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Three Challenges to Jesus' Authority

Matthew  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  49:52
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We are still in the week leading up to Jesus’ death and ressurection
It’s probably Tuesday
We are still in the temple courts
Thats courts as in “courtyard” rather than trial court
Jesus has just
Had his authority challenged
Taught 3 parables that all spoke against the religious and and secular leaders of the day
Now those leaders, who have already been discussing how to kill Jesus without violating the law or causing uproar, are angered to a point of action.
Today we have three attempts by these leaders to trip up Jesus as a rabbi or teacher.
Each of these points to an overall theme for this text that we will explore at the end.
Each also gives Jesus the opportunity to teach truth.
Our path forward this morning will include evaluating Jesus’ teaching on each of these three issues and then a final discussion of how these three points work together in the context of Matthew’s gospel.
Exposition 1
Matthew 22:15 ESV
Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words.
“Then” - temporal and and likely logical as well
In other accounts of this story, it is clear that all of the leaders of Israel were working together in these challenges. Apparently, the Pharisees choose to try first.
Explain how these “unlikely partners” came together.
Matthew 22:16 ESV
And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.
The Herodians, who were other, more civil type leaders, when along with some pharisees to make this challenge.
The Herodians were Jews who were loyal to Herod and by extension, Rome.
They clearly came along to provide a “roman audience” to this encounter.
They begin their address with flattery, but also present their challenge in a way that it demands an answer.
Matthew 22:17 ESV
Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
They bring up a question that to us, seems secular or legal and not theological or religious.
However, all legal matters were theological to the first century Jew.
explain...
The question is supposed to be a “lose, lose” scenario.
The “or not” solicits a yes or no answer.
The thinking is, a yes answer alienates Jesus’ would be followers, turning people away from him as paying certain taxes was seen as “anti-Jewish.”
A “no” answer brings down the wrath of a Roman government.
“Rock and a hard place”
Matthew 22:18 ESV
But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites?
Matthew 22:19 ESV
Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius.
Matthew 22:20 ESV
And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”
Matthew 22:21 ESV
They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Matthew 22:22 ESV
When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.
You need to try to understand this teaching from a first century Jewish person.
They wanted a political Messiah
They had no concept of “separation of church and state”

I. Kingdom citizens must relate to government in a way that acknowledges God’s sovereignty over its’ authority while not compromising their faith (15-22)

Exposition 2
Matthew 22:23 ESV
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question,
“same day”
Sadducees now
Explain ressurection thinking
1 Century Jewish after life belief was surprisingly diverse
OT vs NT
This is another attempt to force Jesus to alienate a “party” of people
Read through 28…
Matthew 22:24 ESV
saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’
Matthew 22:25 ESV
Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother.
Matthew 22:26 ESV
So too the second and third, down to the seventh.
Matthew 22:27 ESV
After them all, the woman died.
Matthew 22:28 ESV
In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”
The “rule” they are referring to is Levirate Marriage (Deut. 25:5-6)
The evidence suggests that this rule was not a common practice though was still allowable.
It could be refused
It is being used here as a hypothetical to try to make the idea of a ressurection seem impossible
They assumed that Jesus would support the “popular idea” of a ressurection.
Explain scenario…
Matthew 22:29 ESV
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
Matthew 22:30 ESV
For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Matthew 22:31 ESV
And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God:
Matthew 22:32 ESV
‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
Matthew 22:33 ESV
And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

II. The future ressurection is to a world substantially different than our own in which our relations with one another take on a different form (23-32)

Exposition 3 (34-40)
Matthew 22:34 ESV
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.
Matthew 22:35 ESV
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.
Matthew 22:36 ESV
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
Matthew 22:37 ESV
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Matthew 22:38 ESV
This is the great and first commandment.
Matthew 22:39 ESV
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:40 ESV
On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

III. The law that kingdom citizens follow is rooted in the love of God (34-40)

Conclusion

IV. Jesus in the all-wise teacher, follow Him

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