November 1, 2017

A Trick Question

November 1, 2017


Matthew 22:15-22

This week’s sermon text: Romans 16:3-16

In today’s reading, Jesus’ enemies sought to trip him up with a trick question, a question designed to make Jesus offend someone with his answer — either the supporters of Jewish independence or the Romans themselves. They cunningly asked him if it was “lawful” to pay taxes or not. No matter how he answered, he was going to get into trouble. But Jesus saw through their ruse to the malice their question masked. He answered quickly and decisively, “Show me the coin used for the tax. Whose head and whose title are these?” They had to answer, “The emperor’s.” With great rhetorical skill, Jesus neutralized their attempts to bait him, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s and to God the things that are God’s.”


  • In our lives, what belongs to “the emperor” and what belongs to God?
  • Are you able to identify what belongs to God in your own life? Are you returning to God those things that belong to him?


  • Ask your parents or other trusted adult to show you several different coins — a penny, a nickel, a dime, and a quarter. What pictures and words are on them?
  • What do you think “In God, We Trust” means on our coins?

Gracious God, please give us wisdom to identify those things in life we need to return to you and not hoard and keep for ourselves. Help us to remember that all we have is a gift from you. Amen.