"Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle Him in His words. And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, 'Teacher, we know that You are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and You do not care about anyone's opinion, for You are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?' But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, 'Why put Me to the test, you hypocrites? Show Me the coin for the tax.' And they brought Him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, 'Whose likeness and inscription is this?' They said, 'Caesar's.' Then He said to them, 'Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.' When they heard it, they marveled. And they left Him and went away." Matthew 22:15-22
Sadducees ask about the resurrection
Next, the Sadducees, who believed there was no life after death, hit Jesus with a doctrinal question about the woman who married the seven brothers. Whose would she be in heaven? Jesus answered, “You are mistaken and don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God.” The Bible says they were astonished at His teaching.
"The same day Sadducees came to Him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked Him a question, saying, 'Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.'
Pharisees ask about the great commandment
Finally, the Pharisees, the religious rulers of the day, testing Him asked an ethical question, “Which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus said the first commandment is to love God, and the second is to love others. No one was able to answer Him a word, and from that day no one dared asked Him any more questions.
"But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him. 'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?' And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'" Matthew 22:34-40
How did Jesus respond to these harsh enemies?
He responded with great wisdom and truth.
Not only those who oppose us, but even people closest to us can misunderstand us or say things that hurt us. What about Jesus’s own followers, the people He spent time with and loved?
Peter, one of His disciples, spoke out to correct Jesus in Matthew 16:21-23.
"From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'Far be it from You, Lord! This shall never happen to You.' But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are a hindrance to Me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.'" Matthew 16:21-23
When Jesus began to tell His disciples about His coming suffering and death, Peter took Him aside to rebuke Him because he didn’t understand God’s ultimate plan. Jesus in turn sternly reprimanded Peter.
Allow the following verses to guide your responses when you have to deal with all of the difficult people that intersect with your life:
"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself." Proverbs 26:4
How do you deal with difficult people?
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