Faithlife Sermons

Who Gets Your Allegiance?

Follow the King   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Luke throwing football - Want him to get a college scholarship. Staci wants him to have nothing to do with football. Who is he going to live to please?
Everyone wants something from you: your spouse, your kids, your boss, your coach, your teacher. Everyone is making demands on your life - how do you decide who gets your allegiance? Who gets your best efforts? Who gets your time? Who gets your talents? Who will you live to please?
Question asked of Jesus 2,000 years ago by the Jewish leaders - who would the Jewish people give their allegiance to? A wicked Roman governor or the religious establishment?
Three life essentials you need to settle this morning

Know who gets your allegiance.

Tuesday of Holy Week - Jesus coming under more and more scrutiny. vs. 27-28 - After turning over the tables in the temple authority challenged by religious leaders.
Jesus tells parable condemning religious leaders for their rejection of Him - vs. 12 - Religious leaders want Jesus arrested but fear the people - Jesus is still popular. What would happen if they arrest Him? The people would turn on Jesus.
The religious leaders needed to discredit Jesus - - a series of questions asked by those in power to try trap Jesus - to turn the crowds on Him.
Pharisees and Herodians team up. Herodians and Pharisees were not on the same page - Herodians supported King Herod and Rome. They wanted power - and they thought the best way was to side with Herod and Rome.
Flattery followed by a hotly debated issue - “We know you are true… You teach the way of God… Help us to settle a debate… Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (No one likes taxes - Tanger Outlet on Tax Free Saturday! BUT, we know there’s some benefit for us - not for Jews! Lining pockets of Rome!)
Poll tax - one denarius - a day’s wage - put in place in A.D. 6. The Jews hated it because every time they paid it, it was a reminder that they were dominated by another empire. (Imagine - Russian militia on every corner - and having to pay Russian Rubels…)
Tiberius was the Roman emperor. If you held a denarius in your hand, on one side you would see an image of Tiberius and words “Son of the Divine Augustus” - adopted son of Caesar Augustus - who was considered a god - Tiberius - son of God - other side - high priest. Idolatry! If Jew, you wouldn’t want to carry a denarius - reminder of a corrupt emperor who claimed to be a god!
If Jesus said pay the tax, he would upset the majority of the crowd who expected a Messiah who opposed Rome. If Jesus said don’t pay the tax, he would anger the Herodians who would report Him to Roman officials - He would be seen as a zealot trying to overthrow Rome. Rome would have to stop Him.
Jesus knows the attempted trap Him. “Bring me a denarius...” Jesus doesn’t reach down in his pocket for one. Doesn’t even have oneCaesar had coins - Jesus had none… The REAL Son of God has no earthly wealth…
Simple question: “Who’s image?” Answer: “Caesar.” Jesus’ mind-blowing answer: “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.” The denarius belonged to Caesar. If your image was on it, you owned it. Caesar’s image on the coin - give him what rightfully belongs to him.
AND give God what rightfully belongs to God - HUGE statement - Caesar’s image imprinted on coin - it belongs to him. BUT, God’s image imprinted on you. () You belong to God!
If God’s image imprinted on you, your ultimate allegiance does not belong to Caesar, it belongs to God! You exist to live for Him, not for Caesar! Even Caesar will ultimately answer to God, because even Caesar belongs to God!
Settle this life essential: Know who gets your allegiance. (For Jews - Caesar might get your money, but He doesn’t get your ultimate allegiance.) You were created by God and for God. You belong to Him. Since God created you, you ultimately answer to Him. Why did God create you?
To worship Him - (Not Caesar, not career, etc.) If God’s image is imprinted on you, life is not about you. It’s not about your gain, your success, your dreams, your goals. NOR is life about living for someone else - your boss, your professors, your coach, your spouse, your kids in the hopes that if you live for your boss, etc. he’ll reward you, approve of you, etc. For some of us, we live our lives in fear of disappointing others - we make ourselves slaves to what others think of us - we do all we can to please people rather than God.
To serve Him - (Not Caesar) - You worship through serving - by laying down your goals and taking up His mission. You serve Him by helping others discover how great God is.

