Matthew Lesson 23 Day 2

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Matthew Lesson 23 Day 2

Matthew 22:15-33

3. The Pharisees: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar?

The Pharisees and Sadducees had failed at previous attempts to entrap Jesus with religious questions.

Although the Jewish religious leaders and the Herodians were not friends, their common hatred of Jesus caused them to conspire in an attempt to destroy Him.

The Pharisees—most of the Jews for that matter—rejected Roman rule. The Herodians were likely a part of the ruling family and/or simply supporters of Herod. If Jesus encouraged anyone not to pay taxes, they would be fully justified in having Him arrested.

4. a. Jesus’ answer

“>If Jesus said they should pay allegiance to Caesar, the Pharisees could also claim Jesus endorsed worship of the emperor.

“The image on the denarius, the only small silver coin acceptable for imperial tax payments, was probably that of Tiberius Caesar (reigned A.D. 14-37). The inscription upon the coin read “Tiberius Caesar Augustus, Son of the Divine Augustus” with the reverse side reading “Chief Priest.” This inscription was a claim to divinity and, as emperor, the right to be worshiped. Jesus declared, “Render [give back] to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17) . We are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27 and James 3:9), so we must render to God the things belonging to God (our lives) and to Caesar the things belonging to Caesar (his money and other benefits of his rule).”(2)

Questions people ask today that could cause controversy

  • Are you pro-life or pro-abortion?
  • Who did you vote for in the last election? 
  • Evolution or creation?
  • Do you believe gay marriage should be legalized?

Things I owe “Caesar”

  • Submit to the governing authorities unless they disobey God.
  • Pay my taxes and tolls
  • Show respect and honor
  • Obey the laws as long as they don’t cause us to sin against God.

Things I owe God:

  • Love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind.
  • Love others around me as I love myself.

5. Sadducees try to trap Jesus.

The Sadducees were the ancient version of the modern liberal theologians. They were anti-supernaturalistic, only accepting the first five books of Moses as authentic – and disregarding what was written in those books when it pleased them to do so.1

The Sadducees were not many in number, but they were the wealthy, the aristocratic, and the governing class. (Barclay)1

They asked Jesus a hypothetical and ridiculous question based on Deuteronomy 25:5-10 to make their point that the idea of resurrection is nonsense.(1)

After making up some “elaborate circumstances” about a woman who married one of seven brothers. He died before she had a child and the next brother married her and the next etc until all the brothers died and the woman still had no children. They asked Jesus, “In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”

b.  Jesus gave them two reasons for their error:

“You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.”

  • In the resurrected state, there will be no weddings.
  • Death of the body is not the end of life. God is God of the living, not the God of the dead. He said so, and it was recorded in Exodus 3:6, which Jesus quoted to them. 

The passage to which Jesus referred is God speaking to Moses from the burning bush.  Jesus used Exodus 3:6 to point out a truth they had never noticed. God speaks of Himself, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the present tense saying “I am” so they still exist. “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

6. They were astonished at his teaching.

Jesus’ wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the scriptures far exceeded the Pharisees and Sadducees.

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1 used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 23 Day 2