Matthew 22

Matthew 22:

Worldly Marriages 

                Jesus spake unto those gathered and told them of the Parable of the King’s Son; Jesus explains that a king invited people to a wedding feast, but those invited did not come. So the man sends more servants to invite them to the wedding, instead of accepting the invitation they kill the messengers. When the king heard what had happened, he was upset and sent armies to kill them and burn their cities. The king then sends out a broad invitation to ALL GOOD AND BAD, essentially inviting everyone that wanted to come to his son’s wedding. Once the guests had arrived, the king noticed one of the guests was not wearing proper wedding garments, and has the man bound and thrown into outer darkness, where there is “…weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:13-14)

                What does this Parable mean? God was the King, and He was celebrating His son’s (Jesus Christ) wedding. God called many to come and celebrate, however the servants He sent (the prophets) were always rejected. Finally he invites all to come unto Christ, yet some still don’t come. Those who came and had their heart set towards Jesus were properly dressed. One man, however, just wanted to come and enjoy the feast without really having his heart set upon the things of God or His son, Jesus Christ. This man, just like anyone else who doesn’t have their heart set on the right things is in jeopardy of being sent to “outer darkness”. Thus we see why Jesus said; many are called but few are chosen. Everyone is called to repentance and do good, but only a handful will do the will of God, and therefore be chosen.

The Pharisees, like usual are trying to ensnare Jesus by asking Him difficult questions. They ask; “…What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” (Matthew 22:17) Jesus knew that they were tempting Him and asks them why they are such hypocrites! Jesus responds; “Shew me the tribute money…Whose is this image and superscription?” (Matthew 22:19-20) The Pharisees responded with the obvious, that it is an image of Caesar. So Jesus responds to them with the simple, yet blunt; “…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)

                Shortly after responding to the Pharisees, the Sadducees, who did not believe in the Resurrection, came to also tempt Jesus with questions. They ask Jesus; “…Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.” (Matthew 22:24) They propose a hypothetical situation where all seven brothers end up marrying the same wife until they all die. Thus all seven brothers were with the same woman, making the woman a widow seven times over. They ask Jesus, if this were the case; “…whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her.” (Matthew 22:28) At this point Jesus was probably a little irritated after being berated by the Pharisees, so He responds; “…Ye do err, not knowing the scripture, nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) The Sadducees had done nothing, and yet had been in error simply because their beliefs were based on falsehoods. Jesus explains that there will be no marriage in the resurrection.

So will there or will there not be marriage in Heaven?

The Bible does not go into much detail about marriage in heaven. We do know that “…whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever…” (Ecclesiastes 3:14), therefore if Marriage is an institution before God of the binding of man and woman in Holy Matrimony; one would believe that marriage, Eternal Marriage, exists in Heaven.

James E. Talmage writes;

“In the resurrection there will be no marrying nor giving in marriage; for all questions of marital status must be settled before that time, under the authority of the Holy Priesthood, which holds the power to seal in marriage for both time and eternity.” (Jesus the Christ, p. 548.)

                LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

 “What then is the Master Teacher affirming by saying, ‘in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven’? He is not denying but limiting the prevailing concept that there will be marrying and giving in marriage in heaven. He is saying that as far as ‘they’ (the Sadducees) are concerned, that as far as ‘they’ (‘the children of this world’) are concerned, the family unit does not and will not continue in the resurrection. Because he does not choose to cast his pearls before swine, and because the point at issue is not marriage but resurrection anyway, Jesus does not here amplify his teaching to explain that there is marrying and giving of marriage in heaven only for those who live the fullness of gospel law -a requirement which excludes worldly people” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 1:605,606).

While this may seem like a difficult subject for man to understand, LDS Doctrine believes that Marriage will continue on, after this life. Will marriage be performed in the next life? It seems that this is not the case. Many LDS members and leaders believe that marriage must be taken care of in this life and will probably exist now through the Resurrection, but not after the Resurrection.

