Matthew 22:21

The coin produced was probably a silver denarius of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, and it bore on its face the head of the emperor, and had an inscription running round it, containing his name and titles. To understand how this question was intended to entangle Christ, we must remember that the Mosaic injunction, "Thou mayest not set a stranger over thee" (Deuteronomy 17:15), was made by the rabbis to mean that they must not pay tribute to any foreign power. The Romans levied a poll tax on each individual, and this tax was particularly offensive to the patriotic party. If they could make Jesus take part with the zealots, they could accuse him to the Romans as a dangerous person and fomenter of rebellion. The answer of Jesus is very variously explained, and has even been taken as a watchword of particular religious schools. But the answer is really a refusal to answer; and in this its skilfulness is seen.

I. CHRIST'S REPROACH. "Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?" This must have annoyed them, and made them fear that they would do but little with him. This impressed the people, who were listening, and made them fee[sure that he was more than a match for the entanglers.

II. CHRIST'S REQUEST. "Show me a penny." As it had to be a coin that tribute to Caesar could be paid in, and not a shekel with which payments in support of God's temple were made, it had to have the head of the reigning Caesar on it. Christ evidently examined it in view of the people, who were anxiously watching; and he made his questioners say distinctly whose image was on the coin. It was not God's temple; it was Caesar.

III. CHRIST'S REPLY. "Caesar's is it? then it is nothing to me. I am the servant of God. I have nothing to say on such a matter. It is not in my province. If Caesar's head is on the coin, no doubt it belongs to him; then give it him if it is his." Jesus had no authority to urge the claims of Caesar; he came to urge the claims of God. And he meant to keep to his province. If they wanted to know anything about the Word and will of God, he was ready to explain and teach. But Caesar had better mind his own business, and he would mind his. In our time, earnest effort is being made to obliterate the distinction between the "secular" and the "sacred." The distinction is real and abiding. Our Lord set his seal upon it. They may run in harmony, but they run, and they always must run, along distinct lines. - R.T.

Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

1. Our time. Especially youth; and particularly the Sabbath.

2. Our substance.

3. Our children.

4. Our hearts.

5. Our whole selves.

6. The blessed fruits, and all the glory of His own grace, should: by the Christian, be rendered back to God.

II. How THIS IS TO BE PERFORMED. That it may be an acceptable service we must do it —

1. If hitherto neglected, without delay.

2. Freely, and without reluctance.

3. Thankfully, and without murmuring.

4. Humbly, and without ostentation.

5. Wholly, and without reserve.

6. For perpetuity, and without drawback.

7. In the whole of this, we should have an eye to Christ. He is the medium of all communication from God, and conveyance to Him.

(B. Beddome, M. A.)

This narrative —


1. Here was a profession of great piety and holiness, conjoined with very inexcusable hatred. The Pharisees were the most pretentious religionists of the day; this no proof of genuine piety. They could not refute Christ, but hated Him.

2. We observe here also a very base design. They " took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk."

3. We observe here a very iniquitous co-partnership. The Pharisees and Herodians were radical enemies.

4. We observe here also a glib, obsequious, but treacherous and lying flattery: "Master, we know that Thou art true." Their design was to throw Him off His guard.

5. Observe the devilish cunning of the plot. "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, etc." They professed honest doubt in order to fasten Him on the horns of a dilemma.


1. We are here shown that Christ was a very dignified man. He was poor; but imposing majesty went along with His humble simplicity.

2. We are here shown that our Saviour had the reputation of a truthful man.

3. He was also a man of acknowledged intelligence.

4. He was, moreover, a man of honest faithfulness. But the subsequent parts of the narrative attest still higher qualities in our blessed Lord.(1) With all the dissimulation of these men Jesus saw through the mask, and all their secret thoughts were open to Him. He "perceived their nakedness."(2) He found an easy way out of the net from which human trickery believed it impossible for Him to escape.

(J. A. Seiss, D. D.)

I. THE GOSPEL OUGHT TO PENETRATE EVERYTHING. Human life in its most widely sundered spheres must submit to its action. That being said, I affirm —


1. The nature of the dominion they exercise. The dominion of the State is that of the present life, and of purely temporal interests. It must guarantee to each citizen the free enjoyment of his rights and liberties. Its supreme ideal is justice. On this side it meets morals. There is a social morality which should not be considered as doing violence to the individual conscience, but which may claim submission from all, and sacrifice, if necessary. They are mistaken, therefore, who make of civil society a mere community of interests. It knows, and can form, the citizen; it ought not to have possession of the man. It must stop at the threshold of religious conscience.

