The Preparation of the King Matthew 21:1-23:39, cont’d.
Matthew 22:1-14-Jesus tells another parable. This one explains that the kingdom of Heaven is offered to everyone (inclusive) who will come; but, there is only one way to enter (exclusive). Notice the patience of the king (God). Not just once, but two times He sends out an invitation to those invited. Yet, both times they refuse to come. Only those who come as He demands will be accepted…“many are called, but few are chosen” (22:14). All of those who reject His invitation will be held accountable for their decision. Notice why they rejected Him: indifference (:5), rebellion (:6), self-righteousness (:12-this man wanted to come to the wedding feast in his own chosen attire, not that which the king required and provided…he was rejected). It is wonderful to realize that since most of those who are present would either not have had the time to acquire proper dress, attire, or, they could not have afforded it…it would have to have been provided by the king. That is exactly what the Scripture teaches about Heaven. None of us can provide what is necessary to enter by ourself, on our own. So, the King provides it for us.
Matthew 22:15-22-The Pharisees and Herodians (Jewish leaders who supported the rule of Herod and were willing to pursue peace with Rome at any price) try to trick Jesus…concerning submitting to the government. They posed a question concerning the Torah, Jewish sacred law…that on the surface seemed to position the Jewish people against the Roman government. The question: Should Jews (who believe that the land they lived in belonged to God) pay a land tax to the Roman government…thus suggesting that it belonged to Rome? If He said, “Yes,” then they would accuse Him of being disloyal to Judaism. If He said, “No,” then they would accuse him of subversion against Rome. Their error is that they thought it was an either-or answer. Jesus explains to them that no matter what the answer, it would be wrong…because the question was wrong. He explained that God had established government and that we are to recognize its purpose and support it. This fact does not contradict our worship of God, but actually reinforces it because it shows that we are being submissive to Him through the agency that He has established to govern on earth. So, we are to give to Caesar (government) what is necessary for it to fulfill its responsibilities. And, we are to give worship to God, which ultimately surpasses and takes predominance over all other allegiances. It is because of our commitment to God that we are the best citizens.
Prayer: Lord, let me, my life be changed by the time that I spend in Your presence. Such that, when I encounter other people…Your presence in me will be obvious to them.