Matthew 22:34-40 The Greatest Commandments

What is the greatest commandment?

What is the greatest commandment?

Jesus is still in the temple in Jerusalem. He has been confronted by so many different challenges and challengers, but He has bested them all. The Pharisees try once again. They have just watched the Sadducees get knocked out.

The Pharisees have just watched Jesus best the Sadducees, so they prepare for their final round. They send their best lawyer up to bat. And of course he chooses a question of law. He doesn’t even try to flatter Jesus like the Pharisees disciples and Herodians did. He gets right to the point.

“Which is the greatest commandment?” I wonder if he had one in mind when he asked the question. Read more »

Matthew 22:23-33 Whose Wife is She?

Seven brothers, one bride

Seven brothers, one bride

Jesus is still in the temple in Jerusalem. He has bested the chief priests, the Pharisees, the Pharisees disciples and the Herodians. Next up are the Sadducees. They are all giving it their best shot to trap or discredit Jesus in front of the people. They are failing miserably!

The Sadducees come at Jesus with a question they don’t even have a foundational basis for. They have no belief in life after this life and no foundational understanding for anything connected with it. But the resurrection is what they choose to base their question on. Why did they choose this topic? Why didn’t they choose something that they knew well and hope to out argue Jesus? Were they posing this scenario in hopes of trying to illustrate how absurd the concept of the afterlife is? I doubt they expected a logical answer. Read more »

Matthew 22:15-22 Taxes to Caesar

To Caesar what it Caesar's

To Caesar what it Caesar’s

Jesus is still in the temple in Jerusalem. The chief priests and Pharisees have withdrawn from the confrontation. But that doesn’t end the schemes of the Pharisees. Not wanting to have another direct confrontation with Jesus, the Pharisees send their own disciples and a group of Herodians.

I wondered who the Herodians were so I Googoled them. Got Answers.com gave me information on the all the ruling bodies in Jesus time; the Herodians, Pharisees and Sadducees. I invite you to check out what I found if you are interested too. The three groups didn’t agree on a lot of points, but the one thing they had in common was that they wanted Jesus dead. Read more »

Matthew 22:1-14 The Wedding Feast

 

Many are called, few are chosen

Many are called, few are chosen

Jesus is still in the temple in Jerusalem confronting the chief priests and Pharisees. We are in His last week this side of the grave. He is pushing all their buttons to bring them to the place where He needs them to be. Willing to kill Him on His schedule. Ready for round four?

Jesus uses another parable to illustrate God’s relationship with Israel. This time it is about a king and his wedding feast for his son. A definite parallel to God and His wedding feast for His Son. This one will send the Pharisees back to their corner to make a new plan.

The king in our story has prepared a feast for his son. The king sent word to all those whom he wanted in attendance that they were to be ready to come on the date and time of his choosing. This was a select group that he chose to honor with his invitation. The king hadn’t set a concrete date but he had instructed the invited guests to be watching and listening, as preparations were sure to take place well in advance of the actual wedding feast day. Read more »

Matthew 21:33-46 The Wicked Tenants

The Master carefully prepared the vineyard

The Master carefully prepared the vineyard

We are continuing on with Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem. He is still addressing the chief priests who came to challenge His authority. Are you ready for round three? I think we all know who is going to win this one too.

Jesus uses another parable today in His battle. This one is about a landowner and his tenants. Jesus’ story starts out with the master of the house making preparations. The master didn’t simply lease out a piece of land and wait and see what the tenant would do with it, but he cultivated and tended a vineyard until it was productive. He dug ditches around the vineyard to create an irrigation system and a barrier to predators. He built a watchtower to protect it from any enemies. This was a carefully tended and established piece of property. A lot of planning and care went into making this vineyard profitable. Read more »