Questions. Questions. Questions.—Matthew 22
Read Chapter 22
A chapter of questions confronts us. For some we know the answer and others raise even more questions.
The chapter begins with a wedding feast to which many have been invited but did not come. Most commentaries believe this was a reference to the Jews having been given the first chance at belief in the Messiah and they turned it down. The people off the street are those who are not Jews, but Gentiles, but who is the person with no wedding garment?
Next come two entrapment questions from the Jewish leaders, one having importance for the political situation—loyalty to the government or rebellion—and the second for the faith community: belief in the rules of the Torah or the prophecies of the Old Testament.
The most famous question of this chapter is probably the next: “which is the greatest commandment”? Our faith, our community, our church, and our lives are based on this answer.
Then the tables are turned and Jesus asks a question. Fortunately for the Pharisees, he answers it for them and effectively shuts them up.
How do we answer the questions posed in this chapter?
Foremost is the last one which Jesus asked, “What do you think about the Christ?”
Our thoughts about this tell a great deal about our faith. I would add to this, “Who do you think he is?” A friend, companion, leader, prophet, visionary, supporter, guide? Is he someone else to you?
The questions which the Jewish leaders asked have some import for us today but I would concentrate heavily on the greatest commandment, how we live it, and who we think Jesus is.
- What was the wedding garment and what does it mean for us today?
- How would you answer the question about which commandment is greatest without the guide of Jesus’ answer?
- What do you think about the Christ? Who is he in your life?
Dear Lord, we ask that as we rely on the greatest commandment and its corollary, you show us in our hearts and souls who you are and how important you are in our lives, Amen.
Laurna Badendeick is a cradle Lutheran and always wanted to be a Lutheran school teacher. She realized that dream at Lutheran High East in Harper Woods Michigan and taught in several other Lutheran schools. She is now retired to North Carolina and has been active in many areas at St. Andrew in New Bern.