MATTHEW 22:15-22


Life of Christ #48




We are continuing our study in the Life of Christ.  In past weeks, we have seen Jesus enter the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  Jesus presented Himself as Israel’s king, the Messiah. Although there was a welcome reception outwardly, the leaders of Israel rejected Him. They did not want Jesus as king.


Jesus examined the temple and then went back to Bethany for the night. The next day as he approached Jerusalem he was hungry and saw a hypocritical fig tree, advertising fruit and having none, and he cursed it.  That day Jesus cleansed the temple.  The next day Jesus came again to Jerusalem and when the disciples called his attention to the shriveled up fig tree which he had cursed the day before.


Jesus then gave one of His great lessons on prayer. Mark 11:22-24


On this same day, the chief priests and elders challenged his authority. After Jesus responded to their question, He gave a series of parables that condemned the leaders of Israel, and the religious “right” of the day, the Pharisees.  The problem the Pharisees had was their hypocrisy.     


Vs. 15 - After hearing these scathing parables, the Pharisees had a meeting.  They wanted to destroy Jesus.  They wanted to ruin His reputation. They wanted to see Him dead.


Jesus was the best speaker whoever lived. He was and is God!  The Pharisees mistakenly thought that they could trip up Jesus in His Words, like politicians do today. If they could entangle Jesus in His own they could accuse Him and have him censored, and perhaps even killed.


Vs. 16 – The Pharisees sent some of their disciples, men who were training to become leading Pharisees.

We are not sure why they didn’t go themselves, but we can speculate.  Perhaps because they wanted to trick Jesus they didn’t want Him to recognize the people that were being sent. So, they sent men he wouldn’t recognize as Pharisees.

They were trying to be deceitful.


They also joined forces with another faction, the Herodians. Now this is a strange combination. The Herodians were followers of King Herod, a Roman vassal.  The Herodians were supportive of taxes that helped keep Herod in power. The Pharisees hated Roman domination, and hated taxes.


Neither the Pharisees nor the Herodians had time for Jesus.

The Pharisees joined forces so that whatever answer Jesus gave to their clever question, somebody could accuse Him.

If Jesus answered one way, the Pharisees would accuse Him before the Jews.  If He answered another way, the Herodians, sympathetic to the Roman government, would accuse Him before that government.

Vs. 16 - So these men come to Jesus and begin with flattery. They pretend to be sincere men seeking an answer from one that was true, taught the word of God and didn’t care what men thought or said.


Vs. 17 - Their question was about a poll tax or a head tax levied by Rome on all its citizens.  The Romans provided many benefits and services as a result of the taxes, but taxation was heavy.  They were asking if it was lawful for religious Jews to pay that tax.


It was a clever question.  The common Jew hated being in subjection to Rome, and hated paying taxes to Rome.  If Jesus said it was right to pay the tax, then the Pharisees would accuse Jesus. If Jesus said it was wrong to pay the tax the Herodians would go to the Roman authorities and probably have Him arrested.


Vs. 18 – These men acted like righteous, sincerely religious men, but Jesus as God, saw right through their hypocrisy.

And by the way, Jesus also sees through our hypocrisy today.  We can fool people, pretending to be what we are not, but we can’t fool God!  So Jesus called them what they were, hypocrites!


Vs. 19 – Jesus asks for a denarius, a day’s wage for a common laborer and the silver coin minted by the emperors to pay their tax.  It had the emperor’s picture on it.


Vs. 20 – Jesus asked whose picture was on the coin. 


Vs. 21 - What was Jesus saying?  It was Caesar’s picture on the coin, give to Caesar the things that are Caesars. The taxes that were due to the government were to be paid.  God had put government in charge for the sake of order therefore, the government was to be paid.  Romans 13:1-7 


So, Jesus was saying give to government what government deserves.  After all, the government is ordained of God.  But then He sees, “Render to God the things that are God’s.”


God is to be given what is His!  Of course, if it ever comes down to a choice between obeying God and obeying the government, God is to be obeyed!


Vs. 22 - The argument of Jesus was rock solid!  It could not be denied. In fact His accusers were amazed that He gave an answer with which nobody could legitimately argue.


As Warren Wiersbe said – “Caesar’s image was on the coin. God’s image is on man.” Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, (New Testament) Volume 1, (Wheaton Illinois, Victor Books, 1989) p. 80


Genesis 1:27 - So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.


Because we are God’s we should give to God the things that are His!  That leads us to the question of the morning, “What are the things that are God’s?” 


What are the things that belong to God? 



1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [20] For ye are bought with



Psalm 113:3 - From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is


Hebrews 13:15 - By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.



Psalm 90:10 - The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we


Psalm 39:4 - Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.


Psalm 90:12 - So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.


Ephesians 5:15-1 - See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, [16] Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [17] Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.



Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think


1 Peter 4:10-11 - As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. [11] If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.



James 3:8 - But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.


Ephesians 4:29 - Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.


Psalm 141:3, Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.



Matthew 6:19-21 - Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: [20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: [21] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.



1 John 2:15 - Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.


Matthew 10:37 - He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he



John 3:16  - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever


Psalm 62:8 - Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.



Our Temples

Our Thanks

Our Time

Our Thoughts

Our Talents

Our Tongues

Our Treasures

Our Things

Our Trust

These are all God’s