Sermon #64                                                     Series: Matthew

            Title:                Trappers Trapped

            Text:                Matthew 22:15-46

            Reading:        Larry Criss – Lindsay Campbell

            Subject:          Christ’s Confounding of His Enemies

            Date:               Tuesday Evening – November 21, 1995

            Tape #            R-96




            In the passage before us tonight the Holy Spirit has recorded a series of subtle snores hid by our Lord’s enemies during the last days of his earthly ministry. By their pretentious questions, asked with the pretense of seeking to honor God and understand his truth.  These hell-inspired religionists were trying to entice our Lord, trying to trick him into saying something which they could use as an accusation against him. Obviously, their schemes failed. They were taken in their own snare, and retreated in utter confusion. But there is much to be learned from this event.


Proposition:  Religious training is not sufficient to give men and women spiritual discernment.  Spiritual discernment comes only by knowing the Scriptures and the power of God – (I Cor. 2:11-16).


            I want you to hold your Bibles open at Matthew 22.  Read along with me, as we go through this passage of Holy Scripture.  We will look at it in four parts. May God the Holy spirit be our Teacher. And I pray that he will graciously seal his Word to our hearts.


I.  First, Let’s read verses 15-22 – The Snare By Which The Herodians Hoped To Entangle Our Savior Was A Question About Politics.


            The Herodians obviously had some connection with Herod and with the Pharisees. It is really unknown to us, who they were, what their connections were, and what their beliefs were. Many have tried to figure out who these men were.  I will leave that to them. I want you to see the message the Holy Spirit of God would have us to learn.


A.  First, The Gospel of God’s Free and Sovereign Grace is Always Offensive to Lost Religious People – (v. 15).


            The word “Then” in verse 15 directs our attention to the preceding parables given by our Lord. In the parable of the two sons, our Savior told them that their religious works would profit them nothing before God (21:31). In the parable of the husbandmen, the Pharisees “perceived that he spake of them” (22:45), when he said, “The kingdom shall be taken from you,” and judgment shall fall upon you (22:42-45).  Then, the parable of the marriage feast plainly declared the message of God’s sovereign, electing love and irresistible, saving grace (v. 14).  That message of grace was the clincher.  The Pharisees, the Herodians, and the Sadducees were all enraged by it, and sought to destroy the Son of God for preaching it.  The cross of Christ, the gospel of God’s free, sovereign, saving grace in Christ, the gospel of God’s free, sovereign, saving grace in Christ alone, is an offence to all natural men (Gal. 5:11). Here is the cause of offence…


1.       Total depravity declares man to be basically evil, not good.

2.       Unconditional Election makes salvation to be a matter wholly determined by the immutable will of God.

3.       Limited Atonement makes salvation to be merited by and secured by Christ alone.

4.       Irresistible Grace makes the new birth, repentance, and faith to be the works and gifts of God the Holy Spirit.

5.       Perseverance of the Saints makes salvation, grace, and eternal life entirely dependent upon the work of God.


B.  Second, Satan often comes against us as a flattering friend rather than an enraged enemy – (v. 16).


            Many there are whose souls have been ruined by the world’s seductive kindness, who stood strong and firm against the world’s persecutions.


            Illus:  Samson




            Sweet things cause more sickness than bitter things.  The warm, balmy sunshine of a bright summer day is far more likely to make a man shed his protective armor than the freezing blasts of winter.  The devil is never so dangerous as when he appears to be our friend.  And the world is never so dangerous to our souls as when it smiles and flatters.


C.  Third, In all matters of civil law, it is our duty to be obedient to civil government (v. 21).



I do not approve of many things, indeed, of most things promoted and encouraged by the institutions of government in this country.  I am thankful for the nation, love it, and am willing to fight to the death to defend the land and liberty God has given us.  But those laws of the land that tend to destroy the very fabric of society.  I do not and cannot condone.


            However, wherever the laws of the land do not demand that I violate the Word of God, I am and must be obedient to the laws of civil government.


1.      We must be obedient to God, regardless of cost or consequence, even whom law forbids our obedience (Acts 4:18-20).

