Luke 20:21
(21) Neither acceptest thou the person of any.--To "accept the person" takes the place of "regarding" or "looking at" the person of Matthew 22:16, where see Note. The precise combination which St. Luke uses meets us again in Galatians 2:6.

Verses 21, 22. - And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? SS. Matthew and Mark both tell us that in this plot the Herodians were united with the Pharisees (and Sanhedrin). The great Nazareth Reformer was equally hateful to both these hostile parties; hence their union in this matter. It was a well and skilfully laid question. This "tribute" was a capitation tax - a denarius a head assessed on the whole population, the publicans who farmed it being answerable for it to the Roman treasury. As a direct personal tax it was most unpopular, and was looked on by scrupulous legalists and the more zealous Jews as involving a greater humiliation than the ordinary import or export customs dues. It occasioned at times popular tumults, as in the case of Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37). If Jesus answered the question in the affirmative "Yes, it is lawful for the Jews to give this tribute to Caesar," then the Pharisees would use this decision of his as a means of undermining his credit with the zealous populace. "See, after all," they would say, "this pretended Messiah of yours is but a poor-hearted traitor. Think of King Messiah paying tribute to a Gentile." If, on the other hand, the Master had said such payment of tribute was unlawful, then the Herodians, who were watching him, hoping for some such expression of opinion, would at once have denounced him to their Roman friends as One who taught the people - only too ready to listen to such teaching - lessons of sedition. In the latter case Pilate and the officials of Rome would have taken good care that the Galilaean Master had troubled the Sanhedrin no more.

20:20-26 Those who are most crafty in their designs against Christ and his gospel, cannot hide them. He did not give a direct answer, but reproved them for offering to impose upon him; and they could not fasten upon any thing wherewith to stir up either the governor or the people against him. The wisdom which is from above, will direct all who teach the way of God truly, to avoid the snares laid for them by wicked men; and will teach our duty to God, to our rulers, and to all men, so clearly, that opposers will have no evil to say of us.And they asked him, saying, master,.... Rabbi, or doctor; hoping, by this flattering title, and the flattering words used by them, to work him up to an openness and freedom of conversation with them:

we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly; rightly dividest the word of God, and deliverest out sound doctrine according to it: and this he certainly did, though they spoke these words hypocritically, not believing what they themselves said; at least, they did not care that others should believe this of him:

neither acceptest thou the person of any. The Persic version very wrongly renders it, "and lookest not upon the countenance, and heart of any one whomsoever"; for though Christ did not look upon the countenances of men, and judge according to the outward appearance, nor regard men on account of outward circumstances, as riches, honours, learning, &c. yet he looked upon the heart, and knew what was in it, and respected sincerity and uprightness wherever he found it, and which were wanting in these men:

but teachest the way of God truly; the way of worshipping God, and of enjoying him, both in this world, and in that to come; See Gill on Matthew 22:16.

Luke 20:20
Top of Page
Top of Page