After the Sadducees were put to silence, the Pharisees gathered together to see how they might tempt Jesus. One of the lawyers asked Jesus; “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto is, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:36-39)

Matthew 21

Matthew 21:

Cleaning the Temple

                  Jesus commands two of His Apostles to go to a village, where they would find an ass and a colt tied. He commanded them to loose both of them and bring them back to Him. Jesus tells that that if anyone tries to stop them from taking the ass and the colt, that they are to say that it is for the Lord. This would fulfill a prophecy that a “…King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” (Matthew 21:5) Jesus then got on the ass and rode into Jerusalem and everyone on the way asked who this man was; “…This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:11) Upon arriving at Jerusalem, Jesus went into the temple and “…overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but ye have made it into a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:12-13) This shows that Jesus did not want moneychangers in the house of His father. This is important because it shows that churches should not be built for gain. If they are built for gain, then they become dens of thieves and are not houses of prayer. This is also interesting to see that Jesus does in fact have human characteristics and can be angered or upset.

While in the temple, after over turning tables, Jesus healed many people. After healing, Jesus left to Bethany, where he lodged. The next morning Jesus was hungered and went out to a fig tree, where the branches yielded no fruit, so Jesus essentially cursed the tree so it would never grow anything again, after it had withered the Apostles were shocked of His power. Jesus reminds them that with faith, they can move mountains. He also explains that “…all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)

                  Jesus returns to the temple and while their, some of the chief priests ask Jesus by what Authority does He perform His miracles. Jesus asks them; “…I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John whence was it? From heaven or of men?” (Matthew 21:24-25) The chief priests are a little baffled, because if they say from heaven, then Jesus would ask them why they didn’t believe in His authority. But if they say by men, then they would fear the people, because the people believed that John was a prophet. So they answered Jesus by telling Him that they could not tell. So Jesus responds; “…Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” (Matthew 21:27) This shows that Authority is important to have, Jesus had the proper authority from His Father, but He had nothing to prove and did not have to tell those questioning Him, by where He received His Authority.

Jesus then explains the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen:

There was a man who planted a vineyard and dug a wine press around it, and built a tower. This man left his home and went into the far country. When the fruit became ready for harvest he sent some servants to the husbandmen (who were taking care of the house) so that they could harvest the fields. The husbandmen took the servants, beat one, killed another and stoned the last one. So the man of the field sent more servants and the husbandmen did likewise to these new servants.

Finally the man sent his son, whom he thought wouldn’t be killed by the husbandmen. When the son arrived the husbandmen said among themselves; “…This is the heir; come let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.” (Matthew 21:38) The man who owns the farm is represented of as God the Father, who sent servants (Prophets) to collect the harvest in the land (the earth), but the husbandmen (the people of the world) rejected the servants and killed them. So finally God the Father sent His Son, whom the people also rejected and killed

Jesus asks those gathered; when the man of the field (the Lord of the field) comes back, what do you think he will do to the husbandmen? “…He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits of the season.” (Matthew 21:41)

                  Jesus is the stone that the builders rejected, but He has become the head of the corner. Jesus tells them; “…The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matthew 21:43-44)

                  Jesus was explaining that because of His own rejection, that one day the Gospel would be restored and given to a new people. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in the early 1800’s in the newly formed United States of America. This church, the church Jesus Christ himself restored is the ‘Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’. This had to be done, because as Isaiah pointed out; “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaiah 24:5) The gospel of Jesus Christ over the years was changed and distorted, thus the need for a Restoration and Another Testament of Jesus Christ; The Book of Mormon (which was written in Ancient America at the same time the Bible was being written in the old world.)

Matthew 20

Matthew 20:

Parable of the Laborers 

                  Jesus addresses his disciples and gives them the Parable of the Laborers:

The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man that hired laborers, who he agreed to pay 1 penny per day. Three hours after the original laborers had started the work, he found more idle workers in the market place and agreed to pay them 1 penny per day for their labor. Into the 6th hour he finds more laborers and gives them the offer for 1 penny per day for their labor. Then finally in the 11th hour he finds more laborers and offers them the same deal, 1 penny per day for their labor.

