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Paying Taxes to Caesar

The Story - "An Interwoven Gospel"   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We need to reflect the image of Christ not the world

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Let the questions continue

This chapter, as well as most of chapter 21 are not unrelated questions, answers, parables. This is a movement in answering the question previously asked and displaying the answer.
Mt21:
Matthew 21:23 NASB95
23 When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?”
We have seen Jesus authority questioned (Mt21:23-27)
Parable of obedience (two sons (Mt21:28-32)
Parable of rejected invitation (Mt22:1-14)
Now each of these showed to the Chief Priests, Scribes and Elders of the people what the problem was and what the solution was, repent and return. They did not respond except to go and prepare for another attack, this time bringing in people they don’t normally agree with the Herodians.
What strange bedfellows we the antagonists make when they have a common enemy. But let me tell you about the Herodians a little.
Herodians were implants from Rome into the Jewish people, they followed Herod in keeping the peace and keeping in line with what Caesar demanded. They were a political party not a religious party.
So think about that when we look at the story today and see where you think the Herodians would weigh in on this and why?
Turn in Story book to pgs. 121-122; and in the Bible to Mt22:15-22
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?

I. The Plot

Flattery, who doesn’t like flattery? OK, it can be dangerous too can’t it?
Psalm 12:2–3 NASB95
2 They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak. 3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things;
Psm
A N.T. passage that shows deception of flattery
Rom
Romans 16:18 NASB95
18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
Now in looking at this passage we see how they started don’t we?
First they plotted, what was their goal? (think back) - they wanted to trap Him, this goes with them trying to trap him in (21:23)
Then they sent their disciples, why do you think? - I might suggest that the Pharisee’s and the rest were already shown up
Matthew 21:45–46 NASB95
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. 46 When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet.
They did not want to be called out again so they sent people that would be considered lesser than themselves.
In their flattery what do you notice (v.16)?
You are truthful, teach way of God
You defer to no one - don’t let anyone influence you
You are not partial - no favoritism
Now moving on (v.17), how did they phrase the question? Have we seen that before? (what do you think; yes; Mt21:28)
What is the question that is asked (v.17)?
be careful notice the wording of it; to “give” poll-tax - do we give our taxes or pay our taxes? Does wording make a difference?
Poll- tax, let me expand some: The poll-tax was a heavy burden on the peasant worker, who was already paying 12% tax on harvest in land taxes, 1 denarious per child over 14 years old in household. The poll tax amounted to a tax on one’s body, which Rome looked at as they owned them anyways.
So it is no surprising that this tax is what they chose to try to trap Jesus for no matter where he landed he would be in hot water with the Jews or the Roman’s so they thought they had him no matter what.
The Pharisee’s were against the tax because
They did not want to submit to Roman (Gentile) power over them.
Caesar considered himself a god; and they felt if they paid it would be giving tribute to another god beside Jehovah God
They had better use of their money than to give to some foreign country. For they felt Rome was foreign and they were just occupying them there. Every tax they paid to Rome was a reminder that they were kept people not truly free.
The Herodians were for he tax since they were pro-Herod and pro-Caesar

II. The answer and the teaching

What did Jesus perceive from their question?
What was Jesus response to the question (v.18)? - stay to (v.18) He answered the question with a question because he knew their heart
In (vv.19-20) what does Jesus do?
Now look at the interaction (v.21) what happens?
So it is Caesar’s imprint on the coin, so that would belong to Caesar, so it would be give back what is already his
Jesus also makes the comment to do what? - Render to God the things that are God’s
The response Jesus gave shows that he is neither political and trying to stage a tax revolt against Caesar nor compromising the sovereignty of God, His kingship and authority.
F.F. Bruce says “obedience to God’s will is not compromised by letting Caesar have money which bears his name.”
Something to consider: Jesus is not trying to revolt, he is not trying to drive a wedge between being loyal to God and paying Caesar. He is saying give Caesar what bears his image and God what bears His!
So, here is a question, what bears God’s image?
Genesis 1:26–27 NASB95
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
YOU DO! - you bear God’s image, God’s imprint!
So I mentioned the answer and the teaching so how about that teaching, Jesus gives us some simple applicable truths, for them then aand for us today.
Honor and obey rulers
1 Peter 2:13–14 NASB95
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
1 Peter 2:15–16 NASB95
15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
1 Peter 2:17 NASB95
17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
There is more in and in 1Tim2:1ff - but I think you can get the jest of it.
Honor and obey God
Caesar was not God, while the government cannot enforce religion, nor should it restrict freedom to worship
Acts 5:29 NASB95
29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
The best citizen honors his Country because he worships and honors God
Speaking of citizenship, we have dual citizenship now
Philippians 3:20 NASB95
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
While we live here for awhile our eternal citizenship is in heaven. and close with the why we know this
Man bear’s God’s image and owes God his all
You were made in God’s image, sin hurt that image, damaged that relationship and through Jesus it is restored.
Ephesians 4:24 NASB95
24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Colossians 3:10 NASB95
10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—
New self who is being renewed - remember whose you are, remember whose image you are made in the image of and give accordingly.
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