20 So they watched him and sent spies who pretended to be honest, in order to trap him by what he said, so as to hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you are right in what you say and teach, and you show deference to no one, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose head and whose title does it bear?” They said, “The emperor’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to trap him by what he said; and being amazed by his answer, they became silent.
As I read this, I was struck by the phrase “astonished by His (Jesus) answer, they became silent”.
This prompted me to do a Bible search for the word “astonished”. The first 8 times the word is used in the Bible (NIV), it refers to how the people reacted to Jesus when He did something unexpected. They were astonished (amazed, filled with wonder)!
Then the next 6 times the word is mentioned, is in the book of Acts where people were astonished at the things that Jesus’ disciples were doing. Ordinary, unschooled men were astonishing because they had been with Jesus.
I love how Jesus surprises people by doing and saying things differently than people expected.
I also love that when we are His followers and we do things His way, we too can be astonishing in this world. May we all follow His ways and be astonishing like Jesus.
Written by Shelley Witt