Question Traps

Question Traps

“Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away. The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.” But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet” ’? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.”
Matthew 22:15–46


The Pharisees attempted to trap Jesus in his words by sending their disciples to ask him if it was permissible to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus knew their malicious intent and inquired as to why he was being tested. To demonstrate his point, he asked to see a coin, and when shown a denarius, he inquired whose image and inscription were on it. When he was told it was Caesar's, Jesus instructed them to give Caesar the things that are his and to give God the things that belong to him. Defeated, they marveled at his answer and went away.


The Sadducees decide to try and trap Jesus. They come to him with a question about the resurrection, which is ridiculous because the Sadducees do not believe in the afterlife. It would have been apparent to the crowds that they had devious intentions. They seek to trap Jesus with an extreme case of Levirate marriage and who the woman would belong to in the afterlife. Jesus now responds to the question posed in light of the scenario they presented. Jesus states that they do not understand the Scriptures or God's power and then informs them that there is no marriage in the resurrection, but people are like angels. Jesus then addresses the heart of the disagreement with the Sadducees, their opinion on the resurrection. He reminds them what God says about himself, that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, implying that he is a God of the living, not the dead. The crowds are amazed at his response.

The Great And Second

After Jesus silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees gathered to attempt to trap him in his words. A lawyer stands to test Jesus. The crowds may have been excited to see Jesus confront another test. This teacher of the law wants to know what Jesus believes is the great commandment in the Law. Jesus answers him without a rebuke. He referred to the dual commands of loving God and loving one another. Jesus seized the moment to pose questions to the Pharisees who had convened to challenge him. He inquired about their comprehension of the Messiah and his sonship. They stated that the Christ was David's son. Subsequently, Jesus presented a thought-provoking query based on Ps 110:1. He asked how David could refer to the Messiah as "Lord" if he were his own son. The Pharisees were unable to respond to this, effectively concluding the verbal debates between Jesus and the religious leaders in Jerusalem.





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