Luke 20

Luke 20: Caesar and God

                Jesus is asked by what Authority He is able to perform the many miracles, Jesus then asks them; “The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?” (Luke 20:4) And the people didn’t know how to answer, because if they said of men, then the people who believed and followed Jesus would get mad, because they thought of John as a prophet. They reasoned a bit more and thought that if they say it was from heaven, then Jesus would ask them why they don’t believe in His works. So after some time they tell Jesus that they cannot answer His question, and He responds; “…Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” (Luke 20:8)

                Jesus then tells of the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen;

                “…A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.

And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.

And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.

But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him…” (Luke 20:9-15)

In this Parable, God creates the world and gives men to rule over it, but he sends servants (the Prophets) to check up on those who are entreated to protect and take care of the world and others. After several attempts, God sends His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ… but they too kill him. Jesus then asks those gathered, if the Son was killed, how much more of punishments will the Father give, when he returns?

Those gathered against Jesus, sought to kill Him, but feared the retaliation of His followers, so they left… but sent spies to watch Him.

Some, trying to tempt Jesus asked; “Is it lawful for us to give a tribute unto Cæsar, or no? But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Cæsar’s. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which be Cæsar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” (Luke 20:22-25)

The people marveled at His answer and kept their silence. Then one of the Sadducees came and tempted Jesus with questions of the Resurrection;  

“…Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

                There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.” (Luke 20:28-33)

Jesus answered them and taught about the Law of Marriage “…The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.” (Luke 20:34-38)

Essentially in the next life Marriage would not be performed, but if the wife had married all the brothers, then God would sort those things out.

Mark 12

Mark 12: Taxes, Celestial Marriage, Two Great Commandments

Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees and the Scribes, tells them of the Parable of the Husbandmen;

“…A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to the husbandmen, and went into a far country.” (Mark 12:1)

Jesus explains that God built the world; the ‘vineyard’ and left people to tend it.

“And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. And again he sent another; and him they killed and many others; beating some, and killing some.” (Mark 12:2-5)

Jesus explains that God Prophets to the world; the ‘servants’ to receive the fruit of the ‘vineyard’. However, every time that God sent someone to the people of His world, they rejected them. Some of the prophets were wounded, beaten or killed.

Finally God sends His ONLY BEGOTTEN, His Son. “…he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.” (Mark 12:6-9)

God, after having sent all His servants, sent His Son, Jesus Christ to the world. However, the people rejected Jesus as well. Therefore when God returns to His vineyard, He will destroy those who do wickedly.

After hearing this; the Scribes and Pharisees knew that Jesus spoke of them in that Parable, and they feared the reaction of the people. Instead they decided they would try and catch Jesus in His words. They come to Jesus to tempt Him; “…Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” (Mark 12:14)

                Jesus, being frustrated, asks them why they tempt Him and commands them to bring Him a penny. After they brought Him the coin, He asked them; “…Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s…” (Mark 12:16-17) They were astonished by His teaching.

The Sadducees then came to Jesus to ask Him about Resurrection; “Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.” (Mark 12:19) They go on to explain that the wife ends up marrying all 7 brothers, never raising any children. They ask him, when the wife finally dies, whose wife will she be? After all she had been married to all of them, right? Jesus responds to them; “…Do ye therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?” (Mark 12:24) Jesus goes on to explain that marriage will not be given in the next life, because God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

One of the scribes, perceiving that Jesus had answered very well, desired to know which of all the commandments was the greatest? Jesus responds; “… thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and will all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

                While Jesus sat and discussed these doctrines, a poor woman came into the treasury of the temple and cast two mites, which made a farthing into the treasury. Jesus stood up and said; “…Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did was cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” (Mark 12:43-44) We too should give more than just our ‘abundance’, but be generous in helping others and giving beyond what we are expected.

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 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.