2.      But, where Caesar does not demand disobedience to Christ, we must render unto Caesar the things that are his – That includes taxes (Matt. 17:27).


II.  Second, in verses 23-33 The Snare by which the Sadducees Attempted to Trap the Son of God was A Question About The Resurrection.


            The Sadducees were the liberals of the day.  They denied the resurrection. The Sadducees and the Pharisees were not real friendly with one another.  But they were willing to put aside their differences when it come to opposing Christ, they were happy to work together.


            Again, there are three things in these verses that are as obvious as the sun…


A.  The Dishonesty of Scoffers (vv. 23-29).


            These men pretended to honor Moses, The Scriptures, and God, though they sought honor only for themselves. And in their pretentiously pious attempt to destroy the doctrine of Christ they fabricated a story.


1.       Imaginary suppositions are the strongest weapons of infidels. While ignoring obvious evidences of divine truth, they pile up suppositions and hypothetical situations to confuse the issues they refuse to face.

2.       When witnessing to men and discussing Bible truths, do not be drawn into this trap –


Note:  Any child can ask questions that a wise philosopher can never answer with satisfaction.

     Note:  There are some things we know (I Pet. 1:18-25).  Be   content to wait.  What we know not now, we shall know thereafter.


3.       Spiritual things can only be known and learned by spiritual things (v. 29).


B.  The Blessedness of the Resurrection – (v. 30).


            In that blessed, glorious state, we shall be as the angels of God. We know very little about the life that awaits us in the resurrection. But this much is sure…


1.       It is beyond imagination (I Cor. 2:9).

2.       No consequence of sin shall follow us into eternity (Rev. 21:4).

3.       We shall be “as the angels of God.”


C.  The Eternality of Our God (vv. 31-33).


            Our Savior quotes Exodus 3:6 in the present tense – “I am (not was) the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Then he adds these words – “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”


1.       God is eternal!

2.       Those who die in Christ, are not dead at all, but living!


III.  Third, verses 34-40 show us how that The Pharisees sent one of their Lawyers, Tempting the Savior with A Question about The Law.


            The word “lawyer” here does not refer to a lawyer as we think of lawyers.  This fellow was not a trial lawyer, or a civil lawyer.  He was a religious lawyer.  The worst kind of lawyer!  These lawyers were men whose life and business it was to study and teach the Mosic law, with all the customs and traditions appended to it by men.


            Again, there are three things in these verses that must be understood.


A.  The law of God is holy, just, and good.


            What a blessed place this world would be if all men loved God and one another!


B.  No man is capable of fulfilling the law.


            Grace teaches us to love God and one another, and enables us in a measure to do so.



But our best love is full of sin!


C.  The only way any sinner has hope of fulfilling God’s holy law is by the doing and dying of Christ, our Representative and Substitute – (Rom. 8:104).


1.      He obeyed the law for us.

2.      He paid our debt.

3.      We fulfill the law by trusting him.


IV.  In verses 41-46, The Son of God Puts Forth One Question Before Which All Other Questions fade into Insignificance – “What Think ye of Christ?”


            With this question of all questions, he snared the fowlers and trapped the trappers.  These learned religious men were put to silence by this question. To answer it honestly, they would have had to acknowledge that the Messiah must be both God and man.  But, rather than be honest, they held to their religious traditions and went to hell!


            Now, I put this question to you once more – “What think ye of Christ?”  Let me answer for myself and for every saved soul, according to the Scriptures –


A.      He is God Almighty! (I Tim. 3:16)

B.      He is a Real Man – The Woman’s Seed! (Gal. 4:4-6).

C.      He is the Lord our Righteousness! (Jer. 23:6).

D.      He is our All-Sufficient Substitute! (II Cor. 5:21).

E.      He is our Mighty Savior! (Heb. 7:25; Matt. 1:21).

F.       He is our Advocate with the Father! (I John 2:102).

G.      He is Precious! (I Pet. 2:7).




            Once more, we see how that our Lord takes what wicked men, inspired by Satan himself, meant for evil, and turns it for good.