AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #36
Render to Caesar
“Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius.
“And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”
“They *said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He *said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:19–21).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The full context of these verses starts at verse 15:
Matthew 22:15 “Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said.
16 “And they *sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.
17 “Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”
18 But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?
19 “Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius.
20 And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”
21 They *said to Him, “Caesar’s.
“Then He *said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
22 And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.”
Jesus correctly divides His Kingdom from the kingdoms of this world.
John 8:23, Jesus says “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”
In John 18:36, Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
We, too, must correctly divide the Kingdom
Jesus tells us in John 15:19 that we are not of this world, either, because He chose us out of this world.
And we are not to be conformed to this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Our mind should be “set on thing above”, doing the work of our Father.
I know that it is difficult to avoid being dragged into the issues which face us. But, as Christian soldiers we must divide kingdoms. I have trouble avoiding entangling myself in the world’s affairs.
The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 2:3, “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” The Apostle Peter calls us aliens and sojourners to this world. He says you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once you were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; we had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
This is the calling of a disciple of Jesus. This is our standard.
Now, it is your turn:
HOW MUST YOU DO IT? _______________________________________
HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT? _______________________________________
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: Reason with me. How can you engage the world around you – the social, political and economics – using Kingdom principals and practices, so that you PROVE what is good, acceptable and perfect?