Sermons

Summary: How Jesus dealt with those who questioned him

Conflict with Questioners

Matthew 22:15-45

2/1/98

Intro: We looked last week in Matthew 21 & 22 at the conflict over the authority of Jesus. Often we find as we deal with trying to present the claims of Christ to someone, we find a far more common conflict: argument. We are a nation of people who like to argue. But how much more the Jews. My brother took a trip to the Holy Land, and told of the vendors there. They would never give you an honest price up front; they want you to argue with them. Did you ever hear the phrase “Jew them down”? It’s not a Semitic slur as much as an expression of their culture. I see the same trait in myself. But it comes out in dealing in yard sales.

Another two months and I’ll be spending my Friday and Saturday mornings out yard saling. Part of the fun of yard saling is seeing how little you can pay and still get good items. I love it!

Let’s look at some of the arguments Jesus faced. And let’s learn from his example of how to deal with arguments.

READ TEXT - 22:15-22

I. Jesus deals with the Herodians - a political question

Many people say there are two things they don’t talk about: religion and politics. Jesus dealt with them both here.

Notice it says they were trying to “trap him” in his words. People will do that. We know it far too well. It’s like the old question,

*Have you quit beating your wife yet? Neither yes nor no is a good answer.

How about when your spouse asks you,

*If I died and you could marry someone else, who would you marry? or better yet,

*If you could change one thing about me physically, what would you change?

I may not have been married as long as many of you, but I know enough to not answer those type of questions. There never is a good answer.

Notice the Pharisees and the Herodians are coming together. It’s sort of like a bear and an eagle coming to say Hi to the salmon that jumped up on the bank.

The Pharisees were the religious leaders who wanted no part of Rome’s control. The Herodians are the group that supports Rome’s control over Israel. This is sort of like two brothers fighting over a toy who come to ask dad who should have it. Notice they say, we know you don’t take sides. Both come to get Jesus to agree with them; but both are looking to crucify Jesus for his answer. They ask him whether it is right to pay tax to Caesar.

They ask hoping to catch him offguard. The Pharisees will say he blasphemes if he denies the authority of God over them. Yet, if he affirms God’s sole control, the Herodians will accuse him of being disloyal to Caesar. So, how does Jesus answer.

**Jesus responds first by acknowledging their sinful hearts. He lets them know that he knows what they are up to.

Next he places the burden of discussion back on them. He asks for a coin and asks whose inscription is on it.

When others ask you questions you can’t answer, don’t get fearful. That part of Satan’s plan. The best defense is a good offense. If someone asks you, “Where did Cain get his wife?

If you don’t know, don’t worry. Ask them, “If I can show you where Cain got his wife, are you willing to trust in Christ as your personal savior?

We see that as Christ answered, the questioners left him. Many people who have questions simply want to argue, they really don’t want an answer. Many who come with a question simply want to debate theological viewpoints: they really don’t care about serving God.

About the issue of taxes: I trust you pay your taxes. We see that Jesus affirmed they payment of taxes. I filed mine this week. The temptation to cheat is great, but it is sin! I found that as I was filing my IT-40 form a “Use Tax”. I sure didn’t like it. I could have entered 0 and no one would have known. But it wouldn’t havfe been right. And God knows. And I know. And Satan sees. Be honest at all times.

I would also remind you that as we render to Caesar his things, so we also render unto God his. How are you doing on filling out you eternal 1040? What are you giving back to God out of all that he has blessed you with? We have a local tax - that’s our offerings here on earth. Are you faithful in bringing your tithe each week? Or do you give when you feel like it? The reason this church ever has a money problem is a direct result of people not giving to God what is due. But the biggest part of giving to God is not what we put in the offering plate, but what we send on ahead. how are you working for God to serve him and give him his due?

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