Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Matthew 22

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

A king has prepared a great wedding feast. He sends his servants to tell the invited guests it is ready, and they ignore him. Some of them even murder the messenger servants (wtf!). The king then tells his servants to just go get anyone off the street and invite them. But then the king is unhappy with some of the guests, saying they are not dressed well enough for a wedding. So he had them bound and threw them into the darkness where there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth"

So this guy invites a bunch of random people, but when they don't live up to his expectations he throws binds their feet and throws them into harm. This seems unbelievably harsh.  This is what heaven is like? Doesn't sound like a loving God to me.

I'd also like to point out, the king did not tell his servants "Go find anyone dressed nice" or "Go find the best dressed on the street". He said "Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find." Then he is unhappy with some of the people who get invited. The guy who wasn't dressed nice enough, I wonder if he even knew dress was an issue. I really dislike this king. He is supposed to be the God character in this story right?

Paying Taxes to Caesar

The Pharisees want to catch Jesus saying something that will get him thrown in jail (I guess) so they ask him if it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus knows what they are doing, so he asks them whose face is on the coin. They say Caesar's, so he says to give to Caesar things that are Caesar's and give to God things that are God's. They are marveled by what he said and went away.

He outsmarted them I guess. Is there a deeper meaning here that I don't get?

Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection

The Sadducees note that in the old testament, it says if you are married and die without having kids your brother must marry your widow and produce offspring for you. Suppose there was a family with 7 brothers, one gets married and dies with no kids, so the wife goes to the second, they also don't have kids, and so on. The woman winds up being married to all 7. What happens when they get resurrected? Who is she married to?

Jesus responds that there is no marriage in the resurrection, but they are like angels in heaven. He also said that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Is the resurrection supposed to be heaven or is that something else? If it is heaven, does that mean our family ties no longer hold in heaven? This is definitely counter to what I understand to be the standard thought on the matter. I also don't know what it means that he is the God of the living, not the dead. Does that mean that when we die and are in heaven that he is no longer our God at that point? I don't get it.

The Great Commandment

The Pharisees heard that the Sadducees failed at tricking Jesus, so they decided to try be asking which commandment is the greatest. He said love the lord with all your heart, soul, and mind. The rest of the laws of the prophets follow from this.

Whose Son is the Christ?

Jesus asks the Pharisees whose son the Christ is. They say David. He then replies that David called him Lord, and how does it make sense then that he is the father. Everyone was so impressed by this that they didn't dare ask Jesus any more questions.

I don't understand.


  1. The Wedding Feast. I agree with your analysis. It's kind of a "slash and burn" parable. Maybe for some reason this guy wasn't liked at all in town. I mean some people even killed the servants he sent. I guess I'm "missing the point" by asking questions.

    Paying taxes to Cesear. Someone once told me that this might be referring to separation of church and sate, but I am not quite sure.

    Resurrection. I remember hearing growing up that God had dominion over "the living and the dead" (not sure what prayer, but the words are still in my head. It kind of makes you wonder what happens when someone gets to heaven. Do you get divorced? Do married people not go to heaven? I know they are dumb questions, but I wonder what the answer is.

  2. I just reread what I wrote in the resurrection part. It sounds more snarky now than I think I intended. I really think the point is that I simply don't understand the passage.

    Separation of church and state in the bible? That would be nice. I read recently that a good number of churches actually do think there should be the separation. You never know if your religion is going to be the one in power.

  3. While I am not certain on the meaning of that, there are a lot of clergy and church people who are for the separation of church and state working through organizations like Americans United http://www.au.org/ I agree. If every single person had the same belief system, a theocracy wouldn't be as bad of an idea. However, in the real world, we have thousands (probably tens or hundreds of thousands) of different belief systems. I think people of a religious majority tend to forget to think about what it would be like if another religion was the majority from their area and imposed their beliefs on everyone else. I would not want to be of a non muslum or islamic religion in the middle east, or would not talk about it. I often cower away from the subject of religion when someone asks me my beliefs because of the stigma of being an atheist. (something I've slowly been getting better about) Losing sight of this perspective I think makes one forget that the separation is to protect religious liberty.

  4. You don't even need to go as far as different religions, different denominations can be enough. Imagine if a group was in charge who said church services have to take place on saturday.

  5. I'll be putting up a post about the taxes thing this week. In fact, you'll probably see a string of posts following this section, as I am tracing Matthew's Gospel and I'm at this point in the story.

    That point about Jesus being David's son (or, more properly, in David's lineage) has to do with prophesy. The eternal kingdom was promised to be ruled by someone from David's lineage, which is why Matthew and Luke took it upon themselves to include (different) lineages for Jesus tracing Him back to David. Yet this section here appears to be breaking that prophesy. So, yes, it is a bit confusing!


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