Pharisees, Sadducees try to trick Jesus - Catholic Courier

Pharisees, Sadducees try to trick Jesus

Jesus calms a raging storm at sea
Bible Accent: Pharisees and Sadducees
Saint for Today: St. Gaudentius

Jesus calms a raging storm at sea

The Pharisees wanted to trick Jesus into saying or doing something that they believed went against the laws of Moses, so they sent some of their disciples ask him specific questions.

“Teacher,” one of them asked, “we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status. Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”

But Jesus was no easily fooled. “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax.”

One of the men gave Jesus a Roman coin. Jesus held up the coin and asked, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they answered.

So Jesus said, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

This wise answer amazed the men who were sent to trick Jesus.

Later that day a few Sadducees also had questions for Jesus about the resurrection. They tried to twist one of the laws of Moses.

But Jesus answered, “And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

Again the people were amazed by the wisdom of Jesus’ answer.

The Pharisees decided to try again to trap Jesus with his words. One of them said, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Then it was time for Jesus to ask a few questions to the Pharisees: “What is your opinion about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

“David’s,” they answered.

So Jesus asked, “How, then, does David, inspired by the Spirit, call him ‘lord’ ‚Ķ? If David calls him, ‘lord,’ how can he be his son?”

The Pharisees could not answer Jesus, and they did not ask him anymore questions. 


1. What two groups tried to trick Jesus?
2. What is the greatest commandment?

Bible Accent: Pharisees and Sadducees

The Pharisees believed in a literal obedience to the laws of Moses, and they frequently criticized the more liberal and compassionate teachings of Jesus. As popular as Jesus was with the people, they also respected the Pharisees because they appeared to be holy followers of the religious laws. The Sadducees did not quite have the respect of the people. They were often rude to people in authority if they disagreed with their teachings, and they were especially critical of Jesus. Although the Sadducees are frequently mentioned in the New Testament at the same time as the Pharisees, they had many disagreements with the teachings of the Pharisees. They also felt that the Pharisees were their rivals in their desire for political and social power and control.

St. Gaudentius

St. Gaudentius (d. 410) received much of his education and religious training from St. Philastrius, who was the bishop of Brescia. Although he was admired and respected by the members of the religious community and the people of his area, Gaudentius was very modest. He went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and hoped that while he was gone the people would realize that they could get along easily without him. However, while he was gone, St. Philastrius died, and Gaudentius was named as the new bishop. He accepted the position and became more loved than ever. One of his wealthy parishioners, a man named Benivolus, was too sick to attend Mass and was not able to hear the wonderful sermons of Gaudentius. Gaudentius gave permission to have his sermons written down, so that Benivolus could at least read them, and some of these transcripts still survive. We honor St. Gaudentius on Oct. 25.


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