(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
The Parable of the Wedding Feast
- And answering, Jesus again spoke to them in parables, saying:
- “The kingdom of the heavens may be compared to a man – a king – who prepared a wedding feast for his son.
- “And he sent his slaves to call the men who have been invited to the wedding feast, and they weren’t willing to come.
- “Again, he sent other slaves, saying: “Tell the men who have been invited: “behold, I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”
- “But having not cared, they departed: one to his own farm, and another to his business.
- “And having seized his slaves, the rest spitefully injured and killed them.
- “And the king was enraged. And having sent his armies, he destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
- “Then he says to his slaves: “The wedding feast is indeed ready, but the men who have been invited weren’t worthy.
- “Therefore, travel on the highways and roads, and invite as many as you find to the wedding feast.
- “And having gone out to the roads, those slaves gathered everyone: whoever they found – both evil and good – and the wedding feast was filled with the men who recline at the table.
- “And having entered to observe the men who recline at the table, the king saw a man there not *dressed in wedding clothes.
- “And he says to him: “Friend,1“Friend” this Greek word is only used three times on the Bible. All of them are in Matthew, and all are in the sense of a false friend. One lexicon says it refers to someone posing as a friend, but who really has their own interests in mind. how did you enter here without having wedding clothes?” But he was speechless.
- “Then the king told his servants: “Having bound his hands and feet, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
- “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Paying Caesar’s tax
- Then having left, the Pharisees held a council on how they might trap Him in a word.
- And they send their disciples to Him, along with Herod’s supporters, saying: “Teacher, we *know that you are true and you teach the way of God in truth. And you don’t worry about anyone, for you don’t look at the appearance of men.
- “Therefore tell us what you think: Is it lawful to pay the poll tax2A “poll tax” (also called a “head tax or “capitation”) is a tax on every liable individual in a nation. This specific tax was paid yearly, and could only be paid in Roman money, not Jewish money. to Caesar, or not?
- But having known their wickedness, Jesus said: “You hypocrites; Why do you test Me?
- “Show Me the coin used for the poll tax.” And they brought Him a denarius.
- And He says to them: “Whose image is this, and whose inscription?”
- They tell him: “Caesar’s.” Then He tells them: “Therefore, repay the things of Caesar to Caesar, and the things of God to God.”
- And having heard this, they marveled. And having left Him, they departed.
Marriage in the Resurrection
- On that same day, some Sadducees (who say there isn’t to be a resurrection) approached Him and questioned Him,
- saying: “Teacher, Moses said that If any man dies without having children, his brother shall marry his wife, and he shall raise up seed for his brother.”3Quotation/allusion to Deuteronomy 25:5
- “Now, seven brothers were among us, and the first died after he married. And not having seed, he left his wife to his brother.
- “And the second did the same thing, and the third, until the seventh.
- “Then last of all, the woman died.
- “Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven? For all had her.”
- And answering, Jesus told them: “You go astray, not *knowing the scriptures nor the power of God.
- “For in the resurrection, they don’t marry nor are they given in marriage: but they are like the angels of God in heaven.
- “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, didn’t you read what was spoken to you by God, saying:
- “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”4Quotation/allusion to Exodus 3:6 He isn’t the God of the dead, but of the living.”
- And having heard this, the crowds were stunned at His teaching.
The Greatest Commandment
- And the Pharisees – having heard that He silenced the Sadducees – were gathered together at the same place.
- And testing Him, one of their lawyers questioned Him, saying:
- “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
- And He was declaring to him: “You shall ^love the Lord your God in your whole heart, and in your whole soul, and in your whole mind.5Quotation/allusion to Deuteronomy 6:5
- “This is the great and foremost commandment,
- “and the second is similar to it: You shall ^love your neighbor as yourself.6Quotation/allusion to Leviticus 19:18
- “The whole law hangs on these two commandments, and the prophets do also.”
Whose Son is The Anointed?
- And while the Pharisees were *gathered together, Jesus questioned them,
- saying: “What do you think about the Anointed? Whose son is He?” They tell Him: “David’s.”
- He says to them: “Then how does David call Him Lord while in the Spirit, saying:
- “The Lord said to my Lord: sit at My right hand until I place your enemies underneath your feet.7Quotation/allusion to Psalm 110:1
- “Therefore, if David calls Him Lord, how is He his son?”
- And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare to question Him any longer from that day on.
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