For the second week in a row, we are faced with a challenging passage of Scripture that gives us another difficult encounter between Jesus and the religious and political authorities of the day. Much like the passage that we looked at last week, of the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, this encounter makes us uncomfortable. It is not the story, itself, that makes us comfortable. It is the context of the encounter that is uncomfortable. Jesus, here, seems to be addressing a very political situation.
Many of us like to believe Jesus rose above the politics of the day. There is some truth to that. Jesus is no partisan, but that does not mean Jesus refrained from discussing the social and political situation of his time. He routinely engages the political, cultural, and societal issues that faced the people to explain the greater truth of what it means to follow the Lord.
This encounter from Matthew 22:15-22 is no different. We meet up with Jesus in the middle of a busy day of conflicts and challenges from the religious and political elites. This particular confrontation takes place on the Tuesday of Holy or Passion Week. These direct confrontations between Jesus and the religious leaders where highlighted by the fact that Jesus routinely called out their hypocrisy that centered on what they taught and how they lived. Continue reading “Give to God What is God’s”