1 Jesus spoke to them using more illustrated stories.
2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who organized a wedding celebration for his son,” Jesus explained.
3 “He sent out his servants to everyone who was invited to the wedding to tell them to come, but they refused.
4 So he sent out more servants, with the instructions, ‘Tell those who are invited that I've prepared the wedding banquet. The bulls and fattened calves have been killed—everything's ready. So come to the wedding!’
5 But they ignored the invitation and left. One went to his fields; another to take care of his business.
6 The rest grabbed the king's servants, mistreated them, and killed them.
7 The king became furious. He sent his soldiers to destroy those murderers and burn down their town.
8 Then the king said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those who were invited didn't deserve to attend.
9 Go into the streets and invite everyone you find to come to the wedding.’
10 So the servants went out into the streets and brought back everyone they could find, both the good and the bad. The wedding hall was full.
11 But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who didn't have a wedding robe on.
12 He asked him, ‘My friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ The man had nothing to say.
13 Then the king told his servants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and throw him out into the dark, where there'll be crying and grinding of teeth.’
14 For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
15 Then the Pharisees left and met together to plot how they could trap him by what he said.
16 They sent their disciples to him, together with some of Herod's supporters.
“Teacher, we know you are a honest man, and that you teach God's way is the truth,” they began. “You don't allow yourself to be influenced by anyone, and you don't care about rank or status.
17 So let us know your opinion. Is it right to pay Caesar's taxes, or not?”
18 Jesus knew their motives were evil. He asked them, “Why are you trying to trap me, you hypocrites?
19 Show me the coin that is used to pay the tax.” They brought a denarius coin to him.
20 “Whose image and whose title is inscribed here?” he asked them.
21 “Caesar's,” they replied.
“You should give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God,” he told them.
22 When they heard Jesus' answer they were stunned. They went away and left him.
23 Later the same day some Sadducees came to see him. (They are the ones who say there's no resurrection.)
24 They asked him, “Teacher, Moses said that if a married man dies without having children, his brother should marry his widow and have children on behalf of his brother.
25 Well, once there were seven brothers here with us. The first married, and died, and since he had no children he left his widow to his brother.
26 The same thing happened to the second and third husband, right up to the seventh.
27 In the end the woman died too.
28 So when the resurrection takes place, whose wife of the seven brothers will she be, for she married all of them?”
29 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is you don't know Scripture or what God can do.
30 For in the resurrection people don't marry, and they aren't given in marriage either—they're like the angels in heaven.
31 As for the resurrection of the dead—haven't you read what God said to you,
32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He's not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
33 When the crowds heard what he said, they were amazed at his teaching.
34 When the Pharisees heard that he'd left the Sadducees speechless, they got together and went to ask some more questions.
35 One of them, who was a legal expert, asked him a question to try to trap him:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus told them, “ ‘Love the Lord your God in all you think, in all you feel, and in all you do.’
38 This is the greatest commandment, the first commandment.
39 The second is just like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All biblical law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
41 While the Pharisees were gathered there, Jesus asked them a question.
42 “What do you think about the Messiah?” he asked. “Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied.
43 “But how can David under inspiration call him ‘Lord’?” Jesus asked them. “He says,
44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit down at my right hand until I defeat all your enemies.’
45 If David called him Lord, how can he be his son?”
46 Nobody could answer him, and from then on nobody dared to ask him any more questions.