Jesus let them know that He knew their game plan and what they were up to!
Now we are going get a good look "behind the scenes" at one of the wiles (methodeia), i.e. MO's or methods of operation, of the religious hypocrites who set themselves up and call themselves God chosen people but who wickedly seek ways to bring down and destroy Christianity and those who teach His Word boldly.
The lesson to be learned in this study is up to date and relative to this very moment as more and more laws are being passed and signed into law each day to prevent Christian pastors and ministers from teaching the truth of His Word. To that end, it is important to maintain one's credibility and remain focused in God's Word, remembering that the reason some of God's elect shall be delivered up is for "His name's sake", i.e. because of the authority and laws of God, and NOT because they breached some civil matter. You "see", the delivering up for His name's sake is to be a witness to present testimony against them.
We learned in the last verse of Matthew 21 that the Pharisees sought to lay hands on Christ but they "feared the multitude because they took Him for a prophet". So they will now do some digging and counseling in civil law to see if they can find some way to discredit Him in the eyes of the multitude and have Him delivered unto the power and authority of the governor on a civil matter (Luke 20:20).Mark 13:9
But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
Here is what they tried to do to one who is much wiser than this bunch of low life snakes and vipers:
Again, the motive of these religious hypocrites is to try to "entrap" Jesus Christ in a civil matter... like the tax laws as we shall see.Matthew 22:15
Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk.
Notice in the next verse that the true instigators of the treachery remain behind the scenes, hidden from public view, whilst they send out others to do their dirty work for them! A word to the wise!took counsel, sumboulion, soom-boo'-lee-on, Greek 4824; neuter of a presumed derivative of Greek 4825 (sumboulos); advisement; specially a deliberative body, i.e. the provincial assessors or lay-court :- consultation, counsel, council.
"Sent out" is "apostello" in Greek which means just that. However, here the "agents" of the Pharisees are aligned with the Herodians who are agents of Herod, as in government officials. In other words, the objective of those with a religious agenda is to use civil law (if at all possible) to have Christ arrested and stopped from teaching the truth about them! Remember in Matthew 21:45 it was when the Pharisees "perceived that He spake of them" in exposing their lies and hypocrisy that they sought to lay hands on Him. And they sent out unto Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
Luke gives us some added detail into the method and motive of their operation.
Now let's repeat verse 16 and carefully take note of how these liberal "feigners of righteousness" used flattery to try to set up Christ. This is one of the basic tenets of Satan's methodology, so anytime someone comes to you telling you how great a person or teacher you are... put your gospel shields up and get ready to withstand some fiery darts!Luke 20:20
And they watched Him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of His words, that so they might deliver Him unto the power and authority of the governor.
What a bunch of liars and hypocrites! Who do they think they are fooling by "blowing smoke"? Not those wise in Father's Word, that's for sure! Now for the killer question:Matthew 22:16
And they sent out unto Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
Remember from verse 15 that their intent is to "entangle Him in His talk" so we know they are waiting with "baited breath" for Him to say something like, "No, the CIRS (Caesar's Internal Revenue Service) is oppressive, illegal, unconstitutional, and violates our rights!" Then they could go to Caesar and have Him arrested as a tax evader or as one who teaches against obeying Caesar's tax laws! He would then be criminalized and made an example of before the eyes of the people. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
Jesus let them know that He knew their game plan and what they were up to! Now notice that all Jesus uses in handling this matter is wisdom and common sense. In other words, He does not even quote scripture to them. But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
"Let me see the money you pay your taxes with", Christ said. Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
 And He saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
Take a dollar bill from your wallet and look at it. Whose image and superscription is on it? Well, the image might lead you to believe that it belongs to the United States of America, but upon further examination you will find the superscription reads "Federal Reserve Note". The fact is, it is not even money, like a precious metal coin (gold or silver) with some intrinsic value of its own, but a loan (a note) from the Central Banking System known as the Federal Reserve Banks. In other words, it is just a piece of paper. And don't be fooled by the word "Federal" that might also lead some to think that this "money" belongs to the "Federal" Government. They say unto Him, Caesar's. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
The point to what Christ is showing us and teaching us is don't let some whacko tell you that you shouldn't pay your taxes or obey the civil laws and ordinances of this land.Heed the wisdom and instructions from Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and let there be no civil disobedience on your part when it comes to rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.
We learn from this that there should be no cause for a man or woman of God to be delivered up to the civil authorities for disobeying the tax laws and civil ordinances. In fact, we learned back in chapter five of Matthew that if you are delivered up for such stupidity and lack of common sense that God Himself will see to it that you pay the uttermost farthing (Mat. 5:26). You "see", if you faithfully obey the law then the hypocrites will have to go away and find some other way to have you delivered up! When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Here is a prime ensample from the Book of Daniel of what they will do... and even are doing this very day:
Daniel was a man of God with a clean record concerning the kingdom, i.e. the laws of the land. They checked his FBI files, his IRS records, and everything else they could dig up in order to find him guilty of breaking the law. This is the same thing the Pharisees tried to do to Christ. Again, always maintain your credibility in the community by obeying the laws and ordinances and paying your taxes. This does not mean you should not exercise your rights at the voting booth in an attempt to rid our government of abusers including tax and spend Herodians!Daniel 6:4-13
Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
They could not find "occasion against" Daniel concerning the government... so... they will have to "set him up" concerning the law of his God! Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
You can bet they puffed up old King Darius with their flatteries. Only Darius bought into it and will find himself taken advantage of by these hypocrites who seek to bring down a righteous man of God. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
Through their deceit and conniving they had a "politically correct" law passed that made Daniel's worship of God and obedience to Him ILLEGAL! This is a different matter altogether than rendering to Caesar those things which belong to him. They are passing legislation making it illegal to render unto God the things that belong to Him, i.e. the love which are the prayers and supplications of His righteous children before Him. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
Daniel did not try to hide from his accusers nor was he intimidated one bit when he found out about the politically correct legislation that had been passed making His prayers and supplications before God illegal! In other words, his "windows were open"! (Hey, our "Windows" are open too... Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.) By the way, the wise know that the "prayer and supplication" is the patience of the saints which is the work of God in these last days. Ephes. 6:18 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
You know the rest of the story. Daniel was delivered up for serving his God and was cast into the den of lions! However, he was "sealed" by the "stone" and the "king's signet" and therefore God sent His angel to shut the mouths of the lions. That "angel" would be the same one Nebuchadnezzar saw in the burning fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedneggo. For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, that would have been "one like the Son of God (Dan. 3:25)" who was Melchizedek, the King of the Just (Zadok). Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
Nevertheless, just recompense followed Daniel's deliverance from the den of the lions as his accusers got a taste, or should we say bite, of their own medicine.
And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
Editor's note: It seems to me that a lesson on how to defeat terrorism is to be found in the Bible verse above. Read it again! Then read Duet. chapter 20:16-18. Note the similarity of instructions concerning the fate of the mothers and children of terrorizers. Maybe we need to bring back a Harry Truman to lead our country!
You know why they received this same fate they had in store for Daniel? Because God is completely fair and "God is Judge" which exactly what DAN-I-EL means in Hebrew! Trust in the Lord for He is the only One who can deliver in this final hour!
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
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