February 2

Matthew 22:1-22


In verses 1-14, Jesus tells a parable of the wedding feast. These parables were stories that had spiritual meaning. This parable was told after the one of the wicked vinedressers in chapter 21. Both parables cover the refusal of many Jews to enter into Christ’s kingdom. In Matthew 21:45, the Pharisees were listening, and they were furious! They knew He was speaking of them. They would have like to have grabbed Jesus and killed Him them, but they feared the people who considered Jesus to be a prophet. 


In the parable of the wedding feast, a king was arranging a wedding feast for his son. The king would be God. The son would be Christ. The king sent out wedding invitations, but the people rejected them. Some made light of the invitations and went about their business. The rest seized the servants and killed them. The king heard of the murder of His servants and the rejection to his feast, so he burned their city. This could be interpreted to be the destruction of Jerusalem. 


Then the king sends servants to gather everyone they could. This could be interpreted as the Gospel going out to the Gentiles after the Jews were scattered. When one was found at the wedding without a wedding garment, he was thrown out into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth- which describes the Lake of Fire. 


Then in verse 14, Jesus said, “For many are called (to salvation), but few are chosen (those who met the requirements). The man without a wedding garment did not meet the requirements. We know that salvation does not come any other way than through 1) believing Jesus died and rose again 2) making Jesus the Lord of our lives through repentance and surrender. The wedding garment we receive is the white linen of salvation. 


In verses 15-22, Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees in the attempt to trap Him in His words. They sent people to Him undercover, including Herodians, asking about paying taxes to Caesar. Now if the Jews believed Jesus was the military king that came to bring down Rome and deliver the Jews, then Jesus would not be about paying taxes to Caesar. 


The Herodians were a Jewish political party who wanted a continuation of the dynasty of Herod. The Herodians and the Pharisees were in opposition to one another on politics, but they shared common ground in their hatred of Jesus. 


If Jesus answered, “No,” then they could have reported Him to the Roman authorities. If Jesus answered, “Yes,” then He would lose favor with the Jews, who resented Roman dominion and were looking for deliverance. 


In verse 18, it says that Jesus perceived their wickedness. It could be that it was a revelation from the Holy Spirit that helped Jesus to know the condition of their hearts. This was a trap! Jesus answered them by referring to the inscription on the coin. He asked them who was on the coin, and they answered, “Caesar.” Then by their own words, Jesus responded, to give what belonged to Caesar back to Caesar, and to God the things that are God’s. To render in the Greek is apodidomi, meaning, “To fulfill one’s duty to someone, give what is due, give back, recompense, restore.” 


We ought to pay our taxes to the government and God’s portion of the tithe and offerings to the Lord through the local church. We are not islands that live all by ourselves. We belong to groups of people, and we have responsibilities to the whole. We are required to do our part. 


Exodus 29-31


In chapter 29, Aaron and his sons are consecrated, set apart entirely for God’s service in the tabernacle through a ceremony. In verse 1, it says to hallow them, literally, “to make holy.” The bloody rituals may seem gruesome, but blood, the life of an animal, is what covered sin. 


In chapter 30, Moses gives instruction about the altar of incense, atonement money, the bronze laver, the anointing oil, and the incense. In chapter 31, artisans are called upon to help design items for the tabernacle. In verse 3, artists were said to be filled with the Spirit of God, the one who helped the Creator create the worlds. He was the artist’s helper. God also gave wisdom, understanding, knowledge in workmanship to design artistic works. The arts should definitely be part of our places of worship today. In our culture, the arts can be seen in technology and communication, as well as in buildings and utensils. 


In Exodus 31:12, the Lord gives the Sabbath Law of working six days and resting on one, the Sabbath day. It was a holy day, set apart to honor God through rest and worship. 


God gave Moses two tablets of stone where God Himself, with His finger, carved out the laws in stone with the covenant (Testimony) terms. 


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