Monday Rewrite: Traps and Taxes

Narrator: The Pharisees continued their ploys to try and trap Jesus.

Pharisee: Teacher, we know you are a man of great integrity. You are very honest and always tell the truth.
Jesus: Surely that’s a requirement of every teacher.
Pharisee: Well said, but you are a man who is particularly strong, you’re never swayed by the opinions of others, no matter who they are.
Jesus: What is it you want of me now?
Pharisee: Nothing teacher, we would just like your opinion on a difficult matter. Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not? What do you think?
Jesus: I think there is more to your question that meets the eye.
Pharisee: We only seek truth, Lord.
Jesus: No – you seek ever more duplicitous ways to protect yourselves.
Pharisee: Please, teacher, just settle this matter for us.
Jesus: Okay. Do have a denarius?
Pharisee: Somewhere… Yes here we are.
Jesus: Really? But I thought the law said you weren’t supposed to carry a coin with an image on it?
Pharisee: What??? Ah! Well… you see…now… drat! How can I get out of this…
Jesus: Don’t worry. Now turn it over. Whose head is imprinted on it?
Pharisee: Caesar’s of course.
Jesus: And whose inscription?
Pharisee: Caesar’s!
Jesus: What’s it say?
Pharisee: You know what it says. And I don’t want to repeat it.
Jesus: I believe it claims that Caesar is divine.
Pharisee: And?
Jesus: And so the answer I will give you is straightforward. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s. But they are not one and the same. So don’t mix them up. I’ll leave you to think on that.

Drawing on Matthew 22 vv 15-22

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