Today’s Gospel Lesson describes an attempt by the Pharisees to trap Jesus. The Pharisees begin to carry out their scheme with great cunning. They praise Jesus for His dedication to truth and for His courage in expressing it. “Teacher,” they say to Him, “we know that You are true, and teach the way of God truthfully, and care for no man; for You do not regard the position of men” (Mt. 21:16). Then the Pharisees ask the thorny question: “Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (Mt. 21:17). The Pharisees want Jesus to give a “Yes” or “No” answer. If He answers “Yes,” the Pharisees will claim that He has betrayed God almighty by taking sides with the Roman invader against Palestine. If He answers “No,” the conspirators will denounce Him to the Romans as a political threat — a rebel who opposes the law of the occupying, ruling power.
Jesus begins His response by…
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