Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
The Pharisee’s plotting – what a hoot! They are trying to outthink God who created them and who knows all of their thoughts and motives. What an exercise in futility.
We cannot deceive God. He knows every thought we have. This is good. He cannot be surprised by something I do. More than that He knows and has paid for all my future sin! Praise You Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you for loving us unconditionally.
But the Pharisees, the religious elites, did not recognize God standing right in front of them. They were blinded by their own ambition and power grab. Listen to the deceptive ‘buttering up’ process. “Teacher we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully…” They did not believe a word of what they were saying, in fact just the opposite, and Jesus knew this! “Jesus aware of their malice…”
Jesus spoke and when He was done ‘…they heard…they marveled…they left him…they went away.” Nothing more to say or do. Jesus spoke and it was finished. No debate. No more questions. No more deception. Wonderful.
Prayer: Father, you always speak the truth and get to the ‘heart’ of the matter. May I have ears to hear and a heart to receive. May it cause me to run to You and never away from You. Search me O God and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting! Ps. 139:23-24 Amen