I think that we all have wanted to ask this question to someone: friend, family, significant other, co-worker, classmate, professor, and more.
Have you ever had someone not like you and do everything in their power to ruin you? Did they verbally insult you? Try to ruin your reputation? Go behind your back to mess with your work? Maybe they even tried to physically harm you?
Well Jesus had this very problem in Matthew 22: 15-22. Throughout Matthew we know that the teachers of the law came for Jesus and they came hard. They would ask him questions to trap him; they would claim that his works were from the devil, they tried to find ways to arrest him, and more. They did all of this because of their jealousy and the fact that he was calling them out.
Jesus has told them off on many occasions, but even before then they were on him like white on rice, why? They knew that they were not worthy of their title and position, so when they saw Jesus performing more miracles than they ever could and he was not a deviant like them they became angry. I think they became angry because Jesus very presence made them aware of their spiritual inadequacy that no one but them and God knew, at the time.
In verse 15, the Pharisees are at it again, to trap Jesus, so they send their disciples to him to ask him about paying taxes to Caesar. The disciples start out buttering Jesus up then strike with their question. However, Jesus knew their evil intent and said to them, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?” (Teen Study Bible).
When I first read this passage I was drawn to it, but I couldn’t figure out why. I found myself trying to explain it to myself and the only note I could write was ‘Jesus called them out.’ This passage is important because it shows that even Jesus was annoyed with these people. Jesus knew why they were doing what they were doing and even he was fed up with it.
His question in our modern-day setting is “what is your problem?” This question shows an attempt to understand where a person is coming from even when we are beyond fed up with them. The only difference is Jesus knew what his enemy was doing, we are not always as fortunate.
However, Jesus still answered their question and set them straight despite is annoyance with them. We will always find ourselves questioning the problem of others with us, but we should not wait for a reason as to why nor should we dwell on why.
God makes all things possible and we must give to him what is his. When you find yourself up against people who have a problem with you, immediately give them over to God. When you continue to read Matthew 22 you will find that eventually Jesus shut these people down so much that they never dared to ask him a question again. Yes, Jesus is likes that.
There was a time I dealt with a person that had a position of power over me and abused it just to do so. He seemed to have been gunning for me the first day he met me but I didn’t know. Well later on God revealed to me that he did in fact have a problem with me and was using his authority as a professor to hinder my plans. Well God is so good that everything worked out for his glory. I wanted to ask the professor in a very unkind way what his problem was but didn’t need to do so. He would do little things to annoy me but he got no reaction because I had already given the situation to God. No longer was I fighting but God, and no one can win against God. I passed that class with an “A” and never looked back, but the grade was the least important; I had learned for the first time how to not lean on my own understanding or my perceived power, but to always acknowledge God in everything and trust his word, Proverbs 3:5,6.
The funny thing is the professor was an atheist yet God used him to bring me closer to him. So next time that person makes you want to ask them what their problem is, remember that only God knows their problem and only he can deal with them, you just focus on him and trust him.
Have a blessed day 🙂