Matthew 22: Weddings, taxes, and important things

For the text of Matthew 22, click here.

The parable of the wedding feast confuses me. I get the comparison about inviting people who don’t come to the feast and getting down to where you’re inviting anyone willing to come and how that also lends to that the Gospel is for everyone and not just the people of Judea, but then there’s the last part. I get the guy without a wedding garment being roughed up a little. I mean, I don’t think all those people traveled with wedding garments. It seems the king had some loaners, especially since the question wasn’t why that person wasn’t wearing one, but how they got in there without it. Were they wearing it and decided to take it off maybe?

I don’t know, but the part that confuses me is the last line. “For many are called, but few were chosen.” This is a wedding hall filled with guests and only one guy was thrown out. It looks like many were called and many were chosen. It’s not as if this king was blocking other people at the door in this story. I just don’t understand.

I found it interesting that the Pharisees again chose to come at Him about the taxes. The last time, Jesus had Peter go fishing and pull the tax from the mouth of the fish but they aren’t looking for taxes this time. This time it’s about whether it’s lawful to pay taxes. Jesus just seems frustrated by them this time, especially because He calls them hypocrites here. He makes the point that this money belongs to Caesar and give it back to him, but “to God the things that are God’s.” I see that as souls. Remember to give your soul to God and do as He asks and give the money to Caesar if he wants it.

Next the Sadducees come to Jesus, asking questions. This one is about what happens “in the resurrection” between people who had multiple spouses, particularly when having been widowed. Jesus dismisses the idea that there is no marriage in the resurrection and that they will be like angels. For me, this just raises so many more questions.

Later, they team up with the Pharisees and asked another question, this one with a famous answer. They asked which commandment was the most important or greatest and Jesus gives an interesting answer:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:37-40

The first commandment comes first, why would anyone even want to be in heaven with God if they don’t love Him? And then the second. But the great part is the last part. He includes that these two things basically summarize all the others. They are the foundation of “all the Law and the Prophets.” Pay attention to the “Law” and the “Prophets”. We have a tendency to remember the Law and forget the Prophets, even when arguing that we aren’t beholden to it. It’s not about two fabrics or eating shrimp, it’s about loving your neighbor, being good to people and not trying to constantly get over on everyone. But God first.

Then He has a question for them. He’s trying again to make them admit who He is and again they shy away from it. The question refers back to Psalm 110 and David calling the Christ “Lord” there.

For downloadable study guides, click here.

Chapter links go to the ESV translations at but I’m reading from the ESV Global Study Bible, which is available for free on the Kindle Reading App.

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