Contemporary English Version
The Great Banquet
1Once again Jesus used stories to teach the people:
2The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a king gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3The king sent some servants to tell the invited guests to come to the banquet, but the guests refused. 4He sent other servants to say to the guests, “The banquet is ready! My cattle and prize calves have all been prepared. Everything is ready. Come to the banquet!”
5But the guests did not pay any attention. Some of them left for their farms, and some went to their places of business. 6Others grabbed the servants, then beat them up and killed them.
7This made the king so furious that he sent an army to kill those murderers and burn down their city. 8Then he said to the servants, “It is time for the wedding banquet, and the invited guests don't deserve to come. 9Go out to the street corners and tell everyone you meet to come to the banquet.” 10They went out on the streets and brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike. And the banquet room was filled with guests.
11When the king went in to meet the guests, he found that one of them wasn't wearing the right kind of clothes for the wedding. 12The king asked, “Friend, why didn't you wear proper clothes for the wedding?” But the guest had no excuse. 13 So the king gave orders for this person to be tied hand and foot and to be thrown outside into the dark. That's where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 14 Many are invited, but only a few are chosen.
15The Pharisees got together and planned how they could trick Jesus into saying something wrong. 16They sent some of their followers and some of Herod's followers+ to say to him, “Teacher, we know that you are honest. You teach the truth about what God wants people to do. And you treat everyone with the same respect, no matter who they are. 17Tell us what you think! Should we pay taxes to the Emperor or not?”
18Jesus knew their evil thoughts and said, “Why are you trying to test me? You show-offs! 19Let me see one of the coins used for paying taxes.” They brought him a silver coin, 20and he asked, “Whose picture and name are on it?”
21“The Emperor's,” they answered.
Then Jesus told them, “Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God.” 22His answer surprised them so much that they walked away.
Life in the Future World
25Once there were seven brothers who lived here. The first one married, but died without having any children. So his wife was left to his brother. 26The same thing happened to the second and third brothers and finally to all seven of them. 27At last the woman died. 28When God raises people from death, whose wife will this woman be? She had been married to all seven brothers.
You are completely wrong! You don't know what the Scriptures teach. And you don't know anything about the power of God. 30 When God raises people to life, they won't marry. They will be like the angels in heaven. 31And as for people being raised to life, God was speaking to you when he said, 32 “I am the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”+ He isn't the God of the dead, but of the living.
33The crowds were surprised to hear what Jesus was teaching.
The Most Important Commandment
34After Jesus had made the Sadducees look foolish, the Pharisees heard about it and got together. 35 One of them was an expert in the Jewish Law. So he tried to test Jesus by asking, 36“Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets+ are based on these two commandments.
About David's Son
41While the Pharisees were still there, Jesus asked them, 42“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose family will he come from?”
They answered, “He will be a son of King David.”+
43Jesus replied, “How then could the Spirit lead David to call the Messiah his Lord? David said,
Sit at my right side+
until I make your enemies
into a footstool for you.’
45If David called the Messiah his Lord, how can the Messiah be a son of King David?” 46No one was able to give Jesus an answer, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions.
Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)
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Bible text from the Contemporary English Version 2nd Edition (CEV®) is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by American Bible Society, 101 North Independence Mall East, Floor 8, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2155