Verse 19 makes it clear that Jesus had told the parable of the Wicked Tenants in the presence of the chief priests and scribes, and they knew very well that He had them in mind when He told it. They wanted to seize Him right then, but they were afraid of His followers. So they sent spies – people pretending to be sincerely wishing to learn from Him, in hopes of trapping Him by His own words – with something they could use against Him.
They are so transparent in verse 21, saying “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.” Knowing that Jesus certainly knew who these men were and what their intention was, it would have been hard for anyone else in His place to keep from rolling their eyes at such gratuitous flattery. But there is no indication that Jesus did anything but answer them with wisdom. They wanted Him to say, of course, that they should not have to pay taxes to Caesar, but instead give it to the Lord. This would have given them the fuel they needed. Instead, he had them look at Caesar’s likeness on the denarius – a coin of the day. Give Caesar what is his, he told them; and give to God what is His. Neither of those acts precludes the other – they should do both.
Though none of their other attempts is written about here, verse 26 makes it clear that they did keep trying, but were unsuccessful at setting the trap.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.