2. Nor is it only by the sphere in which their authority is to be felt that the Church and the State differ; it is still more by the nature of the means which they employ. The arm of the State is force; the arm of the Church is the Word (2 Corinthians 10:4).

3. Differing thus, the Church and civil society should in their inevitable relations conserve, each for itself, their independence with zealous care. This independence may be compromised in two ways: by the theocracy which submits the State to the Church, and by the opposite systems, which submit the Church to the State. In the eyes of many representatives of modern democracy, a religious society should be considered as any other society would be. It is to be governed by the rule of the majority of its members. But Christianity is a revealed fact, and does not depend on the chances of majorities. The Church should not be associated with any political party; it suffers in such alliance. An analogy will illustrate my thought: Every modern nation has two fundamental institutions — the army and the school. Now, that is no wise head which does not understand that neither the one nor the other of these should be open to discussion concerning politics. An army in which the generals became judges would surrender the nation to all sorts of dangers and assaults; schools, in which masters introduced the burning questions which divide us, would become a thorough raid on the liberty of families. In demanding that our soldiers and professors shall not intermingle political debates with their duties, no one understands that they are required to abdicate their independence, their patriotism, and their dignity as citizens. Need I say that the Church is a sphere infinitely superior to the school and the army, and that it is folly to allow party passions and hatreds to penetrate it? The Church places us face to face with eternity; she does not look at questions from the standpoint of the day or the hour, but rules over time and our passing differences. The mere earthly life becomes enslaving — and when has it been more so than to-day? — the more necessary it is that, from above it, we should affirm the grand invisible realities which do not pass away. The absolute, which is only another aspect of the eternal — that is the thing which the Church should proclaim. She must see questions in their relation to God. The domain of politics, on the contrary, is relative, and often even less than that. Politics takes men as they are, and circumstances as they are. I do not ask that religion should remain silent before the immoralities of politics; quite the contrary. I wish that, in order to denounce them with the greater force, she should not descend into the political arena; for, if she is suspected of speaking, not in the name of conscience, but in the name of party, she becomes nothing more than one voice more amid the discordant clamours of the day. Let us take a celebrated example, to which it behoves us always to recur. There is not one of us who has not admired the conduct of John the Baptist at Herod's court, and the firm courage with which he said to the blameworthy king, "It is not lawful for thee to have her." But let John the Baptist, in place of being the prophet of conscience, become a popular judge, and all his authority crumbles: for, behind his denunciation, you discern a political end and the triumph of a party.. Well, then, I cannot cease saying to those whose honour and privilege it is to represent the Church, "Never compromise it in struggles to which it should remain a stranger. Its grandeur and its force are in being the voice of eternal right, and of justice toward all."

(E. Bersier, D. D.)

The destination of money. How might a man moralize over a large heap of gold pieces, before they go forth from the mint to have their purity soiled by the rough usage of human hands. How many of you, he might say, are going to be the currency of selfishness, to be coined over by the chill spirit of avarice, and to have the symbol which the mint has left upon you effaced by the figure of Mammon, and the miserly mottoes that will be graved upon you when you become the instruments and objects of selfish greed? Some of them, the prophetic eye might see, were going to be spent for intemperate indulgence, to be offered on the altar of Bacchus, and so morally to be recoined with his reeling figure bloated upon it, and that awful text from his gospel, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." Others, it might be seen, were on their way to the hot prizes of the gaming-table, the innermost sanctuary of the pit, where feverish eyes should be fastened upon them, and desperate hearts stake their last treasure for them, and where they seem almost visibly to gleam with the fiery portrait of Satan, his chosen medallions, that burn every hand unlucky enough to win. Others go to purchase learning and culture, and the recorded thoughts of genius, and upon them the image and superscription of Apollo and Minerva are outlined. Some, again, will wear the forms of the Graces or the Muses, inlaid into their substance by the human tastes that make them serve as ministers. If the eye could foresee what ones would go on missions of mercy, would strengthen the interests of truth, would put wings on good ideas, would endow beneficent institutions with new power, would carry sympathy and help to the bed of some poor sufferer, kindle a fire upon the desolate hearth, spread a meal upon the table of destitution, clothe a pallid and shivering child, or give it some training of mind or heart — those, a man might say, are the Christian coins. It should seem that they ought to gleam more brightly among the heaps where they lie. The form of Christ is really stamped upon that silver and gold, and His superscription, "It is more blessed to give than to receive," enwreathes His image with immortal truth. Those are the dollars that look precious in the sight of heaven. The touch of benevolence transmutes them into eternal possessions. Who would not wish to own them? Who, when the hour of death comes, would not prefer to have spent such coin? What pleasure or profit would then look so bright, or give such comfort as the retrospect of these golden benefactors of the world!

