Summary: We are to be involved in our society and helping our fellow man; but is it possible to be giving more to our fellow man than to our Creator God?
Let us continue our worship with God’s Word; open your Bibles to the Gospel of Luke Chapter 20….
Before we read our passage, let us note the main characters in the passage for today.
1. There is Jesus Christ; who is Jesus Christ??
2. Teachers of the law and chief priests: they were the religious leaders of the Hebrew faith. As we noted from Luke 19, Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple which was the center of the Hebrew faith. Basically, the law was what we now call the Old Testament, which is the Word of God for His chosen People. And so, there were teachers of the law and priests were needed for the duties in the Temple.
Because Jesus was bringing something new and many were seeing the fulfillment of the Promised Messiah, the religious leaders, even though they knew about God’s prophecies, they did not like Jesus because He was changing many things which take away their powers.
And so, the religious leaders sent
3. “Spies”, pretending to follow Jesus but actually were there just looking for a way to destroy Jesus.
4. The Governor and Caesar: Let us not forget that the Hebrews, even though they were on their land and still had their religious Temple during Jesus’ time, they were under the rule of the Romans, whose main leader was Caesar and each province owned by Rome was ruled by a Governor. Many of us know Pontius Pilate Roman Governor when Jesus was crucified.
Let us briefly pause to pray our commitment to God’s Word then read our passage with those truths in mind….
Read along with me now Luke 20:19-26……
The parable of Jesus in the beginning of Luke 20 was about the religious leaders who abused their power and really did not listen to God, and they had no use for Jesus Christ.
And so, these religious leaders sent spies to trap Jesus using the Roman government rule of taxes.
The question was a tricky one wasn’t it? Verse 22……..
If Jesus simply answered yes it is right to pay taxes to Caesar, what do you think the Jewish Religious leaders would have said?? -
If Jesus simply said yes, pay taxes to Caesar, the religious leaders would have accused Him of idolatry (worshiping someone other than the True God)!
And if Jesus said no to paying taxes, He would have ended up (where?) in a Roman prison!
How did Jesus answer that tricky question?
Because Jesus is perfect, His answer was perfect!
Now, most people and even preachers will focus on paying taxes. But Jesus didn’t just say pay taxes did He? Again, if Jesus just said yes pay taxes to Caesar, He would have been in trouble! Look again at Jesus’ powerful answer in v25……..
Why was Jesus’ answer in v25 so powerful??
Remember King David who faced an enemy named Goliath; but with one rock, he toppled a confronting giant. Jesus faced one big giant, the ruling religious party holding a double barrel shotgun; what did Jesus do? - He tossed a pebble, a simple statement, which powerfully split into two and plugged up both barrels of that shotgun!
There were 2 answers in one!
1. Paying taxes is a duty in the society.
2. Giving back to God what is God’s indicates allegiance to God, not man.
And we note in v26, the religious leaders were astonished, silenced, and could not trap Jesus! They were like a double barrel shotgun welded shut!
What does this story mean to us? There are 3 main Biblical Principles from this passage we should note for us today.
First of all, there will be people who will question us to trap as Christians. 2. Take responsibility in society (yes, pay taxes!). and 3. the most important principle is, Give back to God what is God’s!
How do we deal with these truths?
1. How do we deal with people who will question our faith?
As we noted last week, Follow Jesus’ example in dealing with confrontations! Jesus responded in a similar way as He did to the religious leaders earlier; Jesus challenged them to think spiritually and shared the truth.
You see, our answers will never be wrong when we bring God’s truth in our response!
2. Take responsibility to your society!
Unless we are asked to sin (go against God) we must obey the rules of our governing authorities; yes, this includes paying income taxes!
Now some may say, our government is supporting evil (and they are right of course in many areas) and so they will not pay taxes. But you see, the problem really is not about paying taxes, it is electing godly people and fighting against ungodly laws. And so, Pray, look for godly people to elect, then VOTE!