Summary: A study of the Gospel of Luke 20: 20 – 26
Luke 20: 20 – 26
So, There Actually Are Stupid Questions
20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. 21 Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth: 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me? 24 Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said, “Caesar’s.” 25 And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.
They say that there are two things that you can be sure of – taxes and death. Even if you die they will still try to get your love ones through estate taxes. Today we are going to cover a very sensitive area. Don’t blame me, it is very important to our Precious Holy Spirit for He knew that this was an area that our Blessed Holy Master, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had to deal with for our benefit.
Have you ever been to a meeting when someone remarked that there are no such things as a stupid question? The truthful answer is that there are. We will all learn today, when anyone of us sinful beings have the audacity of asking The Supreme Creator questions. Today, we will see one such attempt that are not truthful.
If you take a look at the other three Gospels you come to find out that in addition to Luke, both Matthew and Mark also write about this incident. Let’s see what they reported.
Matthew 22:15-22, “15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. 16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. 17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” 21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.”
Mark 12: 12 – 17, “13 Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. 14 When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” 16 So they brought it. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”17 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him.
If you look back to the beginning of chapter 20 in verses 1-8 you will see how the religious leaders tried to challenge our Messiah’s authority. They sneakily sought to take advantage of His claim to speak with authority by trapping Him into subversive remarks that can then be passed on to the Roman Governor as examples of His treasonable behavior. In most countries the question would have been fairly easy to answer, but in Israel it was a minefield, for while most reluctantly paid their denarius poll tax they did so because of what would have happened to them and their children if they did not, but they did it with reluctance and with hatred in their hearts.
However, for any prophet to suggest that they should pay it even reluctantly would have been the death knell for any hopes that the prophet had to be listened to. He would be instantly discredited. Prophets were supposed to stand out for what was right, not to give in to expediency