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Summary: Some .have taken Jesus' words as a starting point to building a theology of two kingdoms. A theology of how earthly governments and God are supposed .to relate. Beloved this passage is not about two kingdoms. It is about two images.

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A Little Boy desperately wanted $100.00 ....to buy some toys .....and prayed to God ......for a whole week, .....but nothing happened.

So,..... he decided ....to write a letter to God.....requesting ....the $100.00.

When the Post Office got the letter addressed to God ......they forwarded it ....on to the White-house.

The President surprisingly received it.... was very impressed, .....touched and amused .....so he instructed his aid ......to send the boy..... $5.00.

He thought $5.00 would be a lot.... to the little boy.

And.... the boy was, indeed, ....delighted by the money.

He sat down ......and immediately wrote a thank you note, ......which read:

Dear God,.....Thank you very much ....for sending the money.

However, ....I noticed ......that for some reason ....you had to send it through Washington ....and, as usual, .....they kept ....most of it. (Pause)

Well, ..... people living 2000 years ago .....did not like to pay taxes .....anymore .....than we do today.

In fact, .....there was a raging debate about the morality .....of paying tribute ......to Rome.

The gospel text for today ....has a saying of Jesus..... that most people .....even unbelievers know ...... "Render unto Caesar ....what is Caesars'"?

And I am convinced .....this familiarity keeps many .....from seeing the deeper meaning ....in this passage.

In addition .....some people.... have taken Jesus words .....and have extrapolated from them ....an entire theology..... of two kingdoms:

The kingdom of man .....and the kingdom of God .....and how these two kingdoms .....are supposed to relate to one another.

I believe .....you will find ......that Jesus is speaking in this text ..... not about kingdoms ......but about images.

So let's set the scene ....for yet another encounter ......between Jesus .....and Israel's religious leadership.

Now.....They have decided .....to craft a question .....that will entrap him.

And, to do this, .......we find some very strange bedfellows .......on the planning committee: .....the Pharisees and the Herodians.

The Pharisees, ....of course, ..... were the ultra-conservative ....religious party in Israel.

They were denounced by Christ.... for their purely external observance of the Law ......and for the multitude of daily rituals and commands they laid on the people commands.....which even they ......could not keep.

The Temple leadership ....was riddled with men .....who were Pharisees.

Then, to the far far left ...... were the Herodians.

These were Jews ......who as the name implies..... .....were staunch supporters..... of King Herod and his dynasty, .....which received its power...... from the Roman occupiers in Palestine.

They were in favor of Rome, .... Of Roman rule,..... and the power of the Roman King ....Herod.

Now, ......it is the far-right-wing..... Pharisees .....and the far-left-wing..... Herodians .....who end up conspiring .....to entrap Jesus.

Jesus knew ....that there had to be some devious intent ......for these two sects ... to join forces ..... and come together ......to confront him.


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