Summary: ENTRAPMENT! Jesus’ enemies sought to entangle Him--their guns were loaded, and so were their questions. But His answers left them speechless. Then Jesus posed a question of His own. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint.

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Four Questions

Matthew 22:15-46

ENTRAPMENT! 3 groups sought to entangle the Lord Jesus, and each asked Him a tough question they thought would bring Him down. But His answers left them speechless and astonished. Then Jesus posed a question of His own.

The Herodians asked a political question:

v. 15-17

The Sadducees asked a doctrinal question:

v. 23-28

The Pharisees asked an ethical question:

v. 34-36

Then Jesus asked a personal question that turned the tables on them:

v. 41-45

The answers to these 4 questions are chunks of meaty truth that will feed our spirits. And yet, it will take us 2 messages today to cover these 4 questions...2 this morning and 2 tonite. So, raise your hand if it is your honest intention to get the whole message by coming back tonite, or listening online if nothing else. Ok, you all who raised your hands will be dismissed at noon and the rest will need to stay afterward for part 2!

A couple days before Jesus died His enemies tried to entrap Him with these tough prepared questions. They are furious because so many are following Jesus as He claims to be God. The want to take Him down!

v. 15 ‘entangle’ is a hunting term meaning to trap an animal...they are stalking their prey as if on a wild hunt. Their guns are loaded, and so are their questions. They THINK He won’t be able to answer these questions, but they are about to learn about His omniscience. Usually we don’t care for a ‘know it all’ because, obviously, they don’t really know it all, but this One does!

1st question:

v. 17 The Herodians were sent by the Pharisees to ask this question. These 2 groups hated one another, but they combined efforts to attack Christianity, and this still happens today.

Palestine was an occupied nation, living under the steel heel of the Roman Empire, so the people were bitter over being dominated. When they paid their taxes to Caesar it was a reminder that they were not free. The Pharisees were Jewish leaders, thus they despised paying taxes, but the Herodians were loyal to the Roman Empire. They were led by king Herod, who got his authority from Rome. This was a very controversial question designed to put Jesus on the horns of a dilemma...a no win situation, they thought.

v. 18-19 Jesus saw through their plans. He saw an opportunity not only to stop their mouths cold, but to teach a timeless truth.

v. 20-21 The Lord is teaching that believers live in 2 different worlds at the same time. If you are saved you are a citizen of heaven, but in the flesh we walk on the earth. So we have dual citizenship, if you will.

Ill.—man worked for the census and went to a very back woods house to count a family. It was in very poor, run down condition. A woman answered the door and replied that she and her husband had 10 children, but only 9 lived there. He asked where the other child lived, and she said he was at Harvard. Looking at their home and the other children he was surprised and asked her to clarify, really, he’s studying at Harvard? No, she said, they’re studying him!

Jesus recognized the authority of Rome, whether it was fair and pure or not. I’m sorry to have to report that Jesus says to us to pay our taxes! Why? In His illustration, Christ says because Caesar’s image is stamped upon it.

And in just the same way we are created in the image of God...His image is stamped upon us as His children, and we have a moral obligation to submit ourselves to Him as our ultimate authority. And I say today, don’t get saved just to keep out of hell, rather, give your life to God because it’s the right thing to do to return your life to its rightful owner!

Jesus has turned the tables on them, foiling their question, and giving them a truth in turn that could change their lives!

Balance: the Bible does say there’s one instance where we should not obey the laws of our land, and that’s when those laws conflict w/ God’s laws. “We ought to obey God rather than men.” In the book of Daniel it says a law was established making it illegal to pray, but Daniel prayed anyway. In Acts it became unlawful to preach in the name of Jesus, but the apostles preached anyway, no matter the cost.

Joke—difference between illegal and unlawful...unlawful is against the law, ‘ill eagle’ is a sick bird!

And it matters not today if our land endorses homosexual marriage or abortion, God still says it’s wrong, and for us that should be the end of it! And some in Congress today are trying to pass laws to keep me from saying what I just said, calling it hate speech and discrimination, and if they pass such laws they will put me in a position of having to choose whom I should obey. Pray for me that I will always preach the truth no matter the cost, even if it means being jailed, and if I am, please send cookies!

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