(T. Start King.)

When certain persons attempted to persuade Stephen, King of Poland, to constrain some of his subjects, who were of a different religion, to embrace his, he said to them, "I am king of men, and not of consciences. The dominion of conscience belongs exclusively to God."

Christ is not here defining two duties which stand in contrast or antithesis to each other. He is defining one duty, in its just relation to another and a higher duty out of which it grows. Recall the occasion of His words. Some one has brought to Him a penny, and asks Him whether it is lawful for a Jew to pay tribute to a Roman ruler. Says Christ in effect, "My brother, the penny itself has settled that question. It has, stamped upon it, an image or medallion which is Caesar's likeness. It is current here because this is Caesar's country; and you use it, whether you choose to own the fact or no, because you are Caesar's subject. Give Caesar, therefore, his due. Pay your taxes, obey the laws, honour the civil authorities; but that you may do so, begin by paying your taxes to God. The penny bears an image; so do you. The penny is from the mint of the emperor; you are from the mint of God. The use of the penny is determined by its likeness. So, too, your use is determined by your likeness. Every faculty in you, every gift, every grace and charm and power which is most characteristic and distinctive, is the stamp of the Divine. .You are God's child. .You bear His image. Render to Him your supreme and unceasing tribute; and in doing that, all other and minor questions will settle themselves. 'Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's,' do I say? Yes. But render them because, and in the inspiration, of that higher duty which bids you render unto God the things that are God's!"

(Bishop H. C. Potter.)

With many of us the stewardship of money is not our chiefest stewardship: of such a coinage we have little or nothing to put in circulation. Still, though we may not be able to circulate the currency that buys and sells, it is ours to circulate the far mightier currency that cheers and inspires and consoles. The world to-day is waiting for something besides money. It is waiting for love and thought and personal interest and painstaking. Whether, therefore, you are a capitalist or a clerk, a student or a teacher, a professional man or a woman living in the retirement of your kindred and home, take your slumbering sympathy (I will not believe that God has not implanted it within you!) and coin that into love and service for your kind. On your brow rests the stamp of Him whose coinage and currency you are. There are lost pieces of silver, aye and of gold, which also bear His image. They have long ago been missing from the Father's treasury, and are trampled under foot of man and beast alike. But, if you can find them in the mire, if you will wash them with your tears, and burnish them back to brightness and beauty by your patient and loving touch, you will find on them the image of Him who. made them, and the superscription of His immortal kingdom. Light the candle of your love, then, and sweep diligently till you find them. Think of some one, to-day, whose life is lonely, whose youth is gone, whose lot is hard and cheerless and unlovely, and try to lift them up, at least for the hour, into the atmosphere of a warmer and more beneficent brotherhood.

(Bishop H. C. Potter.)

I. Notice the CLAIMS OF CAESAR, OR CIVIL GOVERNMENTS. The just claims of civil governments are limited to civil exactions, in opposition to religious or sacred claims. Civil governments rightly demand —

1. Homage and subjection (Romans 13:1, etc.; 1 Peter 2:13, etc.).

2. Obedience, and tribute, or taxes. Christ did this (Matthew 17:27; Titus 3:1).

3. Thanksgiving and prayer to God on their behalf (1 Timothy 2:17, etc.). There are the claims of Caesar and civil governments. But civil governments may demand more than their rights; if they do so, they will be either in matters civil or ecclesiastical; if they levy unjust civil exactions, then, as citizens, they may be peacefully, yet firmly, resisted. This has been repeatedly done. By the three Hebrews, Daniel, Peter, and the apostles (Acts 4:18).

II. THE CLAIMS OF GOD. We are to render to God —

1. Religious belief and homage.

2. Religious awe and fear. "Fear before Him all the earth" (Psalm 96:4, 9).

3. Praise and thanksgiving.

4. Our highest love and delight.

5. Universal obedience.Learn —

1. That the Christian religion is favourable to order and obedience, but it limits the authority of the State to civil concerns.

2. It distinctly exhibits true liberty of conscience. Should not this be dear and sacred to every good man, especially when sanctioned by the spirit of our text?

