Subscribe Daily Bible Study Mailing List Receive Daily Bible Studies directly into your email inbox.
Lesson # Matt. 22:16-18
Study Material - Matt. 22:16-18
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
16 And [kai] they sent out [apostello] unto him [autos] their [autos] disciples [mathetes] with [meta] the Herodians [Herodianoi] , saying [lego] , Master [didaskalos] , we know [eido] that [hoti] thou art [ei] true [alethes] , and [kai] teachest [didasko] the way [hodos] of God [theos] in [en] truth [aletheia] , [kai] neither [ou] carest [melo] thou [soi] for [peri] any [oudeis] man: for [gar] thou regardest [blepo] not [eis] [ou] the person [prosopon] of men [anthropos] .
17 Tell [epo] us [hemin] therefore [oun] , What [tis] thinkest [dokeo] thou [soi] ? Is it lawful [exesti] to give [didomi] tribute [kensos] unto Caesar [Kaisar] , or [e] not [ou] ?
18 But [de] Jesus [Iesous] perceived [ginosko] their [autos] wickedness [poneria] , and said [epo] , Why [tis] tempt ye [peirazo] me [me] , ye hypocrites [hupokrites] ? KJV-Interlinear
16 And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, 'Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. 17 'Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?' 18 But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, 'Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? NAS
The Herodians supported the rule of Rome and of Herod, naturally. The Pharisees were opposed to Roman rule. So these two groups were generally opposed to each other, and opposed in a very dramatic way. But now they have a common enemy, or so that is how they saw Jesus.
Here we are on the Tuesday prior to His Crucifixion, and a lot of activity is beginning to accelerate against Christ. Rather than seeing their own flaws, these Pharisees were now combining their efforts with their natural political enemies, against God.
They not only do not approach Jesus directly, but the Pharisees send their underlings along with the Herodians. Cowardice is a characteristic of the arrogant and the spiritually negative person. They do not hold themselves responsible for their thoughts, words, or actions. In fact they do not see any wrong in themselves whatsoever. Such is the nature of the spiritually negative person.
Deceit is their weapon. They approach Jesus and try to get Him to side with one group or the other. If with the Pharisees, then Jesus is a rebel toward Rome. If He sides with the Herodians, then He is a traitor to His own people and Judea. A trap they thought sure to get Him in trouble in one form or another.
Jesus saw right through their deceit and their trap. Any believer with adequate doctrine in their soul, can discern when people are trying to manipulate their lives in an evil sort of way. So the tax question.
Before we studied the poll tax question. Recall that, that was a religious tax for the support of the Temple, and it applied to all Jewish people. It was a valid tax, and was only imposed by God through Moses, in order to generate funding for the functions of the Tabernacle/Temple. People in general will not give to the church or Bible study, because it is the nature of people to ignore this part of their spiritual responsibility. It was true in Moses time, and is true even today. People do not change.
Anyway, we have in view the tax on the country, imposed by Rome. This was an economic tax. The Romans demanded it, and the Jews opposed it. The Romans had the power. The Jews were weak and virtually without any political or military power, so they had no choice.
So the question is put to Jesus. Is it right to pay the tax or not? He could have thrown the question right back at them, but He chose instead to give them options and forced each person to make up his own mind. Will a person be responsible in life, or will he seek advice from someone else, and then blame that other person when things do not work out?
Many people do this throughout life. They just do not want to make up their own mind, but prefer others to do their thinking for them. This can be rationalized as an escape from responsibility. 'This isn't my fault. They told me to do it!'
Refusing to face ones responsibilities in life is not a solution. It never is. It in fact prevents one from growing up. Anything that prevents one from growing up is not a good path to pursue.
We all face choices daily, in life. We have to clean our rooms. We have to go to work. We have to join the team in a ball game. We have to fulfill our part of a relationship. We have to be financially responsible. This list goes on forever. You can look at your own life and you do know what is expected of you. God knows too. The question is whether you will be responsible for yourself, or whether you will look to others as crutches or excuses for your life. Whether you will acknowledge right from wrong, or whether you will play the games these Pharisees were playing, and try to incorporate deceit and compromise into your life, and justify it all to yourself.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
If you enjoy these Bible Studies, please consider making a Donation
Subscribe Daily Bible Study Mailing List Receive Daily Bible Studies directly into your inbox.