Jesus Answers to a Tricky Question

Sunday 22nd October 2023

You are welcome to worship in person this Sunday at 10.15am.  Hand sanitizer and masks are available if you would like to use them.

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Matthew 22:15-22, Jesus Answers to a Tricky Question

In this week’s gospel text, the Pharisees think they’ve made up the perfect trick question to present before Jesus: “Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” If Jesus says yes, he’ll alienate all those who continued to struggle against Roman rule and who zealously believed Israel must only be obedient to God and God’s Torah. If, however, Jesus answers no, then he’s immediately at odds with the entire Roman Empire and has identified himself as a dangerous, disloyal opponent. Rome would deal swiftly with such a threat.

Asking questions is part of the heritage of the church. The disciples spent their days in Socratic dialog with Jesus, asking questions and discussing his answers. However, the problem with the question that the Pharisees posed to Jesus in today’s gospel text is that it was a question designed not to clarify or codify but to exclude and accuse. They intended to trap Jesus into taking a stand that would get him into trouble. But Jesus sees through these tricks, answering their questions, then throwing shade right back at them! His answers and questions leave those who would trap him speechless.  IL-WOONG.

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Build each other up in faith; and to
Become Like Jesus.