Exploring the Sunday Gospel - Twentieth Sunday after Trinity


Today is the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity. Today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel introduces the final round of conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities before the Passion. Jesus was challenged by three test questions, concerned with paying taxes to Caesar, the resurrection of the dead, and the greatest commandment in the law. Each question is controversial. Whatever answer Jesus gives, he will lose the support of some of his followers. Jesus turns each question back onto the questioners. The question about paying taxes was to test whether Jesus sided with the zealots who refused to pay, or with those who collaborated with the Roman occupation. Jesus’ response to asking to see a coin was clever because it drew attention to the idolatrous image of the emperor’s head. For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of coins. In today’s picture from their book, Cross, Aled and Sian had looked carefully at their coins before handing them over to purchase ice creams.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you called your followers
to be good citizens and loyal servants of God.
Teach us to give proper attention
to the demands of society and the laws of God,
that we may be true to our calling;
now and always.

Next Sunday is the Last Sunday after Trinity. The Gospel reading continues Matthew’s account of the final round of conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities before the Passion. This time the trick question is ‘Which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ The image to help prepare for this theme is feeling loved. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.

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