Sunday, October 19, 2014

What Do We Owe You, God?


I took notes as Pastor Jerry read from Matthew 22:15-22.

The Pharisees asked: “Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?”  But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?  Show Me the tax money.”  So they brought Him a denarius.
And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Pastor began his message.  At a party or gathering there are certain topics we avoid; Religion, politics, and sex.  Today I want to talk about money.

We will see how faith touches our lives and even our finances.
Jesus comes down hard on the Scribes and Pharisees as they moved to trick Jesus.  These men were usually opposed to each other, but now they teamed up in an attempt to trap Jesus. 

They began with flattery saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth;” then they asked their question hoping to get Jesus in trouble with the Roman Government.

The Romans had a lot of taxes; the Temple tax, Land, tax and the Imperial Tax which was actually a tribute to Rome, for the privilege of being oppressed.

Pastor Jerry quoted Richard Brant. “We have a duty to support Caesar as long as Caesar is doing what he is supposed to do.  We do not owe Caesar our total loyalty when Caesar oppresses.

The denarius was the coin used to pay this Imperial Tax.  It had the value of a day’s wages, and to the Jews the coin was offensive. On one side there was a graven image of Caesar, and on the other side an inscription declaring that Caesar was divine. 

 “Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?” they asked Jesus.  The Roman soldiers were standing near by, and a crowd was gathering.  Jesus was in a hard place, but he saw through their divisive scheme, and asked for a coin, the denarius.

His answer, “Give to Caesar what is his, and unto God what is His.

The tables were turned on the accusers.

God is the creator and sustainer of us all.  God created us, and we are God’s coin.

What belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God?  These things are separate.

Taxes have nothing to do with religious commitment.  The Law is the Law and we have a duty to support our Government.

There may be another meaning that we should consider.  “No one can serve two masters.”

Jesus was not describing the coin, which was clearly against the second commandment.

Who in our story possessed such a coin?  Certainly not the poor disciples, but it was the rich religious leaders.

The coin was made by humans.  In Genesis we read that God created humans.

The Big questions is: Whose image is on us?

That which bears God’s image belongs to God.

We must use responsible wisdom with our finances, and certainly the church needs our support - - but - -

God is not after your money, but He wants YOU.

Come Onto Me
This post is shared at Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays


TC Avey said...

What a powerful message. This part really stood out, "we are God’s coin"
I pray that it is HIS image, His light and love shining in me, through me and on me.
I am His and I want to proudly proclaim it!

Sharon said...

Wow - a very thoughtful and insightful message. Issues with money are always tricky to talk about, huh? But, the Truth is what we have been taught by God. And that is rather simple - God first, do the right thing, and always pray that we are becoming an ever better reflection of our Lord to others.


Floyd said...

Excellent lesson, Hazel. It's funny how caught up the world gets in what the old testament called "mammon" or money and wealth. There was a song back in the eighties that said, "My God's not short of cash, mister!" Indeed. The earth and all that comes from it sits in His mighty and sovereign hand...