Parable of the Great Feast
Jesus also told them other parables. He said, 2 “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. 3 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come! 4 “So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ 5 But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.
Jesus, Have I failed to come to Your feast. I know You have invited me, but I don’t live a life a joy and celebration. I am busy with my work and my worries. Have I missed the party Lord?
What can I do to get rid of these worldly chains Jesus? Why do I spend so much time wallowing and failing? Work and worries. Is there hope for me Lord? How do I get to the feast? Help Lord, help!
7 “The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. 8 And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. 9 Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’ 10 So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply. 13 Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Jesus, I’m sorry, but I can’t pretend to understand this all. I do know that I am invited to the feast. I don’t know why You invited me. I thank you forever, but I don’t know why. I guess I am one of those You just chose off the streets. Just like they didn’t deserve the invitation and weren’t related to You but were invited anyway. Thank-You Jesus!
Please Jesus, I don’t know what the proper cloths are that You are talking about. I do know I need you to make me acceptable for Your feast. Change me Lord. Do whatever it takes, but keep me at Your feast. Make me acceptable Lord. Change me.
Taxes for Caesar
15 Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 16 They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. 17 Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin,[a] 20 he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.
“Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
Jesus, what does belong to God? I know: everything. That sounds like a lot to give, but I know You can be trusted with it. I also know I will probably spend a lifetime trying to hold on to things that aren’t mine! How can I make this so difficult?
The most precious thing I try to hold on to, that I need to give to You, is my family. So many worries and pains and fears. Yet they are Yours and they are in Your hands. Jesus help me to surrender them to You. Perhaps if I learn to trust You with them, they will grow closer to You. I probably am coming between You and them. Change me Lord. Give me faith. I do give my family to You now Lord. I trust You with them.
My marriage also is not mine Lord. We were married before You. We need You so bad, perhaps more now than ever. I don’t want us to be pulled apart Lord. But my efforts aren’t helping. Tough times make strong people. I know You are blessing us. Help me trust You.
22 His reply amazed them, and they went away.
Discussion about Resurrection
23 That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: 24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.’[b] 25 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. 26 But the second brother also died, and the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. 27 Last of all, the woman also died. 28 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.” 29 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. 30 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven.
Jesus, do you really mean there is no marriage in heaven? I guess You mean it, You said it. What will my relationship with my spouse be then? This is so hard to understand. Perhaps this is just another chance to give You my marriage and trust You with it. I don’t understand what it will be in eternity. I don’t really understand what it is now. It is Yours!
31 “But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead—haven’t you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said,[c] 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[d] So he is the God of the living, not the dead.”
33 When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching.
Jesus, be my God and help me to be truly alive. Help me to live today with the knowledge and faith that someday I will be with You in paradise. Help me live this life on Earth in a way that brings others to a saving faith in You. Help me to live for You which is the only way to truly be alive. Change me Lord. Change me.
The Most Important Commandment
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[e] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[f] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Jesus, it really is that simple isn’t it Lord. Love God, and love others. What You ask isn’t easy, but it is simple. Knowing Your will in most situations is just that simple. Do onto others what the most loving person in the world, Jesus, would do. Holy Spirit fill me with the energy that comes from truly loving God and truly loving others. Change me.
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
41 Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They replied, “He is the son of David.”
43 Jesus responded,
44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’[g]
45 Since David called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?”
46 No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Jesus, You are the only source of true understanding. I read, and struggle to understand. My wonderings and thoughts are useless without You. I know I am a sinner Lord. I know I do not deserve to have You reveal anything to me. But I beg You Lord, do not abandon me to my sins and foolishness. Truly open my heart to Your Word and truly do change me, forever. Change me Jesus, change me.