A parable – 3 Traps – A question from Jesus

Matthew 22

Continuing Jesus last week. . .battling with religious people (summarized for us – strongholds vs. the cornerstone.
Goal – understand the parable, three questions & not miss what most important!
1 Jesus also told them other parables. He said, 2 “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who
prepared a great wedding feast for his son. 3 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were
invited. But they all refused to come! 4 “So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and
fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ 5 But the guests he had invited ignored
them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 Others seized his messengers and insulted them
and killed them. 7 “The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. 8 And he
said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. 9 Now go out to the
street corners and invite everyone you see.’ 10 So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike,
and the banquet hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who
wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding
clothes?’ But the man had no reply. 13 Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the
outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
1) Who is the king, son, servants, guests, “everyone you see”, man with improper clothes?
King is God. Son is Jesus. Servants are disciples. Guests are OT Jews and their rejection of the Messiah. Everyone you
see are a new set of guests representing disciples of Jesus. Man with improper coat is false disciple (call God’s name out
but don’t really repent and have faith.
2) What did this story represent?
Allegory of Israel’s history.
What is the banquet? Symbolized the great messianic feast that Jews expected to share with the Messiah at the beginning
of his rule.
In verse 5, what did the first guests choose to do rather than come to the banquet? They went to work like a typical day.
Some were antagonistic. Same today. People either don’t care or come after believers. Christians are being martyred
today. When studying this – a person was at a rally reading the bible out loud. Protestors took the bible away from the
young man, tore it in pieces and ATE IT. In the US. Madison, Wisconsin.
What does destroying the town represent? God’s judgement on those that don’t honor/trust Jesus. And possibly the
destruction of the temple in 70AD.
Why did Jesus tell this story? He is continuing to let everyone know who he was. (He told a story like a rabbi does)
What Lesson(s) can we learn from this parable? SLIDE God is very patient but there is an end to the story. Time
is going somewhere. It is linear. You and I are headed somewhere. As opposed to the pagan belief of circular and
meaningless. It does have meaning. And we have choices to make.
15 Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 16
They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know
how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. 17 Now tell us what
you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he
said. “Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin,
20 he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to
Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” 22 His reply amazed them, and they went away.


3) What is going on with this attempted trap?
Again, they are trying to divide and conquer because different people believed different things. And the Romans required
Pharisees and Herodians go together BUT are enemies!! These groups disagree completely about having and using the
Pharisees – up north, separated, did not want to have anything to do with Romans, just wanted to be separate from them.
But split: Shemia – No Hillel – Yes, governments are God ordained.
Supporters of Herod – “Herodians” – it’s ok. I’ve got my religious beliefs but that’s kind of separate. We need to just get
Not there but what would these groups do?
Sadducees – of course. Rome give us lots of stuff.
Essenes – nothing, they wouldn’t be there, they were living in caves away from everyone to stay pure.
Zealots – They would say, “come a little closer so I can see that coin better,” then they’d stab the person (joke.)
So, Jesus is trapped, but: “Show me the coin” They are on the temple mount where Roman money etc wasn’t used –
hence the money changers. Funny that that’s where they were standing and had coins. Rules for thee, not for me.
V17 pay taxes = pay tribute. It was a coin everyone was expected to purchase. Then they passed designated places (sort
of like temples – there are still ruins of the today) they could show the coin, get some incense to >>burn in worship of
“Who’s image? Who’s inscription?” Inscription speaks to the divinity and worship of Caesar as a divine god.
“Worshipped son of a worshipped god” was how they said it.
Jesus; “Whose image and who’s inscription/title is on the coin?
REAL QUESTION: Who’s image and who’s inscription is on you?
Jesus: “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and give to God what belongs to God.”
KJV Render – to give back.
Translation: Give Caesar his stupid coin, but don’t you ever give him your worship. (Mic drop!)
Everyone is challenged by this! Every single group!
Lesson: It challenges us too. SLIDE Jesus’ answer challenges what things we pledge allegiance to. It challenges us
to consider things that become the object of our hope and our dreams. It challenges our trust in an empire other
than God’s.
TABLE TALK question: SLIDE What things besides God do we find ourselves putting our trust in? The objects
of our hopes and dreams?

US government, family, how our sports team is doing, total control of my environment around me – both place and
people, my beliefs – following the rules so everything will be fine, human heroes – what rock starts say.
23 That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from
the dead. They posed this question: 24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the
widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.’ 25 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest
one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. 26 But the second brother also died, and
the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. 27 Last of all, the woman also died. 28 So tell us,
whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.” 29 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you
don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. 30 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor
be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 “But now, as to whether there will be a
resurrection of the dead—haven’t you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had
died, God said 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So, he is the God of the living, not
the dead.” 33 When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching.
Not a big deal to us: Sadducees – did not believe in the bodily resurrection. Pharisees – did. It’s a technical argument.
Logical conundrum about marriages. Bottom line – marriage isn’t an issue in the afterlife. Bottom line – yes to bodily
resurrection – (and a new body thank goodness)
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him
again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most
important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your
heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally
important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these
two commandments.” (v37 quote – Deut. 6:5) (v39 quote – Lev. 19:18)
Expert in religious law, like a lawyer today.
4) Why do you think this particular question was asked, “which is the most important commandment in the law of
The question is: Which has the most weight in scripture? Like before WWII – do you hide Jews from the government?
Here we go again:
Shemia – Love God and keep the sabbath. Longhand way of saying BE OBIEDENT.
Hillel – Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. The weightiest call is the CALL TO LOVE. Jesus agrees!
5) Who is your neighbor?
In Luke 10 same question from expert in the law asks. But he also asks a doozy of a question: SLIDE Who is my
Jesus answer: the parable of the good Samaritan. A very common template used was a priest, a Levite, and a Pharisee.
Priest and Levite would always do it wrong because/to represent that they were bound up in a corrupt system. Pharisee
always does it correctly – of course. Jesus changes story – adds a Samaritan. NOT A NEIGHBOR – hated.
Shemia – neighbor is Jew but not Roman Samaritan – no.
Hillel – neighbor is Jew and Roman (yoke was love) Samaritan – no.
So, Jesus pushed everybody way past their comfort zone – all the way to a Samaritan. Scandolous! The Samaritan in the
story showed both love and obedience. (II Chronicles 24 – Samaritans did this after willing a battle against Judah – so,
Jesus’ based his story in OT scripture)
Slide Who is my neighbor? Everyone!
This is a good self-measure. Is obedience/rules more important to you than people?

Now, Jesus goes on the offensive.
41 Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about the Messiah?
Whose son is he?” They replied, “He is the son of David.” 43 Jesus responded, “Then why does David, speaking under
the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah ‘my Lord’? For David said, 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of
honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’ (quote Ps 110:1) 45 Since David called the
Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” 46 No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask
him any more questions.
Jesus' point was that Messiah was not just David's descendant, but He was God's Son also. This is a point that Matthew
stressed throughout his Gospel. Jesus was bringing together the concepts that SLIDE Messiah was the human son of
David and the divine Son of God. That’s the decision everyone has to make – Is Jesus the Son of God?
God is very patient but there is an end to the story. Time is going somewhere. And we have choices to make.
Jesus challenges us with this question – what or who do we pledge allegiance to?
Whose image and who’s inscription is on you?
Who is my neighbor?
The decision everyone has to make – Is Jesus the Son of God?