So-Called Convictions


Putting Politics in Perspective

Key Bible Verse: But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” (Matthew 22:18-19)

Dig Deeper: Matthew 22:20-28

The Pharisees and Herodians seem to have Jesus backed into a corner. If Jesus says that we should pay taxes to Caesar, he’s just aligned himself with the Herodians. If he says we shouldn’t pay taxes to Caesar, he’s lining up against mighty Rome. For this well-known Rabbi to advocate not paying taxes to Caesar would at the same time be a declaration of war. He seems to have been backed into a corner with no way out.

Jesus now does something very curious. He calls them “hypocrites” while at the same time asking for the coin they use to pay the tax to Caesar. Just like that, these men dig through their personal possessions and someone hands over a coin. The coin in question has an image of Caesar on it. To the Pharisees, using this coin to pay taxes to Caesar promoted emperor worship. You would think if this was the position you held, that you wouldn’t event want to carry the coin with you.

Ironically, when Jesus calls for the coin in question, the very people who had these so-called convictions, the Pharisees, produce the coin. [continued 7/7]

– Bryan Loritts in A Cross-Shaped Gospel

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