Later, the Jewish leaders sent some Pharisees and some men from the group called Herodians to Jesus. They wanted to catch Jesus saying something wrong.
— Mark 12:13
Hatred makes allies of enemies. This is one of those occasions that this principle is true. The Pharisees didn't get along with supporters of Herod. In fact, they distrusted them and believed them to be traitors to God, the Jewish people, and the Law. Their hatred of Jesus was so great that they compromised their principles and partnered with people they couldn't stand. Let's pray that we never find ourselves doing such a thing and if we do, let's re-evaluate our position. When we start making allies out of those who compromise and trade away what we hold dear, the problem does not lie with someone else, but within us.
O God, please help me see my own moral failings, character defects, and compromises of principle more clearly. Give me courage to stand for holiness, especially in those situations when it seems to be the most difficult and painful choice. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
Later, the Jewish leaders sent some Pharisees and some men from the group called Herodians to Jesus. They wanted to catch Jesus saying something wrong. The Pharisees and Herodians went to Jesus and said, "Teacher, we know that you are an honest man. You are not afraid of what other people think about you. All men are the same to you. And you teach the truth about God's way. Tell us: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar ? Yes or no? Should we pay taxes, or should we not pay taxes?" But Jesus knew that these men were really trying to trick him. Jesus said, "Why are you trying to catch me saying something wrong? Bring me a silver coin. Let me see it." They gave Jesus a coin and Jesus asked, "Whose picture is on the coin? And whose name is written on it?" They answered, "It is Caesar's picture and Caesar's name." Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. And give to God the things that are God's." The men were amazed at what Jesus said.
Related Scripture Readings
Another time Jesus went into the synagogue. In the synagogue there was a man with a crippled hand. Some Jews there were watching Jesus closely. They were waiting to see if he would heal the man on a Sabbath day. They wanted to see Jesus do something wrong so that they could accuse him. Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, "Stand up here so that all the people can see you." Then Jesus asked the people, "Which thing is right to do on the Sabbath day: to do good, or to do evil? Is it right to save a life or to destroy one?" The people said nothing to answer Jesus. Jesus looked at the people. He was angry. But he felt very sad because they were stubborn. Jesus said to the man, "Let me see your hand." The man put his hand out for Jesus, and it was healed. Then the Pharisees left and made plans with the Herodians about a way to kill Jesus.
If a good person becomes weak and follows an evil person, it is the same as good water that has become dirty.
Don't be fooled: "Bad friends will ruin good habits."
1 Corinthians 15:33