October 22nd & 23rd
There’s no tricking Jesus
Jesus turns his attention from the chief priests and leaders to the people and again uses stories to teach them and us. He uses the idea of a banquet to describe what it’s like trying to get people to turn to Jesus and join God’s kingdom. The King sent servants out to tell the invited guests that the banquet is ready and wonderful but they just didn’t come – they didn’t listen, or they were too busy doing other things or they even set upon the servants delivering the invitations! So the King told his servants that, as the invited guests would not come, they should go and tell anyone and everyone to come – they are all welcome – good and bad. And the banquet room was filled with guests, though one of them was thrown out for not wearing the right clothes. I think this is telling us that everyone is welcome into the Kingdom of God – not just a select few – but they have to accept the invitation and come clothed with a right heart & mind.
Meanwhile the religious leaders are back on Jesus’ case but Jesus is brilliant in turning their attacks upside down and using them to teach us all more:-
The Pharisees try to trick him into saying that people should respect God and not the Emperor. Jesus shows them the image of the Emperor on a coin and says “Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God”. So yes people should pay taxes and give coins to the Emperor but they should give themselves (made in the image of God) to God – awesome!
The Sadducees who did not believe in life after death came up with a very complicated situation to trick Jesus (read about it in verses 25-28) but Jesus turned it around to say that, after death, we will be raised like angels in heaven and that God is not God of the dead, but of the living.
Finally the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus about commandments in the Law but he used this to give us one of the most important teachings in the whole Bible!:-
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.”
If everything we do is simply motivated by love for God or love for one another then we will do only good – awesome!
Please help us not to challenge your teachings or try and work around them. On the contrary may we do everything out of love for you and love for one another and so live in your kingdom, now and for ever.
Thank you so much
What can you do today out of love for God or love for others?