee’s question about the most important commandment a “test”?

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Matthew 22:35–36 One of them who had exceptional knowledge of the Law tested him by asking, “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”
King James
Matthew 22:35–36 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Why did Jesus give a direct answer and not something more politically correct? If he had wanted to be politically correct, what might he have said?

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Matthew 22:37–38You must love God with your whole heart, with all your being and all your strength. This is the first and most important of all commandments.”
King James
Matthew 22:37–38 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

What makes the second commandment as important as the first?

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Matthew 22:39–40 “But the second commandment is equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
King James
Matthew 22:39–40 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Why did Jesus ask the Pharisees a question they could not answer?

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Matthew 22:41–46 While the Pharisees were gathered around him, Jesus said, “What do you believe about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
They said, “He will be a descendant of King David.”
“Assuming that is true, how do you explain the fact that David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, called the Messiah ‘my Lord.’ He said, God said unto my Lord, ‘Sit here at my right hand until I have put all your enemies beneath your feet.’ If David called him Lord, how can he be his son?”
No one could answer him.
From then on, the Pharisees lost heart in asking questions.
King James
Matthew 22:41–46 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.