The Strategy to Trap Jesus

The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for ways to trap Jesus. Reading in Luke 20:19-26, they employed a new strategy by sending spies who pretended to be sincere so they could catch Jesus in something He said. This would then give them an excuse for handing Him over to the power and authority of the governor (v. 20).

The spies pretend to be supporters of Jesus by being deceptively pleasant towards Him; being sly in their question as though they were offering encouragement, they said “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.” (v. 21) Then they ask the question, “Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not” (v. 22)?

Unfortunately, just like during the time of Jesus, state and church concerns seem to conflict with each other with one gaining too much power over the other rather than working together. Jesus’ lesson was that we are to respect governmental authority. We may not have a lot of respect for those who hold positions within the government but we are to respect the office because its authority has been instituted by God (vv. 23-24).

This day with God, let us try to be peace-makers and not trouble-makers. Let us call to God in a prayer of unity so there is justice throughout the world. Let us pray that governments know their role in society and that churches are allowed to fill their role.

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