Sermon- The Only World We've Got, Matthew 22:18,21 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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The Only World We've Got

You hypocrites... give to Caesar what is Caesar's, but give to God what is God's
Matthew 22:15-21

Sermon Topic Hypocrisy

Sermon Week Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 22:18,21


A middle-aged businessman, returning from a business trip was met at the airport gate by his wife. They had walked from the gate together, without too much joy apparently, and were standing waiting for the baggage to be unloaded when an extremely good-looking young stewardess walked by. Suddenly, the businessman came to life. Beaming, he said to the stewardess, "I hope we can fly together again, Miss Fiskle." "How come you know her name?" his wife immediately demanded. The man replied smoothly, "You see, dear, her name was posted right up front in the plane, under the names of the pilot and copilot." To which the wife replied, "OK, now give me the names of the pilot and co-pilot." He had flunked the course. His hypocrisy was uncovered.

Jesus came down hard on hypocrisy. And when He did, the condemnation was always against His own people-the good, Church-going, law-abiding people. He condemned them for "show-boating" when they gave alms: "Hypocrites looking for applause," He called them. He condemned them for show-boating when they prayed. They go to church and pray "in order to be noticed," He said. He condemned the pillars of the Temple who paid only "lip service" to God and offered Him only empty reverence, so devoted were they to their own man-made rules for worship and right living. "Woe to you, you frauds," He said to them. Literally, over and over again, He called them frauds! He called them "blind fools" when He condemned them for their nit-picking and haggling over legalistic trivia "while neglecting the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and good faith" (Mt.23:23).

Today's Gospel Lesson gives us one more example of the Pharisees' duplicity as they try to "butter up" Jesus with smooth talk, while intending to trap Him into making a political statement that could result in His arrest for treason. They put to Him the question of whether or not it was proper for Jews to pay the Roman census tax. Not only was the tax a constant reminder to the Jews of their subjection to Roman rule, but [...]

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