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Lesson 31
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Lesson 31

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Paying Taxes to Caesar (22:15-22)

The Resurrection (22:23-33)

The Great Commandments (22:34-40)

Christ the Son of David (22:41-46)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Hypocrites, marveled, resurrection, astonished, commandment, Christ, Son of David.

II.    Segment Analysis

1 Their flattering words, which led to the question that followed, pressured Jesus to answer their question. Essentially, they were saying, “Since you teach the truth and do not try to please men, you should be able to answer our question without being afraid of offending anyone.” On the surface, they appeared to respect Jesus’ integrity. In their hearts, they had devised a plot to entangle Him.

2a. He would have offended the majority of the Jews.

2b. He would have been charged with treason against Caesar.

3a. We still need to fulfill our obligations to earthly authorities while we devote ourselves to the service of God.

3b. Jesus first asked them a question about whose inscription it was on the coin. He used their response to answer their own question. Since the people enjoyed the benefits of the Roman rule, they ought to give to Caesar what was rightfully his. But contrary to what many Jews at the time believed, paying taxes to Caesar did not and should not conflict with their loyalty to God. While expecting the coming of the Messianic kingdom, the people of God still must fulfill their responsibilities to the governing authorities.

4. In a narrower sense, we need to supply for the work of God with tithes and offerings, which rightfully belong to God (Mal 3:8-10). In a broader sense, we should offer our entire being and life to God because He made us and have given us life (see Mt 22:37). Just as we have obligations to fulfill as citizens of an earthly nation, we who are citizens of the heavenly kingdom must all the more serve God with absolute dedication.

5. Unless the earthly government opposes the teachings of God, it is the duty of all Christians to submit to our governments. We do so not only because we have enjoyed the governments protection and benefits, but also for the glory of God (Rom 13:1-7; 1Pet 2:13-17).

6. They hoped to prove that belief in resurrection is absurd.

7a. They were ignorant of the Scripture’s reference to the resurrection of the dead (Isa 26:19; Dan 12:2; Job 19:25-27). So Jesus pointed out their ignorance by asking them in 31, “have you not read?”

7b. The Sadducees rejected God’s word, thinking that it was irrational. They did not believe that God’s promise will surely come to pass even if it seems impossible or illogical (19:26).

8a. God’s self-identification as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob showed that these people were alive to God even though they had died physically (Lk 20:38). God, who is eternal and who is faithful to His everlasting covenant, would not identify Himself as the God of the dead.

8b. The Sadducees believed that human beings cease to exist in body and spirit upon death, and along this line of reasoning, there is no resurrection. But if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all alive when they had already died physically, it means that there is spiritual life after death. This also means that resurrection, as promised by God in the Scripture, would be entirely possible.

9. As many Pharisees and teachers of the law who have tried had learned,  it is very difficult to summarize the law or give one commandment more importance than another. So the question to Jesus was to test His ability as a teacher of the law and to find fault in His answer.

10a. These two commandments form the basis of all other commandments. Love is the spirit of the entire Scripture. Without these commandments, the other commandments become incoherent and meaningless.

10b. It is like the first in that it originates from the first and is directly tied to it. We can only truly love our neighbors if we first dedicate ourselves to God and let His love fill our hearts. On the other hand, the direct manifestation of our love for God is to love our neighbors as ourselves (1Jn 4:12,20; 5:2).

11. The Pharisees as well as the common people only thought of the Messiah as the Son of David who would be heir to David’s throne. But the Lord Jesus, by citing Psalm 110, showed them that such understanding was insufficient. Christ was not just a descendent of David who would rule over Israel, but He was greater than David. In fact, He was God himself.

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