Sermon for November 17, 2019

An Interesting “Rendering”

Matthew 22:15-22

   This part of the Gospel of Matthew (Chapters 21-23) deal with the conflict in the Temple.  After one day after his triumphal entry, Jesus transitions to flipping over tables. (Malachi 3:1; Mark 11:11) While the Pharisee’s were displeased, there was not attack on Jesus’ authority.  As soon as on the third day He enters the Temple the conflict begins. The interval our Lord had in mercy allowed for calm reflection had been used for no other purpose than to organize a conspiracy for the purpose of entangling Him in His words and so discrediting His authority. We gather this from the carefully framed questions with which He is plied by one party after another. Four successive attacks are recorded in the passage before us: the first by the chief priests and elders of the people demanding His authority; the next by the Pharisees, assisted by the Herodians, who endeavored by means of the difficulty of the tribute money to embroil Him with the Roman power; this was again immediately followed by a third, in which the prime movers were the Sadducees, armed with what they considered an unanswerable question regarding the life to come; and when that also broke down there was a renewed attack of the Pharisees, who thought to disconcert Him by a perplexing question about the law. 1

Matthew 22:15-22

   The Coin- The inscription reads “Ti[berivs] Caesar Divi Avg[vsti] F[ilivs] Avgvstvs” (“Caesar Augustus Tiberius, son of the Divine Augustus”), claiming that Augustus was a god. The reverse shows a seated female, usually identified as Livia depicted as Pax. 2

This portion of Scripture is less about the paying of taxes (tribute) and more about who you place as having authority.

1.  Ironically, the coin states that the people are paying tribute to the son of god.  The Son of God therefore poses an interesting question, “Who you are honoring, Caesar or God the Father?

2.  The Sanhedrin, consisting of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes, only had as much power as Rome would give them.  They used this to their advantage to make money off their own people.

3.  Eventually, the Sanhedrin used Rome to Crucify Jesus.


 1  Expositor’s Bible. Matthew 21:18-23:39. Conflict in the Temple.

 2  ^ “Tiberius, Tribute Penny”. Archived from the original on 11/13/2019.

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