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Summary: In this example of Jesus paying the Temple tax, Jesus shows us how to deal with situations where we are conflicted and don’t know what to do. When, Morally, the answer is not one of right or wrong, but what is the right thing to do.

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INTRODUCTION

In this example of Jesus paying the Temple tax, Jesus shows us how to deal with situations where we are conflicted and don’t know what to do. (Of course, Jesus had no doubt in his mind what to do yet he took this as an opportunity to teach.) When, Morally, the answer is not one of right or wrong, but what is the right thing to do.

The Teaching of Christ is simply: A C T right.

The Temple tax was paid in order to support the Temple. Exodus 30:11–16

The apparent problem:

• If Jesus paid the tax then it would seem to the people that he was accepting the status of an ordinary Jew.

• If he didn’t pay the tax he would have compromised his higher claim to being the Messiah.

MAIN BODY

I. Analyze the question. Matt. 17:24–25a

A. What are the positives and negatives of each possible answer?

B. Be honest in your answer.

II. Consider the Situation. Matt. 17:25b–26

A. What are the moral implications?

1. Is there a command from God forbidding or directing our actions?

2. Do we find an account of action that binds our conduct?

3. Can we infer proper conduct from other scripture?

B. When we can answer “No” to these questions then the Christian is free. Gal. 5:1,3

III. Think about the other people involved. Matt. 17:27

A. Even when free, the Christian must still be prudent.

B. Jesus’ motivation for action was to avoid offending the people. Prov. 18:19

C. The Christian should also have a higher motivation in mind.

1. Romans 14:13–19

2. Romans 15:1–3

CONCLUSION

Galatians 5:13–14

Mitchell Skelton, Midway church of Christ


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