Summary: A message on Christian responisibilities in service and tithing.


Matthew 22:15-22

INTRO: One day, as I was driving down the street in Nashville, a man flagged me down. Thinking there was some emergency, I stopped. He was a wino, wanting some money. We live in a day where everywhere we turn someone seems to be wanting us to give them something.

The government is after us for taxes, the charitable organizations want our support, the man on the street wants a handout, and the churches want our money.

We have often heard the words that Jesus said to the Pharisees and perhaps have wondered what Jesus meant. Today, let’s see if we can discover what Jesus had in mind.


A. The Pharisees took council.

1. They tried to entangle Him in His talk.

2. He was free to speak his mind.

B. Two ways they might be rid of Jesus.

1. By the Law.

a. They tried to make Him obnoxious to the government.

b. They couldn’t kill Him without the consent of the govern


2. By force.

a. They tried to make Him obnoxious to the people.

b. The people were followers of Him.

C. The idea was:

1. To bring Him into such a dilemma that:

a. The government would be angry, or,

b. The people would be angry.

2. Letting Him be convicted by His own tongue.


A. The Pharisees didn’t go to Him themselves.

1. They sent their disciples.

2. Christ may have suspected them, had they gone to Him them


3. They also sent the Herodians.

a. Herodians were tax collectors.

(1) They demanded the taxes, the Pharisees denied the taxes.

(2) They hated the Herodians, but they hated Jesus even


b. They were pretending to let Jesus be the judge.

4. If Jesus was for the taxes—the people would be against Jesus.

5. If Jesus was against the taxes—the government would be

against Jesus.

B. The compliment paid to Jesus.

1. That He was a good teacher.

2. That He was a bold rebuker.

a. In preaching he cared not for any.

b. He knew no favorites.

C. The proposal to Jesus.

1. What thinkest thou?

2. Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar or not?

a. Has Caesar the right to demand it?

3. The question was: is it lawful to pay taxes.

a. They were Abraham’s seed—in bondage to no man.

b. God gave them a law—no stranger should be over them.

4. They hoped to trip Christ up—whichever way He answered.


A. He perceived their wickedness.

1. No matter what face the hypocrite puts on, Jesus see through


2. He saw through them—how much more can He see through us?

B. He forced them to admit Caesar’s authority.

1. He asked for a coin.

a. He had none of His own.

b. An example to us to think of spiritual matters instead of

worldly matters.

c. The fact that they had the coin shows that they had

already acknowledged Caesar over them.

2. He asked whose image on the coin.

a. They said Caesars.

b. Jewish Talmud rule—he is king whose coin is current.

3. Render to Caesar—GIVE BACK TO HIM.

a. Caesar gave it to you—return it to him.

b. Caesar filled the purses—let him command them.


A. We are God’s children.

1. The tribute money was in the image of Caesar.

2. We are in the image of God (Gen. 1: 26).

a. Give back to God that which is in His image.

B. Jesus commanded they give Caesar his due.

1. They were to give Caesar back what he had given them.

2. We are to give God back what He has given to us.

C. The Pharisees marveled and left Jesus.

1. We would have expected them to follow.

2. Christ is marvelous to most—but precious to few.

3. They admire His wisdom—but will not be guided by it.

D. The caesar we face today is public opinion.

1. We have made this idol ourselves.

2. We now fear it’s influence.

CONC: Just because we render to Caesar his due does not mean we are excused from doing the same concerning God. Sometimes we get so involved in rendering to Caesar that we forget all about our responsibility to God.

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