Matthew 22: 15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. 22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Today we have three stories on how the Scribes and Pharisees try to trick Jesus into making an unpopular answer. Of course once again they fail. But the lessons we can learn from His answers, especially in this first one, are priceless.
The Scribes ask a simple question – should taxes be paid. I know many Christians who say they don’t pay taxes, and I disagree with that. I don;t agree, along with them, with a lot of the things that money goes to, but I am responsible to fund the government, and the money I pay in taxes is a small amount in relation to what it costs for all the services they provide to me. The infrastructure and military service alone are enough for me to justify my taxes.
But Jesus turns the tide on them. We have pictures of former leaders on our money, the Romans had pictures of Caesar. He asked them whose picture was on the coin, and I’m sure they had no idea where He was going with that question. The He makes a statement that I have been pondering for a few years now – a very powerful statement.
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” Unto God the things that are God’s. Whose image is on us? Doesn’t Genesis tell us that He made man in His image? (Gen 1:26). If we are made in His image (and we are), then what Jesus is saying is that we need to give ourselves to God, lock, stock and barrel. Not just part of us, but all of us Not just our time, but our talent and treasure, Not just lip service, but total service. How much of yourself do you give? Remember, giving ourselves to Jesus means giving ourselves to others as well. “When you do it to the least of these, you do it unto me” Jesus said (Matt 25:40)
23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
First, He tells the Saducees that they are wrong about the scripture. This would not sit well with them. Then He goes on to say that God is God of the living, not the dead. Have a you ever met a Christian that was so heavenly minded he was no earthly good? Yes, I am excited about the thought of heaven and an eternity with my loved ones and with the saints of God/ That will be a glorious time, where there will be no sorrow, or tears, or pain, or death. Nothing of the trials and test of this world, nothing negative at all.
But we have a life to live down here, and God has a purpose for that life.. Before we leave this earth, there are things God wants us to do. If you are wondering what He would have you do, then get into the scripture and find out! His will is in their for all to see and all to take hold of. You will now it is Him because the task he will give you will be righteous and good. And if you think it is too much for you, remember that He is able to enable you to do anything He asks of you. All you need to do is step out.
34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 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. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Not much I can add to this one. Juts don’t mix up the words of the second one! If you treat others right, they will treat you the same. If they treat you wrong, treat them right. In another place Jesus says Love your enemies. He also said they will know we are His disciples our love to one another (John 13:35). How we need to learn this!
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
This time Jesus has a question for them. In all other cases that can recall, the religious leaders always came with the questions. But after a series of questions by them, Jesus comes with a question of His own. He asks them a simple question. Who’s Ssn will the Messiah be – what is his genealogy. Of course,, they all knew the answer to this – He would be Davids son (2 Samuel 7:13-14). So hey answer correctly.
But then there is a second question. If the Messiah s David’s son, how can He call Him Lord? A father does not call His son Lord. The father is always the head of the son iin Jewish culture, and even in ours. The Pharisees have no answer for Jesus, and never question Him again. They are outfoxed and outwitted by this son of a carpenter. They must get rid of Him somehow. They have been embarrassed in front of the people by His strong, authoritative answers, and can;t risk that happening any more.
Of course, we all know the answer The Messiah is Lord of all. It matters not the blood line or who is talking to Him – He is Lord, King of Kings. Every knee shall bow to Him, and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Even the Scribes and Pharisees. And tomorrow we will find out who these religious leaders really are.