(J. Burns, LL. D.)

I. THAT THEY SHOULD HONOURABLY AND FULLY PAY ALL TAXES which are imposed upon them. The advantages of civil government are cosily, and means must be provided by the individuals of the nation. We must not defraud the government, or a neighbour, who will have to make good our default.

II. THAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD ACQUIESCE IN THAT FORM OF GOVERNMENT UNDER WHICH THEY LIVE, WHATEVER BE ITS CHARACTER AND ORIGIN. A nation has the right to secure its independence of a foreign nation; a nation has the right to amend its institutions; but the duty alleged is that of individuals. "Let every soul be subject to the higher powers." This is God's will. But if human government has its rights, God has His rights. As human governments depend on the authority of God, they must be subordinate to it. His rights are supreme, and the rights of the human government terminate where the rights of God begin. The contrast in "the things which are Caesar's."

1. It is the right of God to demand our worship.

2. General obedience to His laws.

3. That we should maintain that truth which He has revealed, by which He is glorified, and the world is to be blessed. How small a portion all this is of what we owe to God. Admire this feature of the law of Christ, which secures the order of states. Let us he good subjects.

(B. W. Noel, M. A.)

I. We owe them honour inward, by a reverent conceit.

II. And outward, by an honourable testimony of the virtues in them, and the good we receive by them. And sure I am this we owe, "Not to speak evil of them that are in authority," and if there were some infirmity, not to blaze, but to conceal and cover it, for that the Apostle maketh a part of honour (1 Corinthians 12:28).

III. We owe them our prayers, and daily devout remembrances; "for all," saith St. Paul, "but, by special prerogative, for princes."

IV. "We owe them the service of our bodies, which if we refuse to come in person to do, the angel of the Lord will curse us, as he did Meroz (Judges 5:23).

(Bishop Andrewes.)

I. Some particular rights and privileges belong to Caesars, or sovereign princes:

1. Honour to their persons.

2. Obedience to their laws.

3. Tribute.

II. Some peculiar rights and prerogatives belong to God only.

1. All religious worship.

2. Due reverence and regard to all sacred things, such as


(b)God's house;

(c)the Lord's Day;

(d)Tenth part of our substance.

III. The duty of all Christians with reference to both, and that is, to render the respective rights and dues to each.

(Matthew Hole.)

David, Herodians, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus
Caesar, Caesar's, Cesar, Cesar's, God's, Pay, Rejoined, Render, Replied, Says
1. The parable of the marriage of the king's son.
9. The vocation of the Gentiles.
12. The punishment of him who lacked a wedding garment.
15. Tribute ought to be paid to Caesar.
23. Jesus confutes the Sadducees for the resurrection;
34. answers which is the first and great commandment;
41. and puzzles the Pharisees by a question about the Messiah.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 22:21

     2075   Christ, sinless
     4065   orderliness
     5255   citizenship
     5594   tribute
     5959   submission
     8241   ethics, basis of
     8243   ethics, social
     8304   loyalty
     8436   giving, of possessions
     8456   obedience, to authorities

Matthew 22:15-21

     5257   civil authorities

Matthew 22:15-22

     5577   taxation
     5920   pretence

Matthew 22:17-21

     2057   Christ, obedience
     5542   society, positive

Matthew 22:18-22

     2054   Christ, mind of

Matthew 22:19-22

     2363   Christ, preaching and teaching

Matthew 22:20-21

     5352   inscriptions

Sacrifice to Caesar or to God
Eversley, 1869. Chester Cathedral, 1872. Matthew xxii. 21. "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." Many a sermon has been preached, and many a pamphlet written, on this text, and (as too often has happened to Holy Scripture), it has been made to mean the most opposite doctrines, and twisted in every direction, to suit men's opinions and superstitions. Some have found in it a command to obey tyrants, invaders, any and every government,
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

The Kingdom of Heaven
Chapel Royal, St James'. 1873. St. Matt. xxii. 2-7. "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm,
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Two Ways of Despising God's Feast
'And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3. And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 6. But they made light of it, and went their
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

