Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

Matthew 22; Matthew 23

1 Jesus told them more stories. He said, 2 "Here is what the kingdom of heaven is like. A king prepared a wedding dinner for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the dinner. The servants told them to come. But they refused. 4 "Then he sent some more servants. He said, 'Tell those who were invited that I have prepared my dinner. I have killed my oxen and my fattest cattle. Everything is ready. Come to the wedding dinner.' 5 "But the people paid no attention. One went away to his field. Another went away to his business. 6 The rest grabbed his servants. They treated them badly and then killed them. 7 "The king became very angry. He sent his army to destroy them. They killed those murderers and burned their city. 8 "Then the king said to his servants, 'The wedding dinner is ready. But those I invited were not fit to come. 9 Go to the street corners. Invite to the dinner anyone you can find.' 10 So the servants went out into the streets. They gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad. Soon the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 "The king came in to see the guests. He noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man couldn't think of anything to say. 13 "Then the king told his servants, 'Tie up his hands and feet. Throw him outside into the darkness. Out there people will sob and grind their teeth.' 14 "Many are invited, but few are chosen." 15 The Pharisees went out. They made plans to trap Jesus with his own words. 16 They sent their followers to him. They sent the Herodians with them. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of honor. You teach the way of God truthfully. You don't let others tell you what to do or say. You don't care how important they are. 17 Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 18 But Jesus knew their evil plans. He said, "You pretenders! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin people use for paying the tax." They brought him a silver coin. 20 He asked them, "Whose picture is this? And whose words?" 21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. And give to God what belongs to God." 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away. 23 That same day the Sadducees came to Jesus with a question. They do not believe that people rise from the dead. 24 "Teacher," they said, "here is what Moses told us. If a man dies without having children, his brother must get married to the widow. He must have children to carry on his brother's name. 25 There were seven brothers among us. The first one got married and died. Since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brothers. It happened right on down to the seventh brother. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, when the dead rise, whose wife will she be? All seven of them were married to her." 29 Jesus replied, "You are mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures. And you do not know the power of God. 30 When the dead rise, they won't get married. And their parents won't give them to be married. They will be like the angels in heaven. 31 "What about the dead rising? Haven't you read what God said to you? 32 He said, 'I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.'(Exodus 3:6) He is not the God of the dead. He is the God of the living." 33 When the crowds heard this, they were amazed by what he taught. 34 The Pharisees heard that the Sadducees weren't able to answer Jesus. So the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them was an authority on the law. So he tested Jesus with a question. 36 "Teacher," he asked, "which is the most important commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.'(Deuteronomy 6:5) 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 And the second is like it. 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'(Leviticus 19:18) 40 Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments." 41 The Pharisees were gathered together. Jesus asked them, 42 "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied. 43 He said to them, "Then why does David call him 'Lord'? The Holy Spirit spoke through David himself. David said, 44 " 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your control." ' (Psalm 110:1) 45 So if David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be David's son?" 46 No one could answer him with a single word. From that day on, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
1 Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. 2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat," he said. 3 "So you must obey them. Do everything they tell you. But don't do what they do. They don't practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on other people's shoulders. But they themselves aren't willing to lift a finger to move them 5 "Everything they do is done for others to see. On their foreheads and arms they wear little boxes that hold Scripture verses. They make the boxes very wide. And they make the tassels on their coats very long. 6 "They love to sit down in the place of honor at dinners. They also love to have the most important seats in the synagogues. 7 They love to be greeted in the market places. They love it when people call them 'Rabbi.' 8 "But you shouldn't be called 'Rabbi.' You have only one Master, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth 'father.' You have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 You shouldn't be called 'teacher.' You have one Teacher, and he is the Christ. 11 The most important person among you will be your servant. 12 Anyone who lifts himself up will be brought down. And anyone who is brought down will be lifted up. 13 "How terrible it will be for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter. And you will not let those enter who are trying to. 15 "How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You travel everywhere to win one person to your faith. Then you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. 16 "How terrible for you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone takes an oath in the name of the temple, it means nothing. But anyone who takes an oath in the name of the gold of the temple must keep the oath.' 17 You are blind and foolish! Which is more important? Is it the gold? Or is it the temple that makes the gold holy? 18 "You also say, 'If anyone takes an oath in the name of the altar, it means nothing. But anyone who takes an oath in the name of the gift on it must keep the oath.' 19 You blind men! Which is more important? Is it the gift? Or is it the altar that makes the gift holy 20 "So anyone who takes an oath in the name of the altar takes an oath in the name of it and of everything on it. 21 And anyone who takes an oath in the name of the temple takes an oath in the name of it and of the One who lives in it 22 And anyone who takes an oath in the name of heaven takes an oath in the name of God's throne and of the One who sits on it. 23 "How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You give God a tenth of your spices, like mint, dill and cummin. But you have not practiced the more important things of the law, like fairness, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the last things without failing to do the first. 24 You blind guides! You remove the smallest insect from your food. But you swallow a whole camel! 25 "How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You clean the outside of the cup and dish. But on the inside you are full of greed. You only want to satisfy yourselves. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish. Then the outside will also be clean. 27 "How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You are like tombs that are painted white. They look beautiful on the outside. But on the inside they are full of the bones of the dead. They are also full of other things that are not pure and clean. 28 It is the same with you. On the outside you seem to be doing what is right. But on the inside you are full of what is wrong. You pretend to be what you are not. 29 "How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You build tombs for the prophets. You decorate the graves of the godly. 30 And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of those who lived before us, we wouldn't have done what they did. We wouldn't have helped to kill the prophets.' 31 So you give witness against yourselves. You admit that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets. 32 So finish the sins that those who lived before you started! 33 "You nest of poisonous snakes! How will you escape from being sentenced to hell? 34 So I am sending you prophets, wise men, and teachers. You will kill some of them. You will nail some to a cross. Others you will whip in your synagogues. You will chase them from town to town. 35 "So you will pay for all the godly people's blood spilled on earth. I mean from the blood of godly Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berekiah. Zechariah was the one you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 What I'm about to tell you is true. All this will happen to those who are now living 37 "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and throw stones in order to kill those who are sent to you. Many times I have wanted to gather your people together. I have wanted to be like a hen who gathers her chicks under her wings. But you would not let me! 38 Look, your house is left empty 39 I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.' "(Psalm 118:26)
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