15 The Pharisees went out. They made plans to trap Jesus with his own words. 16 They sent their followers to him. They sent the Herodians with them. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of honor. You teach the way of God truthfully. You don’t let others tell you what to do or say. You don’t care how important they are. 17 Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus knew their evil plans. He said, “You pretenders! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin people use for paying the tax.” They brought him a silver coin. 20 He asked them, “Whose picture is this? And whose words?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. And give to God what belongs to God.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
Normally, the Pharisees and the Herodians two groups were bitter enemies. But in order to trap Jesus in His words they united together to against Him.
To trap Jesus, they said some nice words to Him in the beginning. Then they asked Jesus: what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?
If Jesus said Yes, then, the Pharisees would say Jesus was objecting to God. But, if Jesus said No, then, the Herodians would hand Jesus over to Herod for rebellion.
Actually, Jesus knew their evil intent and said “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? …….. give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
What great wisdom Jesus’ reply. No wonder they were amazed and left Jesus and went away.
The challenge of this passage to me is:
- Do I only say “nice words” to people instead of truth?
- Do I truly believe God knows everything inside of my mind?
- Do I give to God what is God’s? Or something not as important?
Dear Lord, you are the searcher of the heart, the tester of the thoughts. You knew me even before I was born. All things are naked and open before eyes. Help me to learn how to play the role of citizen in this nation and the kingdom of heaven, in order to glorify your name. Amen.
Written by Allen Leu