Summary: A Question about Caesar, Moses & David – Luke chapter 20 verses 20-44 – sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). A Question About Caesar (vs 20-26).

(2). A Question About Moses (vs 27-40).

(3). A Question About David (vs 41-44).



• An antique dealer spotted a valuable antique bowl in a small bric-a-brac shop.

• And he knew right away that the bowl was worth thousands of pounds.

• And here it was being used to feed the owner's cat.

• Not wanting to alert the owner to the bowls value,

• The clever dealer thought of a cunning plan to get it cheap.

• He said to the shop owner, “I'd like to buy your cat. I'll give you twenty pounds for him.'”

• The owner resisted, “Saying I can’t sell my cat”

• Well, a period of bartering took place,

• And eventually the dealer offered £100 at which point the man sold the cat.

• The dealer then said, “I assume I'll get the bowl to go with the cat?”

• The owner replied, “Oh no, that's my lucky bowl. I've sold 34 cats with it this week!”

• TRANSITION: Sometimes the people who try to trap others with their words,

• Wind up being the victims themselves.

• In this chapter of Luke’s gospel.

• Three groups of religious leaders try to trap Jesus (vs 1).

• “The chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders”

These leaders were the religious heavyweights who were trying to trap Jesus in his own teaching.

• This was not just an act of dishonesty, it was also an act of deceit,

• Luke who wrote this gospel uses a specific Greek word (vs 127) translated as ‘rejected’.

• The word means, ‘to reject after investigation.’

• These leaders were doing their job investigating Jesus,

• As guardians of the faith, guardians of the truth,

• They were in their rights.

• To check out and make sure this new & popular preacher was sound.

• The big problem was this,

• They came to check out Jesus with their minds already made up,

• They did not come to weigh up the facts,

• Instead, they had already rejected Jesus,

• And now they wanted or needed evidence to rid themselves of him.

The irony of this chapter is they came to examine Jesus:

• But all the time Jesus was examining them!

• Jesus is never on-the-back-foot, he is always in charge, in command.

• The religious leaders, responses to Jesus,

• Shows to us their ignorance, their hatred and their unbelief.

• Last week you looked at ‘A Question About John the Baptist’ (vs 1-19).

• This week we will look at three more questions found in these verses.

• Two questions asked by the religious leaders and one asked by Jesus.

(1). A Question About Caesar (vs 20-26).

“Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21 So the spies questioned him: ‘Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’

23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 ‘Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?’

‘Caesar’s,’ they replied.

25 He said to them, ‘Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.’

26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.”


• In one of Aesop’s Fables,

• A donkey is walking through the woods and he finds the skin of a lion.

• Hunters had killed the lion and gone away for a short while,

• Leaving the skin to dry in the sun.

• The donkey finds the lion’s skin and put it on and to his surprise it fits him perfectly.

• As he wanders through the jungle,

• He soon discovers that all the other animals are now terrified of him,

• They ran away whenever he appears.

• Enjoying his moment of power and newly found respect.

• The donkey brayed his happiness,

• The trouble being that his voice gives him away as being a donkey.

• The moral of the fable is clear:

• Fine clothes may disguise, but stupid words will reveal a fool.

• TRANSITION: The Pharisees and the chief priests come to Jesus in their fine clothes.

• But their words reveal their foolishness!

• Note: usually the Pharisees and chief priestly family do not get along,

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