Go Ye Therefore

The Law of Solid Ground Part 12

Jesus’ Character-Matthew 22:15-46

Each time Jesus faces some leadership tests, He proves His integrity by handling the situation expertly:

1.    The Pharisees attempt to trap Him with the tax issue (vv. 15-22).

Should the Jews pay taxes to Caesar? Either expected answer would get Jesus in trouble, either with the Romans or the Jews. So Jesus answers the question with a question. He asks for a coin, then says: “Whose image and inscription is this?” (Matt. 22:20). The coin carried Caesar’s image—so it should be surrendered to him. But the people were made in God’s image—so they should surrender themselves to Him.

2.    The Sadducees attempt to trap Him with the marriage issue (vv. 23-33).

If a woman lost several husbands to premature death, whose wife would she be in heaven? Jesus explains there is no marriage in heaven, so it is a moot point. But then He poses his own question, proving from their own scriptures the existence of both a resurrection and a heaven.

3.    The Pharisees attempt to ask Him an unanswerable question (vv. 34-40).

What was the greatest commandment? Surely Jesus wouldn’t want to leave out any. Jesus summarizes the Law with a single command: Love God and your neighbor. Then He poses an unanswerable question of His own, proving He knew the scriptures better than they did (vv. 41-46).

Pharisees’ Contrast-Matthew 23:13-32

Jesus instructed others to follow the Pharisees’ words, but not their actions. Their confused priorities, two-faced behavior, impure motives, and damaging leadership had lost them the trust of many common folk. Leaders must never forget: If people can’t trust you, neither will they travel with you.

Join me next time for The Law of Solid Ground Part 13.