And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.
So often the Pharisees seemed to come to Jesus thinking they already had everything figured out, like they knew more than Him and could somehow trip Him up. But if they would have just stopped thinking they were so smart, look how much they could have learned from Jesus. Here was the Author of the law they were supposed to uphold. Here was the God who inspired Scripture. Here was the source of wisdom Himself, right in front of them, teaching in the temple and their synagogues. And they missed out on learning from Him because they didn’t think they had anything to learn.
Sure, they were asking questions, but the Scriptures always state their purpose to be not one of sincere curiosity or a desire to learn from God, but to trick Jesus, to get Him to say something they could use against Him, to gather some evidence in order to accuse Him of something. They are coming not to take what He’s saying to heart and learn some lessons and grow in their walk with God, but to discredit Him and turn people away from following Him. They had their minds made up that Jesus was not the Son of God, and nothing He said or did would change that.
But what about us? There is a danger of this, even for sincere believers, because pride is always a danger. Getting puffed up in our own knowledge can leave us thinking we’ve got it all figured out, that we know more than God. And then we’ll come to Him not with a humble attitude seeking His wisdom, but with a hardened heart unopen to His truth. We may miss those great lessons we can learn from Him if we’ll just admit that we haven’t got it all figured out or we might be wrong about something or that we need to grow and learn more from Him.
So may we be surrendered to our gracious teacher. Jesus will teach us much if we’re willing to sit at His feet and learn. He will impart His wisdom to us if we’re willing to spend some time with His Word and in prayer. He will show us amazing things we never could have figured out on our own. And when we leave behind those know-it-all attitudes, we’ll come to find that there is always something more to learn from God and His unending truth.