Matthew 22 – Ulterior Motives

Read Matthew 22

Have you ever done something that would seemingly benefit someone else but, in reality, you did it to benefit yourself?  Whether it is helping someone so as to receive public affirmation or being publically generous, the true intentions of our hearts are something that we have to contend with.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were such people, always having an ulterior motive in their minds when the questioned Jesus.

For Jesus, questions like this were not uncommon for religious teachers.  Leaders would question each other so as to affirm the truth of their teaching, or to garner more followers for themselves.  We see this in our culture a great deal, especially during election years.  In Jesus’ case, however, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were looking for an excuse to have Jesus arrested and to rid themselves of this nuisance.

Yet Jesus is unphased by these questions, not simply because He knows that they are trying to trick Him, but because He understands what is most important, what the Father truly cares about: the heart.  Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees were “experts” in the law; they “knew” how to follow God.  When they questioned Jesus though, the Lord redirected the question to expose the true fault of their hearts.

God does not concern Himself with “temple taxes,” He wants the heart of the giver.  We need not concern ourselves with holding on to worldly things, even some of our closest relationships.  Instead, He desires our trust that, when resurrection happens, all things will be made right.  The things we hold as important now will pale in comparison to what life will be like then.

What does God desire then?  The answer seems so simple: Love God and Love your neighbor; love like that has no ulterior motives.

4 Responses to “Matthew 22 – Ulterior Motives”

  1. […] Matthew 22:36-40 – “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” […]

  2. […] Matthew 22:36-40 – “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” […]

  3. […] Matthew 22:37 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ […]

  4. […] Matthew 22:21 – “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.” […]

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