Thursday, March 29, 2018

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW ~ Chapters 22 & 23



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW ~ Chapters 22 & 23

Once more Yeshua spoke to the people in parables. He said, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who made a wedding feast for his son. He sent his servants to notify those who had been invited to the banquet, but they would not come.


A second time he sent other messengers, saying to them, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “See! My dinner is prepared; my oxen and fatlings have been killed, and everything is ready. So, come to the wedding feast!”’ But they still disregarded the summons, and went about their work, one to his farm, another to his place of business. And the rest laid hold of his servants, insulted them and killed them.

When the king heard of what had happened, he went into a rage, and, having sent his troops, he destroyed those murderers and burned their city. This done, he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast has, indeed, been ready, but the invited guests were unworthy. You must now go out upon the highways and invite to the feast everyone whom you find there.’ The servants accordingly went out upon the highways and brought together all they met, both good and bad, so the banquet hall was full of guests. Then the king came to take a look at the guests. He saw a man there who was not dressed up for a wedding. ‘My friend’, he said to him, ‘how is it that you came in here without a wedding suit?’ But the man was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, take him out, throw him into the darkness outside where he may weep and gnash his teeth.’

For many are called, but few are chosen.”


The Pharisees then went and held a meeting, plotting on how to ensnare Him in His speech. They sent to Him some of their disciples, together with some of Herod’s men, asking, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are sincere, and that you teach the way of Elohei truthfully, also that you do not fear anyone, for you are no respecter of persons. Tell us, therefore, what you think.  Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’ Yeshua saw through their wicked scheme and answered, “Why are you tempting Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the coin used for taxes.” So they handed Him a silver denarius (twenty-cent piece). He then said to them, “This image on the coin … whose is it? And the inscription?” ‘Caesar’s’, they told Him. Then He said to them, “Give to Caesar, then, what belongs to Caesar, and to Elohei what belongs to Elohei.” They got up and left Him, amazed at what they had heard.


On the same day, the Sadducees, too, came to Him. Since they did not believe in the resurrection, they set forth this question: ‘Rabbi, Moshe has then his brother must marry his dead brother’s wife and raise up children in his dead brother’s name. Now here is an actual case of seven brothers. The oldest married, but died before he had any children. The second brother then married the widow. Also, the second brother died, and in like manner, the third, and so on until the seventh. They all died. And last of all, the woman died. In the life to come, then, whose wife will she be, since they all had her as wife?’


“You are greatly mistaken,” said Yeshua, in answer, “for you do not know the Scriptures, or the power of Elohei. For after the resurrection neither do they marry nor are they given in marriage, but they are like Elohei’s angels in heaven. And as to the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what Elohei once said – also to you – in these words, “I am the God Of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?” That means Elohei is not the god of the dead, but of the living.” This the people heard, and they were dumbfounded at His teaching.

The Pharisees held another meeting when they got news that He had put the Sadducees to silence. Then one of them, a Law teacher, in order to test Him, asked, ‘Rabbi, which is the great commandment of Law?’ Yeshua said to him, “You shall love Adonai, your God, with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with your whole mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it in importance. It reads, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these 2 commandments, all the Law and the Prophets are based.”


Yeshua now put a question to the Pharisees, for they were still gathered there. He asked, “What is your opinion as to the Messiah? Whose Son is He?” ‘David’s’, they answered. “How is it then,” He continued, “that David, by the help of the Ruach, called Him Adonai when he said, ‘Adonai said to Adonai, “Sit at My right hand while I make Your enemies a footstool around Your feet?” (Psalm 110:1) If David called Him Adonai, how can He also be David’s Son?”

No one could answer Him a word. Nor, from that day on, did anyone dare to try to trap Him with further questions.

~ Chapters 23: After this, Yeshua addressed the crowds and His disciples. “The scribes and the Pharisees, He said, “now take the place of Moshe. Therefore, do what they tell you to do, and continue to do it. But don’t do as they do, for they preach but do not practice. They make up unbearably heavy burdens and place them on men’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to help them. They do all their deeds to be seen of men. They wear big Scripture texts on their coats, and make large tassels for their garments. And how they like to have the first places at the banquets, and the chief seats at the synagogues! They like the greetings in the market-places, and especially to have men call them Rabbi (Doctor, Teacher).

You must not seek to be called by titles, such as Rabbi, for there is but one Teacher, and you are all brothers alike. And do not call any man here on earth Father, for there is but one Father, and He is in heaven. Nor must you be called Leaders, for you have but one Leader, namely, the Messiah. Let the greatest among you be the one who serves most. He who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees – you hypocrites! For you lock up the kingdom of heaven against men. You do not dare go in yourselves, and you do not let those go in who are trying to do so. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees – you hypocrites! For you eat up the houses of widows, while making a show of holiness by long prayers. And for this you will get a heavier sentence. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees – you hypocrites! For you scour the land and sea to make one convert, and when he is won, you make him twice as fit for hell as you, yourselves, are! Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If one swears by the Temple it means nothing, but if he swears by the gold in the temple, then his oath stands’. You blind fools! Which is the greater, the gold … or the Temple that makes the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar it means nothing, but if he swears by the gift laid on the altar, then he must pay his vows. You blind fools! Which is the greater; the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift? So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and everything on it. And whoever swears by the Temple swears by it and by Him Who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of Elohei and by Him Who sits on it. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees – you hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint and dill and spices, but the more important things of the Law … justice, mercy, faith … these you leave undone. You blind guides! You strain out the gnat, but you swallow a camel! Woe to you scribes and Pharisees – you hypocrites! For you scour the outside of the cup and the plate, but you leave the inside full of plunder and intemperance. You blind Pharisee! Scour the inside of the cup and plate first, and let the outside become equally clean! Woe to you scribes and Pharisees – you hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs. Outside they look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead, and everything that is unclean. So you too, seem outwardly to be upright, yet inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees – you hypocrites! For you build tombs for the prophets and you decorate the graves of the righteous. But you say, ‘Oh, if only we had lived in the days of our forefathers! We surely would not have joined them in murdering the prophet.’ So, you do admit that you are the sons of those who slaughtered the prophets? Yes, indeed, you may well match the measure of their guilt! Serpents that you are, offspring of vipers, how can you escape the sentence to hell?”


“For this reason I am going to keep on sending you prophets and wise men and scholars, some of whom you will kill – even crucify – and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. In this way you will heap upon your own heads the righteous blood shed on this earth, from the blood of the righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, Berachiah’s son, whom you put to death between the Temple and the altar. I solemnly say to you, all these things will happen to this generation. Jerusalem, O Jerusalem! who still kills the prophets and stones those sent to her. How often would I have gathered your children around Me, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not! Now, see! I am leaving you to yourselves, your house empty. Indeed, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of Adonai!”