What Jesus Did! 'Whose Face Do You See?' — Matthew 22:17-22

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"So tell us what you think. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar? Yes or no?" But Jesus knew that these men were trying to trick him. So he said, "You hypocrites! Why are you trying to catch me saying something wrong? Show me a coin used for paying the tax." The men showed Jesus a silver coin. Then Jesus asked, "Whose picture is on the coin? And whose name is written on the coin?" The men 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." Those men heard what Jesus said, and they were amazed. They left him and went away.
— Matthew 22:17-22 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 22:17-22 NLT — "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. And give to God the things that are God's."

Key Thought

The trap is set for Jesus. Get him in one of those governmental "catch 22" questions where his answer is wrong no matter what he says. If he says to pay taxes, the people will reject him. If he says to not pay taxes, then he has broken the law and can be arrested by the Romans. But notice how Jesus avoided the trap and turned his ambush into a great victory for truth. First, he called their bluff by pointing out the trick to everyone. Second, he asked them a question about truth. Third, he gives a principle rather than a law so they have to wrestle with their own hearts instead of blaming some teacher's opinion on this issue!

Today's Prayer

Holy God, please give me the grace and wisdom to answer those who attack me. I want to display your truth and character no matter how an enemy's "fact finding" mission turns out. I want to speak of you no matter the consequences, and I want to do so in a way which brings you glory and Jesus closer to those with whom I share this message. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Prov. 15:9
  • John 8:31-32; 14:15-17, 21
  • Eph. 6:19-20


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.