Tribute to Caesar
Then the Pharisees went and conspired together plotting how to trap Him by [distorting] what He said. They sent their disciples to Him, along with the [a]Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are sincere and that You teach the way of God truthfully, without concerning Yourself about [what] anyone [thinks or says of Your teachings]; for You are impartial and do not seek anyone’s favor [and You treat all people alike, regardless of status]. Tell us then, what do You think? Is it permissible [according to Jewish law and tradition] to pay a [b]poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, asked, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius [a day’s wage]. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “[[c]The Emperor Tiberius] Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard this, they were caught off guard, and they left Him and went away.
Jesus Answers the Sadducees
On that day some Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection [of the dead], came to Him and asked Him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies, leaving no children, his brother as next of kin shall [d]marry his widow, and raise children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. The second also [died childless], and the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman died. So in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”
But Jesus replied to them, “You are all wrong because you know neither the Scriptures [which teach the resurrection] nor the power of God [for He is able to raise the dead]. For in the resurrection neither do men marry nor are women given in marriage, but they are like angels in heaven [who do not marry nor produce children]. But as to the resurrection of the dead—have you not read [in the Scripture] what God said to you: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
Now when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced (muzzled) the Sadducees, they gathered together. One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And Jesus replied 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 first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Now while the Pharisees were [still] gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: “What do you [Pharisees] think of the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed)? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “[e]The son of David.” Jesus asked them, “How is it then that David by the inspiration of the Spirit, calls Him ‘Lord,’ saying,
‘The Lord (the Father) said to my Lord (the Son, the Messiah),
“Sit at My right hand,
Until I put Your enemies under Your feet”’?
So then, if David calls Him (the Son, the Messiah) ‘Lord,’ [f]how is He David’s son?” No one was able to say a word to Him in answer, nor from that day on did anyone dare to question Him again.
- Matthew 22:16 A Jewish political party loyal to Herod. The Pharisees, who strongly opposed Herod and Roman rule, and the Herodians, who were strong allies of Herod and Rome, set aside their political differences in order to conspire together against Jesus.
- Matthew 22:17 Every Jew was required to pay the poll-tax. It was considered a sign of subservience to Rome.
- Matthew 22:21 Tiberius Caesar came to the throne after the death of his stepfather, Augustus, in a.d. 14 and ruled the Roman Empire until his death in a.d. 37. He was a brilliant military general, but an incompetent, irresponsible ruler. Most biblical references to “Caesar” refer to Tiberius.
- Matthew 22:24 The purpose of this was to carry on the family line and keep property within the family.
- Matthew 22:42 The Pharisees may have thought of the Messiah merely as a human descendant of David.
- Matthew 22:45 See note Mark 12:35.