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Jesus Answers Trick Questions

To Remember:  answer the real question

Vocabulary
  • Tax: money paid to a government
  • Pharisee: a group of Jews who were very ritualistic
  • Sadducee: priestly class of Jews who ruled the nation under Rome's oversight
Lesson: The Pharisees and Sadducees were two groups of Jews that pretty much ran all religion in Israel. The Sadducees were priests who kept power by working with the Roman government. The Pharisees were a radical group that was very popular with the poor for their great shows of piety. Both groups were jealous of and threatened by the popularity of Jesus and his claim to be the promised Messiah (savior).

In order to get Jesus in trouble, the Pharisees and Sadducees would ask Jesus trick questions. they thought that no matter what Jesus answered, he would get in trouble with either the people or the government. Jesus knew that they did not really want a true answer, but he did not refuse to answer their questions. Instead, in his knowledge and deity, he was able to answer their questions in a way that no one could refute.

Pharisees': The Question: The Pharisees asked Jesus whether the Jews should support the Roman government with taxes. The Trick: If Jesus said they should, the people would be angry for they resented Roman rule and expected their Messiah to defeat Rome. If Jesus said they shouldn't, the Pharisees could turn him in to the Romans for rebellion. The Answer: Give to Caesar's what is [already] his, and give to God what is [already] his. Jesus described a difference between what was God's and what was man's. God wanted the heart of his people, which they would not give. Caesar's wanted tribute, which they resented. Jesus said there was no conflict. Besides, it is all God's to begin with.

When the Pharisees failed, the Sadducees thought they could trap Jesus with a question. The Question: If a woman is married several times (as God proscribed), whose wife will she be in heaven? The Trick: They thought this question proved there was no life after death. They were attempting to make Jesus look uneducated. The Answer: Life after death is not like life here - there is no marriage. If they had correctly understood the scriptures they could have known this, because God said he is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not was their God. They had limited God's power to raise the dead, and they had ignored scripture when it did not fit their opinions.

Discussion: What is the real question being asked? Sometimes, when we talk to others about Jesus, the questions they ask us aren't really the questions they want answers to. There is an important difference between a sincere question about our faith or Jesus' teachings, and a hypothetical question designed to create controversy or rebut ideas. We must be careful to avoid trying to "win" a discussion rather than "winning" souls. If a debate gets to sound like "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" just remember, God made them both!

Object Lesson:
Print out the linked labels and concepts. Have students match the correct concept to who it belongs to. Parents should receive: honor, love, obedience, assistance. Government should receive: respect, taxes, patriotism, cooperation. God should receive: worship, devotion, commitment, love, and reverence. Christians should receive: friendship, help, and brotherly kindness.

True or False
  1. Certain Jews were able to trick Jesus.  F
  2. Jesus answered their questions. T
  3. The Pharisees cared more about appearance than service.  T
  4. The Sadducees were a poor, powerless group of Jews.  F
  5. The Pharisees and Sadducees learned a lot from Jesus.  F
SING: This little light of mine

Activities Review Questions for gameboard

 linguistic questions
  1. What was a Pharisee?
  2. What was a Sadducee?
  3. What is a man's soul?
  activity questions
  1. Draw a Roman coin.
  2. Act out the questioners of Jesus.
  3. Ask another student a review question.
  emotion questions
  1. Do people resent paying taxes today?
  2. Did Jesus like being asked trick questions?
  3. Did Jesus ignore or yell at those who tried to trick him?
application questions
  1. Should we pay taxes?
  2. What is the purpose of true debate?
  3. How should we treat those who try to trap us?
fact questions
  1. What did Jesus say about taxes?
  2. What did Jesus say about marriage in heaven?
  3. What two groups of people questioned Jesus?
review questions

  1. Why did the Pharisees and Sadducees ask Jesus questions?
  2. Did Jesus answer their questions?
  3. Did Jesus know their hearts?
 

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