At the end of the day the man tells the steward to call the laborers and give them their pay for their labors of that day, from last to the first. Each laborer received 1 penny for their laborers, which caused the laborers who had worked longer to murmur against the man of the house. The man of the house explains to one of the murmuring laborers; “…Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?” (Matthew 20:13)

Even though the workers were murmuring the man of the house had made a deal with them and was being fair according to the deal that he made with each individual laborer.  The man of the vineyard asks the laborer who was murmuring; “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:15-16)

                  Jesus then addresses the group gathered and foretells about his crucifixion and resurrection. “…the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

Matthew 19

Matthew 19:

Marriage/Judgment of the 12 

                  After Jesus had ended his speaking, He departed from Galilee and came to the coasts of Judea, where multitudes followed him and came to be healed of Jesus. The Pharisees quickly joined him to criticize and tempt Jesus by asking Him seemingly difficult questions; “…Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” (Matthew 19:3) Jesus responded to their criticism; “…Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:4-6) Jesus makes it clear that marriage is not only a sacred communion, but also something done between man and woman. The Pharisees then asked Jesus why Moses was able to grant writings of divorcement. Jesus explains that because of the hardness of people’s hearts it had to be done. But He made it clear that this was not mean to be, and for anyone divorcing for anything other than adultery, will cause both to commit adultery

After Jesus had spoken these words, some little children were not permitted to come unto Jesus, of course after just speaking to the Apostles about little children in Matthew 18, Jesus said; “…Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14) After Jesus had blessed the little children, a man came unto Jesus asking him what he should do to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The man explained to Jesus that he had followed all the commandments. Jesus tells the man to sell all his possessions, give them to the needy and then follow Him. The man went away in sadness, because he had great riches. Jesus then explains to His disciples that it is difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

So here is the important question: Does having money, or being rich, make you bad? Can you still enter into the kingdom of heaven with riches? Money, in of itself is not a bad thing. There are plenty of wealthy individuals throughout the world that do MUCH good. However, if one were to focus on nothing but money, being obsessed with it, then it is bad. So can a rich man enter into heaven? YES. Can he enter with his riches? NO. Therefore it is important to gain not only earthly treasures, but heavenly treasures that you can take with you into the next life.

Jesus ends his address in this chapter by telling the Twelve Apostles with Him, that they will become judges in the last days and that for anything a disciple of Christ loses in this life, it will be given; “…an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” (Matthew 19:29-30) If we work to do good in this life, and we have to give up or lose things in this life, Jesus has given us a promise that we will receive it back in heaven 100 times.

Matthew 18

Matthew 18:

We need to forgive our brothers 

The Twelve Apostles come to Jesus and ask him; “…Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1) and Jesus responded to them by having a little child come before the midst of them;

“…Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4) Essentially Jesus taught His disciples and now those reading the Bible that we need to become as humble and submissive as a little child. Does that mean that we need to act like children on that level of maturity? No. It means that we need to become as innocent as a child, clean without blemish.

Jesus goes on to elaborate “…whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he was downed in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6) It is clear that children are pure and innocent; children are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. If this is true why do they have need for baptism? The answer is simple, baptism for children is unnecessary, baptism is for those who need to be clean, not for those who are already clean. It is also clear that those who harm children will be punished for their sins. Those who do ANYTHING to offend one of God’s little ones, would have done better to drown in the depths of the sea. “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones…” (Matthew 18:10)

                  Jesus goes on to explain His mission on the earth and the mission that we, as disciples, must follow. “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matthew 18:11) Jesus tells a story about a man who had 100 sheep, and one went astray. He explains that sometimes you need to leave the 99, to go and find the 1 that got lost. When the man finds the one that got away, his joy is greater that with those who did not go astray. In this manner we need to seek out those who are lost, even if it means abandoning, for a time, those who are not lost.

Jesus continues to explain some very important doctrine;

                  “…in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Matthew 18:16)

                  2 or 3 witnesses can establish the truth. This is why it is important for Mormon Missionaries to go out 2 by 2.

                  “…Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18) 

In the end of the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5-6), it was prophesied that Elijah would come to turn the hearts of the children to the father and vice versa. This was the power given by Elijah in the last days to seal families together forever, through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and through His church in the Last Days; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

                  “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

                  Wherever a few people are gathered, there will also be the Spirit of God. This does not mean that because 2 or 3 are gathered that churches should be formed without Authority from God, but it does mean that if those 2 or 3, or even more people are bound together with similar desires and moral aptitudes that the Spirit of God will be with them.

