29th Sun C
The Commentaries Summarised
As a Church we are in a web of wisdom that comes to us both from tradition and contemporary writers. This section offers a summary of some commentaries on the Gospel. Also below is a list of the books and articles that have been consulted in compiling this Sunday's "Pray As You Can" and which could be used for further reading.
This Sunday's Commentary
Lots of ink has been used to discuss Jesus’ answer to the question posed to him concerning tax and much of that ink has explored the role of the Christian within the state. But the people that posed the initial question couldn’t really have cared less about the issue. The fact that they could readily pull one of Caesar’s coins out of their pockets shows that they were using this ‘state’ money for more than paying taxes.
They questioners were really out to get Jesus and any question would do. This is the first in a series posed in order to destroy Jesus’ reputation. The following questions concern the resurrection of the dead, the greatest commandment, and the sonship of the Messiah. In every case, Jesus turns the tables on the questioners by taking the question to another level and, in doing so, reveals the malice and hypocrisy of the people asking the questions.
The cumulative effect of these questions is to underline the concerted, calculated plan to destroy Jesus. Human beings can be that nasty... and it is not just the rotters and lowlifes that can work to undermine people and their reputations. The Pharisees were the religious elite, the Herodians the political elite. The next question posed to Jesus in this series (which doesn’t occur in the year A cycle) is done by an alternative religious elite, the Sadducees. These groups, while normally not friends, were more than happy to collude to destroy someone who had done only good, and who came to them offering love and salvation. None of us is immune from envy and malice. How these people acted should give us cause to pause and occasionally ask how we treat the people that we do not particularly get along with.