Synopsis of: What is Caesar’s and What is God’s?
( Audio button below this synopsis )
Good and joyful morning this morning to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the Lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite; we’re about to slice a piece of the bread of life, the Word of God. And today’s slice is from:
MAT 22:15 Then the Pharisees met together to think of a way to trap Jesus into saying something for which they could accuse him. 16 They decided to send some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to ask him this question: “Teacher, we know how honest you are. You teach about the way of God regardless of the consequences. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. 17 Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to the Roman government or not?” 18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Whom are you trying to fool with your trick questions? 19 Here, show me the Roman coin used for the tax.” When they handed him the coin, 20 he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God.” 22 His reply amazed them, and they went away.
With all the news about the candidates arguing with and calling out each others faults these days, led me to this message. Add to that news is the reports of those protesting for money of the riches to be distributed to the less rich. They do this with McDonald lunch bags in their hands, wearing a Coca Cola tee shirt, a smart phone made by Motorola, which uses AT&T servers; organizations which place millions of people in jobs. I noticed some parading on Sundays. I wonder if they went to church first.
The little boy was straightforward and honest in his questions because he wanted to entrust to the lady something valuable. The Pharisees in our slice of the bread of life today are not being honest. They have no intent in entrusting Jesus with anything. They are not looking for the answer to a question. They don’t want someone to hold their quarter. They are looking for a way to get rid of this trouble making Nazarene named Jesus.
The Pharisees were so angry it blinded them. We look at the Pharisees and we shake our heads. How could they have been so wrong when the truth was standing right in front of them? I believe they were upset because Jesus held them accountable and exposed their hypocrisy. “Teacher, we know that you are sincere,” they say to him, “and teach the way of God.” Not for a moment did they believe in Jesus’ sincerity. It was a set up. It was a way of putting him at ease before they stabbed him in the back. Tell us then, they continue, “What do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor?”
I suppose we ought to be grateful to the Pharisees. In their question, which Jesus says was motivated by malice, they prompt one of the greatest of Jesus’ teachings. It may not seem like much on the face of it, but the implications of this teaching have echoed through the centuries and they have shaped western societies. Let us ask three questions this morning and find out why this little teaching has such a great influence.
1. What Is Caesar’s? Or, better yet, do you pay your fair share of taxes according to the law of the land, or do you cheat ? Do you appreciate the Interstate System when you travel. Do you know that the painted white and yellow lines alone cost $9,000.00 per mile. Oh, how blessed we are.
2. What Is God’s? Or, better yet, do you tithe, it is also a law, that is, God’s law. Do you appreciate, expect God’s blessings that you pray for?
3. Do you “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”?
To listen to this message click on the arrow below.