MUSINGS – November 17, 2018
The leaders sent some of the Pharisees and some of Herod’s followers to Jesus. They wanted to trap him into saying the wrong thing. When they came to him, they said, “Teacher, we know that you tell the truth. You don’t favor individuals because of who they are. Rather, you teach the way of God truthfully. Is it right to pay taxes to the emperor or not? Should we pay taxes or not?” Jesus recognized their hypocrisy, so he asked them, “Why do you test me? Bring me a coin so that I can look at it.” They brought a coin. He said to them, “Whose face and name is this?” They told him, “The emperor’s.” Jesus said to them, “Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, and give God what belongs to God.” They were surprised at his reply.
Here is a riddle for you, when is the truth not the truth? When it is not believed. These leaders came to Jesus faining belief when they said, “you teach the way of God truthfully.” Though it was true, it was a lie in their hearts. Jesus heard their words but he also knew their hearts.
They wanted to trap him. But he saw their intent and turned it around on them. He told them a truth that they had not expected.
Beware those who flatter you, as they may have evil intentions. Jesus warmed his followers, “I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be as cunning as snakes but as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) So beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
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