Matthew 22:1-40 Comments by Stephen Ricker
one tidbit at a time read & study work the soil kind & courteous be serious about books the lion king stay connected to now dig in deep CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
Comments for Study 27

Matthew 22:1-40
Memory Verse: 2


Passion Week Events

* Jesus was teaching in the temple just before the Passover. A time line is as follows.
    Friday -Jesus arrives in the Jerusalem area. (John 11:54-12:1)
    Saturday (Sabbath) -a day of rest; no event recorded except Luke 21:37-38.
    Sunday -Jesus' triumphal entry. (Matt. 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19)
    Monday -Jesus curses the fig tree (Matt. 21:18-19; Mark 11:12-14). Jesus clears out the Temple. (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18)
    Tuesday -Jesus' authority questioned. (Matt. 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:18) Jesus teaches in the temple. (Matt. 21:28-22:46; Mark 12:1-44; Luke 20:9-21:4) Jesus wept over Jerusalem's leader's unbelief and rejecting him as their King. (Matthew 23:1-39) Jesus anointed at Bethany. (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 13:3-9; John 12:2-11)
    Wednesday -another day of rest; no event recorded except Luke 21:37-38. The Jews plot to kill Jesus. (Matt. 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6)
    Thursday (Hebrew month Abib the 13th day) -the Passover meal begins at twilight (see below note) when Jesus and the disciples celebrate the Last Supper. (Matt. 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; John 13:1-18) Jesus comforts the disciples (John 14:1-16:33) Jesus prays at Gethsemane. (Matt. 26:26-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46)
    Friday (Hebrew month Abib, 14 day) -According Hebrew time Jesus is arrest and tried from night to daylight. (Matt. 26:47-27:26; Mark 14:43-15:15; Luke 22:47-23:25; John 18:2-19:16) Jesus' crucifixion at 3:00pm, and death before sunset which is the end of the Hebrew day and Passover. (Matt. 27:27-56; Mark 15:16-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-30) Jesus is buried at sunset. (Matt. 27:57-66; mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42)
    Saturday (Sabbath Abib 15, Seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread begins) Jesus' body is in the tomb. He appears in Sheol and accompanies the saints previously dead to heaven.
    Sunday (Abib 16; day of First Fruits Sheaf Wave) Jesus' morning resurrection and appearing to the women. (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18) Then he appeared to the two on the road. (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35) Then to the ten apostles (no Thomas or Judas) in the evening. (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25)
    Saturday (Sabbath) -Jesus appears to Thomas and the rest of the apostles. (John 20:26-31)
    A week later -Jesus talks and eats with some disciples by the Sea of Galilee. (John 21:1-25)
    Forty days since his resurrection -Jesus ascends to his Father from the Mount of Olives. (Matt. 28:15-20; Mark 18:19-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:1-11)

* Note: The Passover is linked to the 14th days of the month not the day of the week. Passover starting on Thursday at twilight is a very rare event; unusually it starts on a different day of the week. (Hebrew days start at sunset/twilight and go through the night till the next day's sunset.) Falling on a Thursday that year made it possible for Jesus to fulfill the meaning behind the feasts associated with the Passover. His crucified was on Friday (still Passover), the Sabbath (Saturday) rest was the Feast of Unleavened Bread (always on the first Sabbath after Passover), and Sunday was the third day since his death, the day of the First Fruit Sheaf Wave, and the day that Jesus rose from the dead. All three feasts were thus fulfilled by Jesus.

I. Come to the Wedding Banquet (1-14)

>1. To what does Jesus compare the kingdom of heaven? (1-2)

* "Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.'" (1-2)

* "again in parables" -This is similar to, but not the same teaching as Luke 14:16-24.

* "The kingdom of heaven" -Jesus used the custom of the kings in those days to make his point. Jesus uses a parable, also called a similitude. He is using a human kingdom to help explain God's kingdom. See previous studies for more on the kingdom of heaven.

* "is like a king who prepared" -The kingdom of heaven is not only a place, but it is God himself and the work of his hands.

* "a wedding banquet" -In the days of Jesus, for the Jew, a wedding was one of the few bright and joyful times in a person's life. The occupied Jewish nation found little to be joyous about. A wedding was one of those joyful events.

