August 3 – Testing Jesus

Matthew 22:15-22

But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? (Matthew 22:18 ESV)

Once again the misguided Pharisees sought to entrap Jesus with their petty questions and clumsy tests. Jesus always saw straight through their tests. They weren’t really interested in getting answers, they were looking for reasons to blame, doubt, of entrap him. People still do the same thing today.

It is true that many atheists and various other skeptics chalk their doubts up to the ideas of proof, but so do believers. I have been a Christian for over twenty years and there a days when I have doubts. There are moments, when like the Pharisees, I look up and cast my test before the King of kings.

I believe that doubt can be a healthy thing when it pushes us toward honest evaluation and careful contemplation. But it can also be arrogant folly when we take our stance, presume ourselves to be the standard for truth, and call all others to verify truth through our personal view of the world.

The Pharisees were testing Jesus because he was undermining their religious hold on their personal world. He was stirring things up. They didn’t test him because they wanted truth. They tested him because they were looking for leverage. That can be easy to forget. I would do better to remember just that the next time that I feel like testing Jesus.


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