16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away. Matthew 22:16-22
The teachers of the law tried to “razzle-dazzle” Jesus with pious sounding talk. Once again, he peered right through them. They weren’t interested in the truth at all. They were only interested in trapping him in something he would say. Then they would pat themselves on the back for doing what they thought was right.
The Bible tells us that the leaders went away amazed by what Jesus taught them. They went away amazed but where they changed as a result? We can’t know for sure about all of them but it’s safe to say that most were opposed to Him right up through His crucifixion. We don’t know about the months and years after His ascension.
But they went away amazed.
We do that too, don’t we? We hear a sound Biblical teaching and walk away “pumped up” or encouraged or sometimes even troubled. Does it spur us on to action? Does it have to?
Not really. As I mentioned a few days ago, the Bible and Bible teachers “correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). That instruction goes deep within and feeds our spirits.
The teachers of the law, of course, did not have the Spirit of God within them but when the living Word of God is speaking to you as a non-believer, you will have to take time to process it.
So, it’s safe to say that what Jesus told them remained with them for a long time.
The Bible is a powerful book, something that cannot be overemphasized. It has a transforming effect on the believer and non-believer. We just have to trust that when we’ve done our job of spreading seeds, that the Holy Spirit will germinate and grow them.