* Kings spend a lot of time and money preparing for a wedding banquet.

* No bride is mentioned in Jesus' parable. I mentioned the bride only as a backdrop. Israel was God's first bride. However, because of continual unfaithfulness he divorced her before they were married. (Jeremiah 3:8) He did not divorce Judah, the southern kingdom. Those who accept Jesus as the Savior and Lord since Israel rejected him (since his first coming) are his bride. Those who believe to the end will be his bride during the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

>What does this tell us about the heavenly kingdom? (cf. Isa. 61:10; 62:5)

* "like a wedding banquet" -The parable is about the heavenly kingdom, and more correctly about when heaven's King Jesus will come down to earth again and rule during the Messianic (Millennium) rule for one thousand years. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a wedding, a very joyous and festive place. God wants to share his joy with us.

* "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priests, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." (Isa. 61:10)

* "As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you." (Isa. 62:5)

* John 15:9-11 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."

* 1 Thessalonians 1:6 "You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit."

* Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

* 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy."

>Who is the king?

* "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come." (2-3)

* "king" -The Lord God is the king. 1 Samuel 8:7 states the Lord is Israel's rejected King. "And the Lord told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king."

>The son?

* "for his son" -The son is Jesus.

* John 1:18 "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (begotten Son), who is at the Father's side, has made him known."

* John 1:34 records John the Baptist saying of Jesus, "I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."

* Hebrews 1:2-3 "but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

* Hebrews 1:8-9 "But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."

>The invited quests?

* "to those who had been invited" -The invited guests were the Israelites. In the custom of the time it was proper to send an invitation and then, when the wedding time was almost present, to send servants to bring the invited guests to the banquet.

* John 3:29 records John the Baptist saying when he saw Jesus, "The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete."

* Israel's treatment of John the Baptist, Stephen, and James shows the nature of their rejection.

>The servants?

* "he sent out his servants" -The prophets and apostles were the servants sent out. (11:28; Rev. 3:20) Many say John the Baptist was the last prophet. Though the book of Acts and the Apostles letters records more.

>What can we learn about God? (cf. Isa. 55:1; Jn. 7:37; Mt. 11:28; Rev. 3:20)

* "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.'" (Isa. 55:1)

* "On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.'" (Jn. 7:37)

* "'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.'" (Mt. 11:28)

* "'Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.'" (Rev. 3:20)

* The greatest thing and the key point of heaven is having joyous fellowship with God.

* All are invited to heaven where there is a great feast. But only a few come.

* Why does God invite everyone? Because he love his Son. Everything he does is for the Son. God desires the glory of the Son.

>2. How did the invited quests respond? (3b)

* "but they refused to come." -Even though this was a special wedding they refused. The deliberate refusal must have hurt and offend the king who invited them in love.

>What did the king do instead of punishing the rebels? (4)

* "'Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.''" (4)

* "I have prepared my dinner" -God is long suffering. He could have punished them right away. He endured their rejection and described to them the delicious food that he was preparing for the feast to come. Jesus is a full display of God's long suffering. He endured the Jewish leaders continual rejection of his invitation.

* "my oxen and fattened calf" -The kings ozen and calf were the best, most tender meats.

* Being long suffering is different than being patience. Being patient is easier then being long suffering for one who is long suffering can do something about the situation. One who is patient cannot do anything about the situation.

>How did they treat his urgent invitation?

* "'But they paid no attention and went off-one to his field, another to his business.'" (5)

* "paid no attention" -The religious leaders did not listen to Jesus' messages. They only tired to find ways to discredit him. They also did not listen to the prophets.

>With what were some occupied?

* Some were occupied with their field, others were occupied with their business.

* These people had wrong priorities. Yet the real reason was not expressed. Anyone would want to go to a king's wedding, except if he was a enemy. "They refused" shows that tehy were giving more than just good reasons they were giving excuses. In their hearts they had a bad attitude. They had no love nor fear for the king.

>How did some treat the servants? (6)

* "'The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.'" (6)

* The people were offended by the servant's persistence. Yet the servants kept coming.

>3. How did the king respond?

* "'The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.'" (7)

* Continual rejection of God's loving invitation cannot be forgiven. This is blaspheme of the Holy Spirit.

