Bible Reading Enhances Any Day (BREAD)
3/15/19 Daily Bible Reading: Numbers 30-31, Luke 20
Luke 20:20-26 (NKJV) 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. 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: Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me? Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said, “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.” But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.
20:20-26. Since the religious leaders were afraid to do anything to Jesus because of the people (v. 19), they kept a close watch on Him. They were hoping to catch Him in some teaching that the crowds would not like, which would allow them to prosecute Him legally. Some spies asked Jesus a question about taxes: Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not? But this question was not merely about money. It pertained to politics and religion as well. If Jesus gave either a yes or a no answer He would lose support. If He said it was proper to pay taxes to Caesar, a foreign ruler (viz., Tiberius Caesar, a.d. 14-37), the zealots (who opposed Roman rule and favored Jewish autonomy) would be offended by His answer. If He answered that it was not proper to pay taxes (which the religious leaders might have suspected because He had been teaching about the kingdom), then the Romans would be displeased and the religious leaders would be able to turn Him over to their authority.
Jesus, pointing to the portrait and inscription of Caesar on a denarius coin (cf. 7:41; 10:35), answered in the affirmative: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But He also used the occasion to teach that one should give to God the thing that bears His image—oneself (and to God what is God’s).
This astonishing answer silenced the spies (20:26). Interestingly the religious leaders used this incident against Jesus in His trial. But they totally misrepresented His position, charging that Jesus opposed payment of taxes to Caesar (23:2).
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.
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