1 Jesus told them several other stories to illustrate the Kingdom. 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 Many guests were invited, and when the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify everyone that it was time to come. But they all refused!
4 So he sent other servants to tell them, `The feast has been prepared, and choice meats have been cooked. Everything is ready. Hurry!'
5 But the guests he had invited ignored them and went about their business, one to his farm, another to his store.
6 Others seized his messengers and treated them shamefully, even killing some of them.
7 "Then the king became furious. He sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their city.
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?' And the man had no reply.
13 Then the king said to his aides, `Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
14 For many are called, but few are chosen."
15 Then the Pharisees met together to think of a way to trap Jesus into saying something for which they could accuse him.
16 They decided to send some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to ask him this question: "Teacher, we know how honest you are. You teach about the way of God regardless of the consequences. You are impartial and don't play favorites.
17 Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to the Roman government or not?"
18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. "You hypocrites!" he said. "Whom are you trying to fool with your trick questions?
19 Here, show me the Roman coin used for the tax." When they handed him the coin,*1
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 him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God."
22 His reply amazed them, and they went away.
23 That same day some Sadducees stepped forward--a group of Jews who say there is no resurrection after death. 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 be the brother's heir.'*2
25 Well, there were seven brothers. The oldest married and then died without children, so the second brother married the widow.
26 This brother also died without children, and the wife was married to the next brother, and so on until she had been the wife of each of them.
27 And then she also died.
28 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For she was the wife of all seven of them!"
29 Jesus replied, "Your problem is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God.
30 For when the dead rise, they won't be married. They will be like the angels in heaven.
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,*3
32 `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'* So he is the God of the living, not the dead."4
33 When the crowds heard him, they were impressed with his teaching.
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they thought up a fresh question of their own to ask him.
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?"