After Jesus had done much speaking, Peter asks Him; “…how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22) Does that mean that we are only supposed to forgive someone 70 x 7= 490 times? What Jesus meant is that we need to always forgive someone, especially if their desires are pure and their intentions are great. Jesus continues to address forgiveness with a story about a man who owed a great debt. This man was unable to pay the debt and begged his creditor for mercy. The creditor had mercy on him and forgave his debts. However, that same debtor who was forgiven of his debts, went and found a man who owed him money. This man was not as kind and did not have mercy on him, but instead cast him into prison. When the original creditor found that he did not forgive as he was forgiven, he was upset. Jesus explains that; “…likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hears forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.” (Matthew 18:35)

Matthew 17

Matthew 17:

Transfigurations – Restoration

Jesus leads Peter, James and John upon a high mountain, and is transfigured before them: his face shines, his clothes become as white as the light. Moses and Elias [Elijah] appear, and talk to Jesus. Peter, out of the blue, suggests they make three tabernacles; one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elias. A voice then comes from heaven and declares; “…This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.” (Matthew 17:5) Upon hearing this, the Apostles fall to the ground and were afraid. After lifting up their heads they see only Jesus and He tells them not to reveal their vision until after the Resurrection.

The Apostles then ask Jesus why the scribes said that Elias [Eliajah] must come first. Jesus confirms this and states that “…Elias [Elijah] truly shall first come, and restore all things.” (Matthew 17:11), however they were confused that Elijah had already come, but Jesus was referring to John the Baptist. Because Elijah would come a lot later to RESTORE the gospel in the last days. “…the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things…” (Acts 3:19-21) Jesus then runs into a man who pleads for Him to come and heal his son, because he had previously brought the child to His Apostles and they could not heal him. So Jesus takes the child and casts the devils out of him. The Apostles then ask Jesus “…Why could not we cast him out?” (Matthew 17:19) Jesus tells them; “…Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20)

Jesus again prophesies of his death and Resurrection. Jesus explains that He is not liable to pay the temple tax, because kings demand taxes of strangers, not of their sons. Jesus pays the tax anyway, by miraculous provision of a coin that Peter finds in a fish’s mouth. (see Matthew 17:27)

Matthew 16

Matthew 16:

Peter Recieves the Keys

                The Pharisees and the Sadducees came again tempting Jesus, by asking Him to show them a sign from heaven. Jesus responds to them; “…When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is lowring [gloomy], O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2-3) Jesus pointed out that smart men can discern the weather, and even know the scriptures. But if they don’t recognize that Jesus is the Son of God, then they are foolish. Jesus reminds them that; “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it…” (Matthew 16:4)

The disciples meet up with Jesus, and He warns them; “…Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:6) Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees become confused of what Jesus had said, and go as far as to ask Jesus if it was because they had not partaken of any bread.

Jesus tells them; “Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand (see Matthew 14:17-21)… Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand (see Matthew 15:34-38), and how many baskets ye took up?” (Matthew 16:9-10) Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees failed to see that Jesus was referring to their doctrines and not about bread.

Jesus came to the coasts of Caesarea Philippi and asks His disciples; “…Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? …Some say that thou art John the Baptist: Some Elias; and others Jeremias… He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? …Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16)

This answered please Jesus and he tells Simon; “…Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) Seeing is not believing, but believing is seeing!

Jesus then blesses Peter; “…thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shalt be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

                Matthew 16:18-19 is one of the scriptures that the Catholic Church will use to claim their power and authority. Jesus did build His church upon a Rock, which the gates of Hell would never prevail against. But what is the Rock? The Catholics claim that the Rock is Peter, but is it Peter? No, Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone (head of the Church) and upon the Rock of REVELATION will the church prevail. Christ is also mentioned as the “Stone of Israel”.

Jesus then tells His Apostles that He would be: betrayed, killed and be resurrected again on the third day. Peter was shocked by what Jesus said and tells Him; “…Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” (Matthew 16:22) Jesus finds Peters lack of faith in His words to be troubling; “…Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me…” (Matthew 16:23) Jesus reminds them to continue the work after He is gone. Those who lose their life in the work will only find their life. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27)

                We need to not only believe in Jesus Christ, but also do good works in His name.