Serving Jesus in Our Community

Bible Notes

Matthew 22:15-22 (23.07.19)

Matthew 22:15-22 NIV
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. [16] They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. [17] Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” [18] But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? [19] Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, [20] and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” [21] “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” [22] When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

One wrong step would land Jesus in trouble. If he said it was right to pay taxes to the Romans, the Pharisees would accuse him of being disloyal to the Jewish people – the Romans were of course occupiers of their land. If he said that they shouldn’t pay taxes, the Herodians would report him to Herod and the Romans. But Jesus manages to sidestep their trap by throwing the question back at them! The coin had a photo of the Emperor on it and a transcription that made claims about the Roman Emperors being gods. By dividing God and Caesar, not only did he sidestep their trap, but he also was able to protest against this blasphemy.

Father, help us to recognise our duty to our country and to your Kingdom.

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