On the Same Words of the Gospel, Matt. xxii. 42
1. The question which was proposed to the Jews, Christians ought to solve. For the Lord Jesus Christ, who proposed it to the Jews, did not solve it Himself, to the Jews, I mean, He did not, but to us He hath solved it. I will put you in remembrance, Beloved, and ye will find that He hath solved it. But first consider the knot of the question. He asked the Jews what they "thought of Christ, whose Son He was to be;" for they too look for the Christ. They read of Him in the Prophets, they expected Him
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xxii. 2, Etc. , About the Marriage of the King's Son; against the Donatists, on Charity. Delivered at Carthage In
1. All the faithful [2986] know the marriage of the king's son, and his feast, and the spreading [2987] of the Lord's Table is open to them all [2988] who will. But it is of importance to each one to see how he approaches, even when he is not forbidden to approach It. For the Holy Scriptures teach us that there are two feasts of the Lord; one to which the good and evil come, the other to which the evil come not. So then the feast, of which we have just now heard when the Gospel was being read, has
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xxii. 42, Where the Lord Asks the Jews Whose Son they Said David Was.
1. When the Jews were asked (as we have just now heard out of the Gospel when it was being read), how our Lord Jesus Christ, whom David himself called his Lord was David's Son, they were not able to answer. For what they saw in the Lord, that they knew. For He appeared to them as the Son of man; but as the Son of God He was hidden. Hence it was, that they believed that He could be overcome, and that they derided Him as He hung upon the Tree, saying, "If He be the Son of God, let Him come down from
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

The Wedding Garment
The parable may be discoursed upon under five heads. Here is an enemy at the feast; here is the king at the feast; that king becomes the judge at the feast; and hence the enemy becomes the criminal at the feast; and swiftly is removed by the executioner at the feast. I. We see in the text AN ENEMY AT THE FEAST. He came into the banquet when he was bidden, but he came only in appearance, he came not in heart. The banquet was intended for the honour of the son, but this man meant not so; he was willing
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

The Parable of the Wedding Feast
In order to understand the parable before us we must first direct our attention to the design of the "certain king" here spoken of. He had a grand object in view; he desired to do honor to his son upon the occasion of his marriage. We shall then notice the very generous method by which he proposed to accomplish his purpose; he made a dinner, and bade many: there were other modes of honoring his son, but the great king elected the mode which would best display his bounty. We shall then observe, with
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Making Light of Christ
In the first place, we shall have a few words with you, concerning what it is that the sinner makes light of; secondly, how it is that he makes light of it; and thirdly, why it is that he makes light of it. Then a general observation or two, and we shall not weary you. In the first place, WHAT IS IT THAT THE SINNER MAKES LIGHT OF? According to the parable, the person alluded to made light of a marriage banquet which a king had provided, with all kinds of dainties, to which they were freely invited,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

The Beatific vision
MATTHEW xxii. 27. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. These words often puzzle and pain really good people, because they seem to put the hardest duty first. It seems, at times, so much more easy to love one's neighbour than to love God. And strange as it may seem, that is partly true. St. John tells us so--'He that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?' Therefore many good people, who
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

The Eternal Goodness
MATTHEW xxii. 39. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Why are wrong things wrong? Why, for instance, is it wrong to steal? Because God has forbidden it, you may answer. But is it so? Whatsoever God forbids must be wrong. But, is it wrong because God forbids it, or does God forbid it because it is wrong? For instance, suppose that God had not forbidden us to steal, would it be right then to steal, or at least, not wrong? We must really think of this. It is no mere question of words, it is
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

The Heavenly Banquet.
20th Sunday after Trinity. S. Matt. xxii. 4. "Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready; come unto the marriage." INTRODUCTION.--The Kingdom of Heaven has two meanings in this parable. It means in the first place the Catholic Church. Into that the apostles and pastors of Christ invite men to enter, and many refuse. In the second place it means the Church Triumphant,--eternal blessedness, and into that the pastors of Christ's Church invite you
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

Profession and Practice.
18th Sunday after Trinity. S. Matt. xxii. 42. "What think ye of Christ?" INTRODUCTION.--Many men are Christians neither in understanding nor in heart. Some are Christians in heart, and not in understanding. Some in understanding, and not in heart, and some are Christians in both. If I were to go into a Temple of the Hindoos, or into a Synagogue of the Jews, and were to ask, "What think ye of Christ?" the people there would shake their heads and deny that He is God, and reject His teaching. The
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

The Image of Self.
23rd Sunday after Trinity. S. Matthew xxii., 20. "Whose is this image?" INTRODUCTION.--Some people are very fond of contemplating their own excellencies, of admiring their good qualities, or their success in life; they will talk to you of what they have done, how they made this lucky hit, how they outwitted so-and-so, how they escaped such a danger by their foresight. But they are not fond of considering their imperfections, of lamenting their faults, of confessing their failures, their lost opportunities,
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

