The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 138

Passion Week ~ Tuesday (continued)

In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time. Yes, we are still on Tuesday.

P’rushim Try to Trap Yeshua on the Issue of Taxes to Rome

15 Then the P’rushim went away and put together a plan to trap Yeshua with His own words. 16 They sent Him some of their talmidim and some members of Herod’s party. They said, “Rabbi, we know that you tell the truth and really teach what God’s way is. You aren’t concerned with what other people think about you since you pay no attention to a person’s status.

The P’rushim wanted the Jewish theocracy restored and opposed oppressor Rome and its taxes. Herod’s party – political, not religious – supported the Herodian dynasty set up by Rome and encouraged abiding by the Roman tax laws; they were not usually friendly with the P’rushim. The trap consisted in putting together an alliance of convenience in which both would ask Yeshua’s opinion, hoping His response would alienate Him from one group or the other.

1So tell us your opinion: does Torah permit paying taxes to the Roman Emperor or not?” 18 Yeshua, however, knowing their malicious intent, said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used to pay the tax!” They brought Him a denarius; 20 and He asked them, “Whose name and picture are these?” 21 “The Emperor’s,” they replied. Yeshua said to them, “Nu, give the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor. And give to God what belongs to God!” 22 On hearing this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

Nu is an all-purpose Yiddish word often used with this meaning “Can’t you figure it out for yourself?!”- thus precisely conveying the tone of Yeshua’s answer.

Tz’dukim Try to Trap Yeshua on the Issue of the Resurrection

23 That same day, some Tz’dukim came to Him. They are the ones who say there is no such thing as resurrection, so they put to Him a sh’eilah (authoritative question): 24 “Rabbi, Moshe said, ‘If a man dies childless, his brother must marry his widow and have children to preserve the man’s family line.’  [1] 25 There were seven brothers. The first one married and then died, and since he had no children, he left his widow to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second brother, and the third, and finally to all seven. 27 After them all, the woman died. 28 Now in the Resurrection – of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all married her.”

29 Yeshua answered them, “The reason you go astray is that you are ignorant both of the Tanakh and of the power of God. 30 For in the Resurrection, neither men nor women will marry; rather, they will be like angels in heaven. 31 And as for whether the dead are resurrected, haven’t you read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz’chak and the God of Ya’akov’? He is God not of the dead but of the living!” [2]

Yeshua derives the doctrine of the resurrection from the Torah because the Tz’dukim accepted only the Torah as absolutely authoritative. This is why He cites Exodus 3:6 rather than the more obvious Scriptural refutations in Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:2. and Job 19:26.

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF vesion.

[1] Deuteronomy 25:5-6.
[2] Mattityahu 22:15–32.

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