Rendering to Caesar and to God

Matthew 22:15-22


From Exegetical Commentary on Matthew, 2006, AMG Publishers.

The parable of the wedding feast infuriated the Pharisees. They knew that Jesus accused them of rejecting the kingdom of God, of not possessing God's righteousness, and of having a futile righteousness of their own (Rom. 10:3). Beside all this, He had virtually predicted their personal deaths and the destruction of their city.

[15] Consequently, we read, "Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel (sumbolion [4824], a body of advisers; from sn [4862], together; and boulē [1012], advice) how they might entangle (from pagideō [3802], to set a pags [3803], a trap) him in his talk (from lgos [3056], logic, rational propositions). They hoped to cause Jesus to say something they could interpret as an attack on Rome, a message the Herodians would carry swiftly to higher authorities. This would expedite His death. Imagine trying to trap the Lgos of God, God's personified logic, with logic.

[16] "And they sent out (from apostéllō [649], to send on a mission) unto him their disciples with the Herodians (from hērōdiano [2265])." The Herodians were a Jewish political party loyal to the Romans, some of whom even considered Herod to be the Messiah. Because of the Pharisees' heavily compromised allegiance to Moses, they considered the Herodians their enemies. But the Pharisees willingly enlisted them as allies to entrap Jesus (cf. Mark 3:6). The expression "the leaven of Herod" in Mark 8:15 may be an allusion to the Herodians. 

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