Friday, April 2, 2010

rendering unto God

The Word for Today: Matthew 22:15-46
Mark this: Matthew 22:21

- Jesus Christ (the Son of God)
- Multiple Pharisees (a religious group that didn't like Jesus)
- Multiple Herodians (a political party that didn't like Jesus)

- These, normally opposed groups, find common ground in their desire to get rid of Jesus
- They plot out what looks to be an inescapable dilemma

- Should we pay taxes to Caesar?
If YES, then he would face the scorn of the majority of Jews, who resented being subjected to by pagans. Paying taxes to Rome was seen as dishonoring country and even God.
If NO, then He would face the wrath of the Roman occupiers, and be charged with treason.

- A Roman coin (a denarius, pictured above)

"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. (22:21 KJV)"

Caesar's coin with his image and inscription belong to Caesar. I get it. I owe people what I owe them. There is no side-stepping that, especially on religious grounds. (see Corban Mk 7:11-13).

But what exactly belongs to GOD?

Let's start with Psalm 115:16-
"The highest heavens belong to the LORD"

You mean the whole universe-the thing that is so big we cannot event track its edges?
You mean the 200,000,000,000 known galaxies with their 20,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 known stars? Yes. Those. They are His

Let's continue with Psalm 24:1
"The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it,the world, and all who live in it."
Talk about all inclusive. God is owner. God is Master. God is in charge.

But, unless you have untold hidden powers or wealth, you and I don't really have much to offer. No one I know owns any mountain or island. No one has any claim to any of the infinite stars. So how do I bring this passage to bear on me?

Let's end with a mirror. Take a look into the nearest one an ask yourself this question:
"Who's image is this?" (How about God's, however dim we've marred it - see Genesis 1:26-27)
"Then render to God what is God's"

Remember that you were bought with a great price and are no longer your own! (1 Co. 6:19-20)

1 comment:

  1. Great teaching, as always, Pastor Joe. The tie-in to Gen. 1:26 is sensational.

    I love 22:46, where they just quit asking him questions!