Sermon Illustrations


should we pay taxes to Caesar?

MARK 12:13-27

Jesus answer defies their logic. In His answer, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” He easily moves past their dilemma. To Jesus their dilemma isn’t a dilemma at all, is it? The question sets up a situation where there is a lose lose outcome. No matter what is decided the answer must be the lesser of two evils, but in reality this is not true; In reality, in this “moral dilemma” set before Jesus, we find it is not a moral choice at all, it is simply a justification for what we do not want to do. In short, we don’t choose between the lesser of two evils. Anytime you find yourself choosing between two evils, step back and asses the situation – Is the question before you in reality a moral dilemma, or is it just something you do not want to do? God promises us that He will not place us in such situations.

1Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

As Christians we are often challenged with questions, usually hypothetical, that seem to have no answer, or no good answer. The classic question from the scholastic period is this: Could God make an object that is too heavy for God to lift? The question, like the questions we see in our Scripture today seems like a catch 22. If God makes an object that is too heavy to lift, then He is not all powerful – And – if God cannot make an object that is too heavy for God to lift, then He is not all powerful. So either way you answer, God is a weak God. This question may seem unanswerable, but it is not, the problem is solved not by an answer, but by the question itself. The question asked is the wrong question. It assumes that God takes on human attributes, and He does not, God is Spirit, and human attributes do not apply to Him. The question is the problem, it assumes that fiction is reality. The question does not deal with reality, or the issue at hand. Here we see this with the question asked by the Sadducees