Summary: Render to Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God that which is God's.

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Mark 12:13-17

• Possessions: That which we seek to owns ultimately will own us.

• Ill. John Wesley's attitude is worthy of pondering. When he learned that his house had been destroyed by fire, he exclaimed, "The Lord's house burned. One less responsibility for me!"

• Martin Luther said, “I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.”

• The religious leaders were not happy when Jesus disrupted their daily activity of the Temple.

• On one day, he overturned the money tables and chased out the animal vendors that had corrupted Jewish worship.

• The next day, He showed up early and affected the setup during the busy season approaching Passover.

• They had challenged Him about whose authority He did these things in.

• That didn’t turn out well for the Pharisees and temple officials.

• Then Jesus told a parable which foretold that the light of God’s blessings would pass from the Jews to the Gentiles.

• That wasn’t something that pleased them, so they pulled back to regroup.

• After they discussed it, they obviously created an new alliance with the Herodians.

• These were those who were loyal to Herod, and thus Caesar.

• They benefited from the system as it was set up, and were directly opposed by the Jews who wanted independence from Rome.

• They typical Jew resented Roman rule and despised Herod, who they considered a trader for supporting Rome.

Mar 12:13-14 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. 14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”

• Obviously, they tried to set Jesus up by beginning with attempted flattery.

• I’m sure one of them had suggested, “If we are going to trap this Jesus, we must begin with another approach.

• ‘Let’s begin by claiming to believe His claims.”

• So they started, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God.”

• First, realize they knew no such thing. They didn’t believe it for a minute.

• Next, their flattery was intended to reveal or expose a very weakness they had hoped for.

• They hoped that Jesus did not fear the government enough to boldly speak against it.

• What they didn’t take into consideration was that neither did they fear the opinion of His very followers, which they had hoped would push Him into a trap.

• Then they asked the question that was supposed to make Jesus take and dangerous position.

• The Jewish leaders resented paying taxes that went to Rome, as did the common people.

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