The New Testament reading for Tuesday, June 27 is:

Matthew 22

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

22:1 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants [1] to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Paying Taxes to Caesar

15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. [2] 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. [3] 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.

Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection

23 The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, 24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. 26 So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27 After them all, the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”

29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

The Great Commandment

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Whose Son Is the Christ?

41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet’?

45 If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” 46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 22:3 Greek bondservants; also verses 4, 6, 8, 10
[2] 22:16 Greek for you do not look at people's faces
[3] 22:19 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer


English Standard Version: Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

New Testament Pastoral Commentary for Matthew 22
Author: Pastor Zach
This past week at Concordia, we were blessed to have over 1300 children on our campus for our "Crocodile Dock" Vacation Bible School. The good times, the big smiles, and the memorable moments were priceless. Children from all over San Antonio and even beyond learned about God's love for them in Jesus Christ. And not only did we have hundreds of children descending on our campus, we had hundreds of volunteers watching out for these hundreds of children. 668 to be precise. It was a truly great week!

Because we had so many people on campus all at once, we put our highest priority on safety. To that end, we vigorously enforced our hard and fast VBS rule from years past: no nametag, no access. Everyone - and I do mean everyone - had to have a nametag to get in to certain events or do certain things. Even a guest who just wanted to check things out had to be properly registered and accounted for.

In our reading for today from Matthew 22, we read of a monarch who prepares a wedding banquet for his son. He excitedly puts together his guest list, makes his preparations, and then the big day arrives - the day of the feast. But this king's guests respond not only with apathy to his invitations, they respond with hostility and seize the king's servants, who would have delivered the invitations, and even kill them (cf. verse 6).

In this day, to refuse the invitation of a king would have been a heinous offense. Indeed, it was incumbent upon any subject to attend such an event. As the second century BC Jewish book Sirach informs us, "When an influential person invites you... do not be forward, or you may be rebuffed; do not stand aloof, or you will be forgotten" (Sirach 13:9-10). A person was never to "stand aloof" of a king's invitation. But these invitees do exactly that.

Understandably, this king, furious with rage, invites indiscriminately those he knows will come to his feast. He instructs his servants: "'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests" (verses 8-10). I've always loved this line from verse 10 about the kinds of guests who are now invited to this feast: they are both "good and bad." In other words, the social standing, the ritual purity, and the rigor with which these guests pursue their righteousness makes no difference to this king. Everyone is invited.

But, like our VBS, even though everyone is invited, if you're going to be on the campus of this king, you have to have a proper name tag, or, in this case, a proper wedding garment: "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth'" (verses 11-13).

In the ancient world, kings would often provide clothing for feasts and other events such as this one so that guests could be properly dressed (cf. Genesis 45:22, Esther 6:8-9). This most certainly would have been the case in this instance since the king invited the poor from the streets (cf. verse 9). Thus, this man who is rebuffed by the king had the clothes he needed from the king, he simply refused to put them on.

This parable, of course, is a parable about our Sovereign King, God Almighty, and the invitation which he extends to us is to attend the wedding feast of his Son, Jesus Christ. As John writes, "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb" (Revelation 17:9)! And just like in Jesus' parable, our God even gives us the proper clothes to wear: "Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints)" (Revelation 17:8). The question is: Will we receive the invitation and the clothing, or will we reject them? If we reject them, the consequences are devastating. For we will be thrown off of God's heavenly campus and incur God's eternal wrath. But for those who receive the invitation and the gift of God's robe of righteousness, we can count on good times, big smiles, and memorable moments in the eternal kingdom of God. And it will be priceless. I can't wait.