Pentecost 20: Image, Likeness, and Identity

Matthew 22:15-22 Genesis 1:26 Dear Partner in Preaching, Allow a suggestion for this week’s preaching: substitute Genesis 1:26 for the first reading, normally from Isaiah (45:1-7) or Exodus (33:12-23). Yes, a single verse. Why? Because I have a feeling it is a verse that might have come to mind to some of those listening to Jesus’ exchange with the Pharisees and Herodians. Allow me to explain. We are at the point in Matthew’s story about Jesus where things are getting pretty tense. Earlier in the week, Jesus had entered Jerusalem and been greeted by adoring crowds (Mt. 21:1-11). Riding this wave of popular acclaim, he immediately...