* "his army" -The Roman's became the army of God against those who rejected him just as Babylon was the army of God.

* "destroyed those murderers" -The Romans killed 1.1 million Jews in 70 A.D.

* "burned their city" -Vespasian's son, Titus lead the siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Titus (Emperor from 79-81 A.D.) eventually wiped out the last remnants of Jewish resistance. By the summer of 70 A.D., the Romans had breached the walls of Jerusalem, ransacking and burning nearly the entire city. The temple, renovated by Herod was destroyed in July 70 A.D. Tacitus, a historian of the time, notes that those who were besieged in Jerusalem amounted to no fewer than six hundred thousand, that men and women alike and every age engaged in armed resistance, everyone who could pick up a weapon did, both sexes showed equal determination, preferring death to a life that involved expulsion from their country. All three walls were destroyed and in turn so was the Temple, some of whose overturned stones and their place of impact can still be seen. The famous Arch of Titus still stands in Rome: it depicts Roman legionaries carrying the Temple of Jerusalem's treasuries, including the Menorah, during Titus's triumphal procession in Rome.

>What does this parable show about the hardness of sinful man?

* Indifferent deliberate rejection of God's love.

>About God's love?

* God is patient and long suffering.

* God knows when someone will not accept his call. So he lets them have what they want, complete absence of him in their existence. The flesh is destroyed and they are cast in hell.

>What are the consequences of rejecting God's love?

* Judgement and punishment.

* We should never take God's invitation lightly.

* The gospel is a two fold message: his love, and his judgement to come. A study of Acts and the apostle's letters reveals this too.

>Why do people refuse God's invitation?

* They are attached to the world.

* They doubt his love and affection. They don't trust him.

* Man's sinful heart is a tendency to sin.

* John 3:18-21 records Jesus saying, "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

>4. Read verses 8-10. When the invited guests refused the king's invitation so rudely, what did he do?

* "'Then he said to 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 our into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.'" (8-10)

* God did not cancel the banquet. His plan for mankind is not given up on. He has a plan and he sticks to it.

* God is King then, now, and forever. Just because the invited guest rejected the invitation of the King did not make the King a non-king.

* God invited more for his son's sake.

* God is sovereign. If a person rejects he will find someone to take his place. God does what is ever please to him and his Son, Jesus.

* When one door is closed God can easily open many more. God always completes his plans.

>Who do these "uninvited" guests represent?

* "Go to the street corner" -The people who stood on the street corner were not royal or respectable people. In reality they are the gentiles, tax collectors, prostitutes, and common sinners.

* "so the servants went out into the streets" -Paul always preached to the Jews first. When they rejected he went to the gentiles. (Rom. 1:5)

* We are not worthy. Only because the Jews rejected could the gentiles receive. Romans 11:11 states, "Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious."

* We are following the apostles footsteps and invited people to the wedding through the preaching of the gospel. We are obeying Jesus world mission command.

>How does this reveal God's unmerited grace?

* "fill the hall" -We need the attitude that the wedding hall needs to be filled up. God is waiting for the hall to be filled up.

* They had done nothing to be invited.

* Anybody and everybody is invited. It does not matter the race, age, gender, past sins, occupation, social status, wealth, height, weight, health, or language spoken.

* At this point of the message the religious leaders listening were probably very made because Jesus was saying the gentiles and sinners were being invited to God's banquet.

>5. What unpleasant thing happened during the feast?

* "'But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.'" (11)

* The natural thought is that the parable could stop at verse 11, but Jesus has a message for us too. He teaches the nature of being in the kingdom.

* "when the king came in to see the guests" -Jesus will examine each of those who accept the call to the wedding. He examines our life.

* "not wearing wedding clothes" -When the people from the street corner, they are poor. The servants pass out wedding garment that we must put on.

* The one condition is that we need to be wearing white clothes. Jesus washed his disciples feet during the last supper. He said to Peter,"Unless I wash you you will have no part of me." (John 13:8)

* The man did not put on the clothes that was provided for him. He refused. He was there in body, but not in spirit. His heart was not in it.

>What did the king say to the man?

* "''Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.'" (12)

* His clothes could not be washed any more. It was to late

>What was his responses?

