1 Jesus again spoke in parables to them [i.e., the Jewish leaders], saying, 2 "The kingdom of heaven is similar to a certain king who held a wedding reception for his son. 3 He sent his servants out to call those who had been invited to the wedding reception, but they refused to come. 4 Again he sent out other servants saying, 'Tell those who were invited, look, I have already prepared the dinner; my cattle and [other] well-fattened animals have been butchered and everything is ready. [Now] come to the wedding reception dinner.'
5 But they made fun of it, and went on about their business, one to his farm, another to his store. 6 But the rest of them grabbed his servants, physically abused them and [finally] killed them. 7 The king became furious and sent his army to destroy these murderers and burn their city.
8 Then he told his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited to it [proved they] were not worthy [to attend]. 9 Now go to the main crossroads of the highways and invite everyone you find there to the wedding reception.' 10 So, his servants went out to the highways and gathered in all those who could be found, both bad and good, so that the wedding [reception] was full of guests. 11 But when the king came in [to the dining hall] to meet the guests, he noticed a man who was not wearing a [proper] wedding outfit. 12 He said to the man, 'Friend, how did you get in here without wearing the proper wedding outfit?' And he could not say a word.
13 Then the king said to his servants, 'Tie him up, hand and foot, and throw him into [a place of] outer darkness where there will be crying and excruciating pain.'
14 For many people are called [by God] but [only those] few [who respond] are chosen [by Him]."
15 Then the Pharisees conspired as to how they could trap Jesus by what He said. 16 So, they sent their disciples, [along] with the Herodians to Him [Note: These were members of a political party favoring King Herod], saying, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and that you teach the truth about God's way. You do not care for [i.e., do not fear or give in to] anyone or allow the position of any person to influence you. 17 So, tell us what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
18 But Jesus perceived their wicked intention and said, "Why are you putting me to a test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used for paying taxes." And they brought to Him a coin [Note: This coin was equivalent to one day of a farm laborer's pay, or about $60-$84 in 1994]. 20 He said to them, "Whose image and inscription are on this coin?"
21 They answered Him, "Caesar's." Then He replied, "Pay to Caesar whatever belongs to Caesar and pay to God whatever belongs to God." 22 And when they heard this, they marveled; then left Him and went away.
23 Some Sadducees [Note: These were the Jewish party that denied there was a resurrection] came to Jesus that day and asked Him, 24 "Teacher, Moses said [in Deut. 25:5] that when a man dies without having had any children, his brother must marry his widow and father children by her, who would [then] be considered his [dead] brother's. 25 Now among our people there were [these] seven brothers; the first one married and [later] died without having any children, leaving his widow to [marry] his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and the third and [on through to] the seventh [brother]. 27 And after they all died, the woman [also] passed away. 28 Now whose wife will she be in the resurrected state, since all seven of them were married to her?"
29 But Jesus answered them, "You are mistaken [in your reasoning], not knowing [what] the Scriptures [teach] or [how much] power God has. 30 For in the resurrected state men do not get married, nor are women given away in marriage, but [all] are like angels in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what God spoke to you, saying, [Ex. 3:6] 32 I am Abraham's God, and Isaac's God and Jacob's God.' [So], He is not God to those who are [physically] dead, but [He is] God to those who are [still] alive."
33 And when the crowds heard this they were astounded at His teaching.
34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced [the objections of] the Sadducees, they gathered together [i.e., to continue plotting against Jesus. See verse 15]. 35 One of them, a teacher of the law of Moses, asked Him a question [in an attempt] to test Him. 36 "Teacher, which one is the greatest commandment in the law of Moses?" he asked.
37 Jesus replied, [Deut. 6:5] "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the foremost and greatest commandment. 39 A second one, similar to it is [Lev. 19:18], 'You must love your neighbor the same way that you love yourself.' 40 The entire law of Moses and the prophets hinge on these two commandments."
41 Now while the Pharisees were assembled together, Jesus asked them this question, 42 "What do you think about the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]? Whose son do you think He is?" They replied, "[He is] the son of David."
43 He said to them, "How is it [then] that David, by [inspiration of] the Holy Spirit, calls Him Lord, saying,
44 [Psa. 110:1] 'The Lord [i.e., God] said to my [i.e., David's] Lord [i.e., Jesus], sit at my right side until I put your enemies [in full subjection] beneath your feet.'
45 If David then could call Him [i.e., Jesus] Lord, how could He be his son?" 46 No one was able to answer [Jesus' reasoning] with [so much as] a word, and no one dared to ask Him any more questions from that day onward.