Jesus is facing increasing attacks from his enemies at this stage of his life. His enemies are desperate and now consolidating forces to get rid of him. The Pharisees (ultra religious) and Herodians (ultra political) were by no means friends, but their desire to silence Jesus brought them together. Their plan was simple: compliment Jesus, feed his ego, and then set him up publically to be caught by his own words. [If Jesus said to pay the Roman tax then the Jewish people would view him as siding with their oppressors, and if He said the tax wasn’t legit then he would be seen as a rebel against Rome – either way he loses]. Jesus saw through the plot and masterfully turned the tables on them.
There is a practical lesson here for all of us though and one that could save us a lot of trouble. Always evaluate our words before they are written or spoken. We may have a lot of ideas in our heads, but once they are out, we now have to live with them.
Here is a simple filter to use for your thoughts before they are broadcast – “Does what I am about say honor God and show love for others?” If the answer is no, then keep it in your thought bubble. Pray for wisdom before spouting off big ideas and opinions. This can save you and me a lot of trouble!
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 (NIV)
Hang in there!