* He was speechless.

* People who will have not accepted Jesus' death and resurrection for the forgiveness of their sins and lived of life of obedient faith thereafter will have nothing to say.

>What did the king do?

* "'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 the teeth.'" (13)

* "weeping and gnashing of the teeth" -Jesus often stated this.

* Luke 13:24-25 records Jesus saying, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'"

* Hebrews 4:11 states, "Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience."

* 2 Peter 1:5-9 states, "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is near-sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins."

* 2 Peter 3:14-15 states, "So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him."

>What do the wedding clothes represent? (cf. Rom. 13:14; Rev. 19:7-8; 1 Cor. 1:30)

* "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.'" (Rom. 13:14)

* "'Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready, Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.' (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) (Rev. 19:7,8)

* "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption," (1 Cor. 1:30)

* Revelation 7:14b states, "..they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

* Revelation 3:4-5 "Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels."

* Revelation 3:18 "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."

* Revelation 6:11 "Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed."

* Revelation 19:14 "The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean."

* God provides the clothing. We have to accept it and wear it. The point is we must enter on God's terms. God's terms is being made pure by the blood of Jesus and staying pure.

* See also Eph. 6: 10-17, Rom. 13:14, and 1 Cor. 1:30.

>6. What is the destiny of those who reject or take lightly God's invitation to his heavenly kingdom? (13)

* "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.'.'" (13)

* Hell, "where the fire never goes out."

* "darkness" -No light. Light is often the symbol of the presence of God.

* Some may think that God is not in this world. It is true that sin and the effects of sin are in the world. However, "the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isa. 6:3)

>What does verse 14 mean?

* "For many are invited, but few are chosen." (14)

* God invites all people to come but only those who prepare themselves by being washed in the blood of Jesus will be let in heaven.

* God chooses. He invites all. Yet his sovereign choice is made. He has a standard, and the standard is perfection.

* We must accept the king's invitation and we must come on the king's terms.

* For more on this please read the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope That Inspries.

II. What is Caesar's, What is God's (15-22)

>7. Why and how did the Pharisees flatter Jesus?

* "Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. 'Teacher,' they said, 'we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.'" (15-16)

* They tried to trap him.

* "Pharisees" -The prominate Jewish leaders in charge of the synagogues and most liked by the people.

* "Herodians" -A Jewish political party who enjoyed and supported the reign Herod's family. They welcomed the things of Rome that he brought to Palestine.

* Romans 16:18 states, "For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people."

* Praise and flattery are different. Praise is honest stating the facts. Flattery is meant to be used against someone and for selfish gain.

* "pay no attention to who they are" -The one thing that irritated them the most.

>How did they try to trap him?

* "'Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?'" (17)

* "taxes" -The taxes Rome exacted from Judea was high.

>Why was this a trap?

* "But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?" (18)

* The Herodians were there because if Jesus said we shouldn't pay taxes they would have him arrested immediately. If he said don't pay taxes then they could take him to the Roman leaders and say he was teaching rebellion to Rome.

* The Pharisees were there because if Jesus said pay the taxes then they would tell everyone that he was for the support of Rome. The Jews believed that the Messiah would come and force the Roman occupies out, not support them. If he said pay taxes the people wouldn't like it because they didn't like Rome and paying taxes to them.

* "hypocrites" -Jesus knew flattery and called them publicly on it.

>How did Jesus answer?

* "Show me the coin used for paying the tax.' They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, 'Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?' 'Caesar's,' they replied. Then he said to them, 'Give to Caesar what is Caesure's, and to God what is God's!' When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away." (19-22)

* "show me the coin" -Jesus did not carry the money. Judas was in charge of the purse that carried the money. (John 12:6)

* First, Jesus rebuked them very publicly and verbally since the challenge came publicly and verbally. Jesus reaction the them must have made a big impact for they were in the temple, "the territory" of the priests.

* Second, Jesus taught them truth. He not only answered their question, he answered it in a way to teach God's truth.

>What does his answer teach us about our citizenship in two kingdoms? (cf. 1 Pet. 2:17)

* "Show proper respect to everyone; Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king." (1 Peter 2:17)

* We are obligated to both. We should pay taxes and obey the laws of the land. The first priority and laws to follow are God's laws. Our direction is not one or the other, but both. However, when man's laws go against God's laws, God's laws must be obeyed over man's laws.

