What did I learn about Jesus?
- He could spar with any religious or intellectual leader.
- Jesus did not refuse any question asked of him—he engaged the inquisitor.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Allow the curious to ask questions—don’t be afraid they’re too big for Jesus.
Extended thoughts and observations from elder, Gregg Colbo:
In Matthew 22 we find Jesus escalating the boldness we saw in chapter 21. He takes on the Pharisees and Sadducees head-on in a way that could look like David (the young, inexperienced shepherd and promised king) taking on Goliath (the big, skilled, undefeated warrior). Jesus runs right toward these Jewish giants.
In verses 1-14 we find a thinly veiled (pardon the pun) warning in the parable of the Wedding Banquet. Can you tell which ones we are? Check out verses 9-10. I know that’s who I am—the non-Jewish person invited to join Jesus for eternity!
He then goes on to use his incomparable Biblical knowledge and intellect to “slay” them as they attempt to trick him. First come the Pharisees, who are all about the law, then the aristocratic Sadducees who were all about reason and logic, and then they form a tag-team combo. Though they had little in common and disliked each greatly, they had found a common enemy.
Jesus continues the holy smack-down by engaging the Pharisees in a manner that rendered them speechless. Literally. What jumped off the page to you?
For me it was:
- The Pharisees had 613 rules based from the Old Testament law, and Jesus reminds them of one based on love: Love God with everything we have and love our neighbors as we do ourselves.
- The reminder that “many are called but few are chosen.” God is in control, not me. I need to be diligent about inviting guests to the wedding but remembering that who gets saved isn’t up to me.
- Jesus took the high road while never backing down or wavering from God’s truth while engaging the world. Neither should we.
Recall the response of the Pharisees after they don’t trick Jesus. In 22:22 it states, “When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.” That made me sad. They heard the truth, they recognized it as the truth, they were amazed by it, yet they turned and went in another direction from it. The sad truth is there are people who do not want to hear God’s truth. That’s important to remember as we go about making disciples. First, it’s not our job to save people; it’s God’s. And second, not everyone will be saved.