Matthew 22:1-22 The Message Bible

The Parable of the Marriage Feast

22 1  Jesus responded by telling still more stories. 2  "God's kingdom," he said, "is like a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. 3  He sent out servants to call in all the invited guests. And they wouldn't come! 4  "He sent out another round of servants, instructing them to tell the guests, 'Look, everything is on the table, the prime rib is ready for carving. Come to the feast!' 5  "They only shrugged their shoulders and went off, one to weed his garden, another to work in his shop. 6  The rest, with nothing better to do, beat up on the messengers and then killed them. 7  The king was outraged and sent his soldiers to destroy those thugs and level their city. 8  "Then he told his servants, 'We have a wedding banquet all prepared but no guests. The ones I invited weren't up to it. 9  Go out into the busiest intersections in town and invite anyone you find to the banquet.' 10  The servants went out on the streets and rounded up everyone they laid eyes on, good and bad, regardless. And so the banquet was on - every place filled. 11  "When the king entered and looked over the scene, he spotted a man who wasn't properly dressed. 12  He said to him, 'Friend, how dare you come in here looking like that!' The man was speechless. 13  Then the king told his servants, 'Get him out of here - fast. Tie him up and ship him to hell. And make sure he doesn't get back in.' 14  "That's what I mean when I say, 'Many get invited; only a few make it.'"

Paying Taxes to Caesar

15  That's when the Pharisees plotted a way to trap him into saying something damaging. 16  They sent their disciples, with a few of Herod's followers mixed in, to ask, "Teacher, we know you have integrity, teach the way of God accurately, are indifferent to popular opinion, and don't pander to your students. 17  So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 18  Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, "Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? 19  Do you have a coin? Let me see it." They handed him a silver piece. 20  "This engraving - who does it look like? And whose name is on it?" 21  They said, "Caesar." "Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his." 22  The Pharisees were speechless. They went off shaking their heads.

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