The Dialectic of Jesus
Mark 12:13-17
And they send to him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.…

I. DISHONEST SUBTLETY MATCHED BY CLEARSIGHTED WISDOM. We must be, if possible, "wise as serpents," but, above all, honest in purpose. It is the false tongue that stammers, and the fox-like cunning that entraps itself.

II. VERBAL TRUTH MAY CONCEAL HEART FALSEHOOD. They spoke most truly to Jesus about himself, and yet most untruly. So of all words designed to flatter and deceive. There may be a divorce between the tongue and the heart.

III. CONDENSED ARGUMENT. In the use he made of the coin, Jesus suggested a whole train of argument. The coin with its image was a symbol of earthly rule. The kingdom of Jesus is ideal, and independent of the forms of this world (John 18:36). The loyalty of the Christian to the kingdom which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, teaches him how to act in relation to worldly governments. But Christianity is not to be confounded with politics. "No earthly governments can prevent the spiritual service of God. That should not be rendered to them which is due to God only" (Godwin). - J.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.

WEB: They sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to him, that they might trap him with words.

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