Matthew 22:18
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
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(18) Ye hypocrites.—The special form of the hypocrisy was that the questioners had come, not avowedly as disputants, but as “just men” (Luke 20:20) perplexed in conscience and seeking guidance as from One whom they really honoured.

Matthew 22:18-22. But Jesus perceived their wickedness, (and craftiness, Luke,) in this their address, however pious and respectful it appeared; and said, Why tempt ye me? — That is, Why do ye try me by such an insnaring question, and seek to draw me into danger by it? Ye hypocrites — Making conscience and a pure regard to the divine will your pretence for asking the question, while your design is to bring about my destruction. Show me the tribute-money — Which is demanded of you. It seems the Romans chose to receive this tribute in their own coin. And they brought unto him a penny — A denarius, stamped with the head of Cesar. He saith, Whose is this image — Which is struck upon the coin? They say unto him, Cesar’s — Plainly acknowledging, by their having received his coin, that they were under his government. And indeed this is a standing rule. The current coin of every nation shows who is the supreme governor of it. Render therefore, ye Pharisees, to Cesar, the things which ye yourselves acknowledge to be Cesar’s: and, ye Herodians, while ye are zealous for Cesar, see that ye render to God the things that are God’s. When they had heard, &c., they marvelled and left him — “So unexpected an answer, in which Jesus clearly confuted them on their own principles, and showed that the rights of God and the magistrate do not interfere in the least, (because magistrates are God’s deputies, and rule by his authority,) quite disconcerted and silenced those crafty enemies. They were astonished at his having perceived their design, as well as at the wisdom by which he avoided the snare, and went off inwardly vexed and not a little ashamed.” — Macknight.

22:15-22 The Pharisees sent their disciples with the Herodians, a party among the Jews, who were for full subjection to the Roman emperor. Though opposed to each other, they joined against Christ. What they said of Christ was right; whether they knew it or not, blessed be God we know it. Jesus Christ was a faithful Teacher, and a bold reprover. Christ saw their wickedness. Whatever mask the hypocrite puts on, our Lord Jesus sees through it. Christ did not interpose as a judge in matters of this nature, for his kingdom is not of this world, but he enjoins peaceable subjection to the powers that be. His adversaries were reproved, and his disciples were taught that the Christian religion is no enemy to civil government. Christ is, and will be, the wonder, not only of his friends, but of his enemies. They admire his wisdom, but will not be guided by it; his power, but will not submit to it.Jesus perceived their wickedness - This must have been done by his power of searching the heart, and proves that he was omniscient.

No more man has the power of discerning the motives of others.

Tempt ye me - Try me, or endeavor to lead me into difficulty by an insidious question.

Hypocrites - Dissemblers. Professing to be candid inquirers, when their only object was to lead into difficulty. See the notes at Matthew 6:2.

Mt 22:15-40. Entangling Questions about Tribute, the Resurrection, and the Great Commandment, with the Replies. ( = Mr 12:13-34; Lu 20:20-40).

For the exposition, see on [1343]Mr 12:13-34.

See Poole on "Matthew 22:22".

But Jesus perceived their wickedness,.... Luke says, "their craftiness"; and Mark says, "knowing their hypocrisy"; for there was, a mixture of malice, hypocrisy, and artfulness, in the scheme they had formed; but Christ being the omniscient God, saw the wickedness of their hearts, knew their hypocritical designs, and was well acquainted with all their artifice: he judged not according to the outward appearance of their affection for him, and opinion of him, of religion, righteousness, and holiness in themselves, and of a sincere desire to have their conscience satisfied about this matter; the snare they laid was visible to him, the mask they put on could not screen them from him, nor impose upon him:

and said, why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? as he might well call them, who feigned themselves just persons, pretended a great deal of respect for him, call him master, compliment him with the characters of a faithful, sincere, and disinterested preacher; yet by putting the above question, designed no other than to ensnare him, and bring him into disgrace or trouble.

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
Matthew 22:18. Τὴν πονηρίαν] for they concealed malicious designs (the reverse of ἁπλότης) behind their seemingly candid, nay, flatteringly put question, in which their object was to try (πειράζετε) whether He might not be betrayed into returning such an answer as might be used in further proceedings against Him. Apropos of ὑποκριταί, Bengel appropriately observes: “verum se eis ostendit, ut dixerant, Matthew 22:16;” but in the interrogative τί, why, is involved the idea of: what is your design in putting such a question?

Matthew 22:18-22. Christ’s reply and its effect.

Matthew 22:18. Γνοὺς, knowing) sc. without delay, or instruction from any one.—ὑποκριταὶ! hypocrites!) Our Lord shows Himself to them true, as they had said; Matthew 22:16.

Verse 18. - Wickedness. The malice and hypocrisy which prompted the inquiry. Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? They were hypocrites because they falsely assumed the guise of conscientious men, who had no sinister motive, and desired merely to hear the decision of a much-esteemed Rabbi. Christ's words proved in a moment that he saw through them, understood the meaning of the temptation to which they had subjected him - how they were trying to involve him in a political difficulty, from which they deemed no escape was possible. The character which they had fiatteringly. given to Jesus (ver. 16) he here fully responds to. Matthew 22:18
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