Studying the Hard Questions | 05

AUTHOR: Holy Scripture

READ:

Read or listen to Mark 12:13-17 and John 19:6-16.

Then they sent some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to Jesus to trap him in his words. When they came, they said to him, “Teacher, we know you are truthful and don’t care what anyone thinks, nor do you show partiality but teach the way of God truthfully. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at.” They brought a coin. “Whose image and inscription is this?” he asked them.

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Jesus told them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.

When the chief priests and the temple servants saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

Pilate responded, “Take him and crucify him yourselves, since I find no grounds for charging him.”

“We have a law,” the Jews replied to him, “and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this statement, he was more afraid than ever. He went back into the headquarters and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus did not give him an answer. So Pilate said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you know that I have the authority to release you and the authority to crucify you?”

“You would have no authority over me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”

From that moment Pilate kept trying to release him. But the Jews shouted, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Anyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!”

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside. He sat down on the judge’s seat in a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Aramaic, Gabbatha).  It was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about noon. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!”

They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?”

“We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests answered.

Then he handed him over to be crucified.

Then they took Jesus away.

The written Scripture is CSB, however, the audio Scripture is ESV.

FOCUS:

How were the spiritual leaders using politics in their attempts to defeat Jesus? Based upon Jesus’ response in these two stories, how did he view the local authorities?

PRAY:

Our Lord desires to transform us by the renewing of our minds. Thank God for his self-revelation. Ask him to increase your understanding and awareness of his wisdom and kindness as revealed in Scripture.

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Week 5 of 7 Study

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