Thankfulness to God.
Harvest S. Matthew xxii., 21. "Render--unto God, the things that are God's." INTRODUCTION.--David says in the 8th Psalm, "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him: and the son of man that Thou visitest him? Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of Thy hands; and Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet, all sheep and oxen; yea, and the beast of the field, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea." I. The mastery of man is even more extensive than this; he controls
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

Love Thy Neighbour
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.--ST MATTHEW xxii. 39. The original here quoted by our Lord is to be found in the words of God to Moses, (Leviticus xix. 18:) "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord" Our Lord never thought of being original. The older the saying the better, if it utters the truth he wants to utter. In him it becomes fact: The Word was made flesh. And so, in the wondrous
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

Of Gratitude for the Grace of God
Why seekest thou rest when thou art born to labour? Prepare thyself for patience more than for comforts, and for bearing the cross more than for joy. For who among the men of this world would not gladly receive consolation and spiritual joy if he might always have it? For spiritual comforts exceed all the delights of the world, and all the pleasures of the flesh. For all worldly delights are either empty or unclean, whilst spiritual delights alone are pleasant and honourable, the offspring of
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Thoughts Upon Our Call and Election.
MANY are called, saith our Saviour, Mat. xxii. 14. but few chosen. Oh dreadful sentence. who is able to hear it without trembling and astonishment! If he had said, that of all the Men that are born in the World, there are but few saved, this would not have struck such fear and horror in us; for we might still hope, that though Turks, Jews, and Heathens, which are far the greatest part of the World, should all perish, yet we few in comparison of them, who are baptized into his Name, who profess his
William Beveridge—Private Thoughts Upon a Christian Life

The Christian State
Scripture references: Matthew 22:17-22; 17:24-27; Acts 23:5; John 6:15; Matthew 4:8-10; John 18:36-38; Mark 14; 61,62; John 18:33; 19:19; Isaiah 9:6,7; 60:3; Zechariah 9:10; Daniel 7:14; Matthew 26:64; 26:53,54; 16:16,17; 25:31,32. CHRIST AND THE STATE The Relation of Christ to the State.--He was an intense patriot. He loved His country. The names of His great countrymen, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua and David, were ever on His lips. He offered Himself as the national Messiah (Matthew 21:1-17),
Henry T. Sell—Studies in the Life of the Christian

In Reply to the Questions as to his Authority, Jesus Gives the Third Great Group of Parables.
(in the Court of the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, a.d. 30.) Subdivision D. Parable of the Marriage of the King's Son. ^A Matt. XXII. 1-14. ^a 1 And Jesus answered and spake again in parables unto them, saying, 2 The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son, 3 and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the marriage feast: and they would not come. 4 Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them that are bidden, Behold, I have made
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cix. Jewish Rulers Seek to Ensnare Jesus.
(Court of the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, a.d. 30.) Subdivision A. Pharisees and Herodians Ask About Tribute. ^A Matt. XXII. 15-22; ^B Mark XII. 13-17; ^C Luke XX. 20-26. ^a 15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might ensnare him in his talk. ^c 20 And they watched him, and sent forth { ^b send unto him} ^a their disciples, ^b certain of the Pharisees and of { ^a with} ^b the Herodians, that they might catch him in talk. [Perceiving that Jesus, when on his guard, was too wise for them,
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Third Day in Passion-Week - the Last Controversies and Discourses - the Sadducees and the Resurrection - the Scribe and the Great Commandment - Question
THE last day in the Temple was not to pass without other temptations' than that of the Priests when they questioned His authority, or of the Pharisees when they cunningly sought to entangle Him in His speech. Indeed, Christ had on this occasion taken a different position; He had claimed supreme authority, and thus challenged the leaders of Israel. For this reason, and because at the last we expect assaults from all His enemies, we are prepared for the controversies of that day. We remember that,
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Kingdom of God Conceived as the Inheritance of the Poor.
These maxims, good for a country where life is nourished by the air and the light, and this delicate communism of a band of children of God reposing in confidence on the bosom of their Father, might suit a simple sect constantly persuaded that its Utopia was about to be realized. But it is clear that they could not satisfy the whole of society. Jesus understood very soon, in fact, that the official world of his time would by no means adopt his kingdom. He took his resolution with extreme boldness.
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

The Royal Marriage Feast.
PART I.--THE WEDDING GUESTS. "And Jesus answered, and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of
William Arnot—The Parables of Our Lord

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