Know how to give God your allegiance

The way to give God your allegiance is not by going to war with people you don’t agree with (Pharisees), nor is it worshipping people so they accept you, (Herodians -divided allegiance), but living to help people see the true King!
A reminder that Jesus didn’t come to overthrow a government like the Jews expected. He came to establish a different kind of Kingdom - not a Kingdom where a King sits on a throne and oppresses and steals from people - but a Kingdom of peace - where all people can be forgiven of their past failures and brought into an eternal relationship with the God of all creation.
How do you show allegiance to God by going after the hearts of people? Remember these Four Imperatives:
You show that your allegiance is to God when you:
Live holy - “Set apart” - Know who I belong to. (Not my coach, govt., etc…) Live as if you ultimately don’t belong to this world. You belong to the One who created you in His image - so you live the life that He wants you to live, not with your focus on the here and now, but with your focus on what God wants from you. Living holy = doing all things to glorify God. () (Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams - running was all Abrahams had)
Live submissively - Know who’s in charge - frees me to honor others. - Jesus doesn’t tell the Jews to ignore Caesar’s laws but abide by them because ultimately, God would deal with Caesar. That was God’s job, not theirs. The world expects you to treat poorly those who treat you poorly, but the world is blown away when you honor those who treat you poorly. Honor those who are over you, and trust God to deal with the hearts of those who dishonor you. At school, you might not agree with professors, but you honor. You might not agree with your boss, but you honor. You might not agree with your coaches, but you honor. Why? God might use the way you honor someone else to open an up an opportunity for you to point them to hope in Christ. You don’t have to talk about you boss behind his back to get even with him. You don’t have to give your professor that scathing review because he made your semester so difficult. You worry about being who God has called you to be and let God deal with those who are over you.
Live peacefully - 18, - Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers...” For those of us who are concerned about the direction of our country, peace is NOT blasting on Facebook those we don’t agree with. Peace is NOT blasting political leaders. Being a peacemaker is praying for those we don’t agree with. It’s forgiving those who hurt you. It’s using your words carefully to build up and not tear down. It’s showing kindness, encouraging, etc. Are you making peace, or are you causing division?
Live missionally - Why do we live holy, submissively, and peacefully? Because we don’t want to live in any way that hinders the mission of God - to share with others the kind of life they can have in Christ. When you blast someone on FB, you blow an opportunity. When you lose your cool on the team, you blow an opportunity. When you gossip about your boss, you blow an opportunity. You live missionally by honoring people even when you don’t agree with them. This is giving God your ultimate allegiance.
Ill. - Michael Vick - Forgiveness changes everything - makes you a forgiving, gracious, kind person… How much more does God’s grace change you?

Know why you give God your allegiance

Why live this way? It sounds so counter-cultural… It sounds so wimpy - to submit to others instead of fighting for my rights, to live peacefully instead of standing up for myself when things don’t go my way? To live holy? To live for a future home that I cannot see or experience instead of living for the moment - and living to make something of myself? Why would I do this?
Because this is the way Jesus lived for you: He’s the King that had no coins - no money - left the riches of heaven to come to a sinful earth as a man - to be subjected to all the cruelty of this world - lived as a poor rabbi - no place to even lay His head while Caesar slept in a palace.
He lived a holy life - because we are unholy and on our way to eternal hell. Jesus lived the life that we could not live on our behalf. He obeyed God perfectly and went to the cross as an innocent man to die in our place. Great Exchange - He took our sins upon Himself so if we believe in Him we get His holy life applied to us. God sees us as innocent.
He lived a submissive life - submissive to the Father’s will - Jesus agonized over His death in the Garden of Gethsemane but willingly carried out the Father’s plan.
He lived a peaceful life - Jesus came to end a war, not start a war. He came to make peace with people who had declared war against the God of all creation. That’s what your sin is - it’s a declaration of war. The cross is an act of peacemaking - Jesus dies for us so that your war can end - so you can experience the peace of God instead of the wrath of God.
He lived a missional life - He didn’t waste a second of His life. He didn’t waste a word. Everything Jesus did was with a purpose - the purpose of doing His Father’s will - Jesus was a man on a complete mission.
Why should you give God your allegiance? The real question: Why wouldn’t you? When you see what He has done for you - foolish to reject His free gift.
Unbeliever: Repent and surrender. Believer: Where’s your allegiance? If it’s to God, you’re a peacemaker, submissive, etc. Are you? Repent of giving your allegiance to anyone but Christ.
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