* 1 Peter 2:13-17 "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king."

* "Give to God what is God's" -The Bible repeats, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind."

III. Our God is the God of the Living (23-40)

>8. What was the main point of the Sadducees' question?

* "That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. "Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?" (23-28)

* Who will this women be married to in heaven.

* "Sadducees" -The Sadducees were Jews who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, the spiritual world, or God's judgement. They only believed in the here and now. They only believed in the first five books of the Bible were God inspired. They consisted of the Levites. The Levites were in charge the sacrifices and the temple area. They were basically humanists who believed in living a good life was the most profitable. They considered themselves purest of God's law which was shown by God choosing them to serve in his temple.

* since this was the Week of Unleavened Bread, also called the Passover, many of the Sadducees would have been very busy with many sacrifices. However, there were so many Levites during Jesus' lifetime that not all were needed to serve at the same time. Some would have had free times.

* "Teacher" -"Didaskalos" in Greek. Rabbi was the common Hebrew term.

* The question that they asked Jesus is a common one that they asked all the Pharisees even though the practice had all but disappeared by Jesus' time. They considered this a definite example of how the resurrection and the law of Moses conflicted.

* "Moses told us" -Duet. 25:5-6 says, "If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband's brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel."

* "must marry" -A strange choice of words since the practice had all but disappeared from use.

* Their story sounds like a very sad soap opera and a Greek tragedy of grave proportions.

>Their reason for asking it?

* They wanted to trap Jesus with what they considered a locked tight argument. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection nor the spiritual world. Their thinking came from the wrong believe that the resurrection body would be the same as the ones we have here, and even if there was a heavenly life, it would be just an extension of this life. So they believed that if the teaching about the resurrection was true it would be little different than the hear and now.

>What does this reveal about their inner lives? (cf. Rom. 8:5-6)

* "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." (Rom 8:5-6)

* Life without hope in the resurrection of the dead is to live in fear of death. A person who does so become very selfish.

* They lived in the dark and sad world.

* Those who do not have the hope of resurrection only has hope of things in this world. The mind focuses on this world and self. Such a person loses the need for God.

* Colossians 3:1-4 "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

>9. According to Jesus' answer, what were their two basic errors about God and his kingdom?

* "Jesus replied, 'You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.'" (29)

* "You are in error" -Jesus didn't sugar coat his answer.

* "because" -Jesus explained their error.

* 1) They didn't now the scriptures which records the mind of God. God is all powerful. God can raise the dead. Nothing is beyond his power.

* 2) The kingdom of God is not like this world.

>What does Jesus say about God?

* "'At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead-have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' He is not the God of the dead but of the living.'" (30-32)

* Jesus went back to Genesis to answer them. He used the part of the Bible that they believed in.

* "neither marry nor be given in marriage" -At the resurrection all will be united with Christ as a husband and wife are united, and even better.

* Ephesians 5:29-33 states, "After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

>Why is this important?

* If we only live then die then we should live for good things in this life.

* 1 Corinthians 15:12-17 is just part of a wonderful chapter that teaches about the resurrection. It says, "But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins."

>10. Read verses 34-40. How did Jesus answer the man who asked him about the greatest commandment?

* "Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied: ''Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as your self.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'" (34-40)

* "Hearing that silenced the Sadducees" -The Sadducees could not answer Jesus teaching. This delighted the Pharisees who considered the Sadducees their spiritual and political enemy.

* "an expert in the law" -They brought their champion against Jesus. This is like David and Goliath.

* Mark 12:28-34 could be the same event.

* "testing him" -Almost all of the religious leaders considered themselves far superior to Jesus. They thought their Jewish seminary degree made them better and more able spiritual shepherds (pastors in Latin) than the average lay person. They loved the sound of their voices and spoke on and on, never listened to others who did not have their degree.

* The definition of "stiff-necks" is a person who looks down upon other people. Jesus called the religious leaders stiff-necked.

>What does this teach about what God expects of us?

* Love God, know God.

* Love our neighbor as he loves us.

* Love is one of the important commandment Jesus gave the church.