The Plot Thickens
In this article we are dealing with Luke 20:19-26. Earlier in this chapter we saw Jesus revealing the plans of the Jewish religious leaders to bring Him to trial before the Roman authorities as an insurrectionist. Jesus used the Parable of the Vineyard to expose the evil religious leaders who hated Him and wanted to have Him executed.
The leaders understood the meaning of the Parable and this intensified their desire to see Him dead. They were furious that this Parable of the Vineyard exposed them as the evil vineyard keepers who would kill Jesus, the Son of the Vineyard Owner, God. If you’ve not yet done it, it would be well to read the erlier articles in this series, before you continue any further.
THE JEW’S TRAP
These Jewish leaders were doing everything they could to catch Jesus in something He said that might sound treasonous against Rome, so that the Roman Empire would bring Jesus to trial and execute Him. So in Luke 20:19-22. they confronted Jesus on the matter of paying taxes to Rome.
These enemies of Christ hated paying taxes to Rome as much as anyone in Israel; so this attack against Jesus was rather hypocritical.
They approached Jesus and attempted to flatter Him by addressing Him as Teacher, a term of high respect, even though they despised Him and wanted Him dead. So they addressed Him as “Teacher, we know you are a true teacher come from God.” That statement was true, but they said it as flattery with utter contempt for Him. Then they asked the question, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
They hoped this would provoke an anti-Roman statement from Him so they could report Him to the Roman authorities and have Him arrested. Once arrested, the people would realize He was not the Messiah and they would quit following Him.
Jesus perceived their craftiness it says in Luke 20:23. In Matthew’s account of the story in Matthew 22:18 their craftiness is called wickedness.
JESUS’ ANSWERED THEIR QUESTION CONCERNING TAXES.
Jesus called for someone to show Him a denarius, a Roman gold or silver coin, worth about a day’s wages. These coins were minted between 300 BC to about 300 AD, a period of about 600 years. The coins bore the likeness of the long line of Caesars and were considered idolatrous to carry.
When someone produced a coin, Jesus announced in Luke 20:25, “Render unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s and unto God the things which be God’s.” The word “render” means pay back to whom it is owed.
WHAT DO WE OWE OUR GOVERNMENT?
We must support the government under which God in His sovereignty has placed us; whether it is an anti-Christian government which we eschew or whether it is a government which reflects our Christian values. Romans 13:1-7 clearly teaches us that we are to respect, honor and pray for our leaders and pay our taxes, even if we are opposed to how the money is being used.
Of course, we must do all in our power to elect leaders who most reflect our values and we must follow the instructions of II Chronicles 7:14 and plead with God to return our nation to the godly intent of the founders of our Republic.
WHAT DO WE OWE GOD?
Our allegiance is to Him first. We owe Him our bodies and our lives, Romans 12:1-2 and I Corinthians 6:19-20 teach us. When it comes to a decision between God and man, Peter reminds us in Acts 5:29 “We ought obey God, rather than man”, even if it means our lives.
Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, Shadrack Meschach and Abednego, were willing to die for God before they would bow to an image, even though the Emperor Nebuchadnezzar commanded it. Read of their boldness and courage and loyalty to God in Daniel 1:1-14, 3:13-21, 6:10.
The Apostles and early Christian preachers were willing to die as martyrs before they would disobey God. See Acts 5:18-19, 7:54-60. 16:19-23. For the glorious end to this last story finish reading Acts 16.
We not only owe God our allegiance, but we owe Him our families. God gave our children to us and not to the State. In this anti-God environment in the school system, it is imperative that we teach our children at home or in Christian schools, rather than delivering them to the anti-god philosophy of the State. Read in Exodus 2:1-10 and again in Hebrews 11:23 of how Moses’ mother protected her child as long as she could from the evil influences of the Pharaoh of Egypt. Read in I Samuel 1 of how Hannah gave her little boy to God’s leaders to train and prepare for his ministry as a prophet.
BEWARE OF BEING SPOILED, (ROBBED) OF YOUR CHILDREN
In Colossians 2:8 we are warned to beware lest anyone spoil (rob) us of our children through philosophy or vain deceit. We owe God, not the State, our life, our family, our church, our Christian school. They belong to Him and not to the State. We derive our authority from Him; not the State. Sunday School, church worship services, prayer meetings, evangelistic efforts, Bible studies, are all authorized by God and not by the State.
Thank God that we still live in an America where our religious liberties are protected by the First Amendment of our Constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
JESUS BOLDLY SET HIS FACE AS A FLINT
Thank God that though Jesus could have escaped His enemies and His crucifixion in any number of ways, He boldly set His face as a flint to go to the cross and endure His sufferings and death for our sins. It wasn’t the Roman soldiers nor the Jews who took His life. He laid it down in submission to His Father’s will. God, in His sovereignty, accomplished it, using the Roman empire and the Jews to carry out His will. Isaiah 53:4,10 teaches this. I Timothy 2:5-6 teaches us that Jesus willingly gave His life as a ransom for our sins. Then He arose from the tomb three days later for our justification. Rejoice in our salvation God has given us through His Son. Do you know Him as your Saviour and are you rejoicing in Him today?
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.