Today we will look at a very familiar passage and see if we are missing something! That passage is in the Book of Matthew Chapter 22 Verses 15-22.
15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
May God Bless the reading of His Holy and Inerrant Word.
When we think of ‘render unto Caesar’ the first thing we usually think of is paying taxes because that is what they were talking about. They asked Jesus if it was lawful for the Jews to pay tribute to Caesar. And He said RENDER UNTO CAESAR! Well we don’t live under Roman rule today. So we ignore the rest of the passage! Let us begin at the beginning and see what is going on here and see if there is a much more relevant meaning to this in our day and age!
The Pharisees had been embarrassed by Jesus a number of times before and they had just been told a parable of the wedding where everyone made an excuse to not show up . So the King sent his servants out into the highways and byways to bring in everyone they could find. The King then saw one who was not dressed for the wedding and asked him why! The man was speechless so the King told the servants to cast him into outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. The Pharisees knew that the invited guests who made excuses not to show up represented them in the parable. They were not happy. They had been slighted again! So they took council among themselves on how they could trip up this upstart from Galilee. They Got together with some Herodians. Herodians were not fond of Jesus either because they really wanted nothing to interfere with the dynastic line of Herod the Great whom they considered to be the rightful King of the Jews! He knew what they were up to. So when they asked if it was lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, He called them out on it. They were tempters and hypocrites! They addressed Him as MASTER, we KNOW you are TRUE, and teach the way of God IN TRUTH, and that You don’t especially care about ANY man, because You pay no attention to what KIND of men they ARE at ALL! Their Words, however, while trying to sound as if they honestly wanted to hear His wisdom on the issue didn’t fool Him in the least.
They showed Him the coin and the image on it and He uttered those famous words—Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s! And they were astounded and walked off shaking their heads. There was no argument.
But for US the story does not end there. In our Culture, just WHO IS CAESAR? You won’t like the answer because it puts the responsibility for every bad thing our government has ever done SQUARELY upon the shoulders of WE THE PEOPLE for one very simple reason. We Claimed it for OURSELVES! That’s right! Our government is OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people! WE are CAESAR! So when Jesus said render unto Caesar… He wasn’t just talking about the change in our pockets! We can’t point at somebody else and say they are to blame! The body politic produces the aggregate will of the GOVERNED in the USA. If we don’t want men in the women’s restrooms, we need to make so much noise about it and arrest those who violate, that their “discomfort in the men’s room “ will be nothing compared to their discomfort in the legal system. They DO have OPTIONS!
We need to re-establish decency and protect the innocence of our children. Indecency is the idea that our local schools must give sex education in all the prurient excesses of sexual conduct so our children can decide for themselves who and what they are! It is CRIMINAL and should be pushed back against hard enough that it goes back into the darkest of corners where it belongs!
We need to re-establish decency in what we choose to allow into our consciousness. There are too many things that cannot be unseen or unheard. WE THE PEOPLE are Caesar and we have a responsibility to the rest of mankind and to GOD ALMIGHTY for what we allow to be done in OUR NAME!
None of this requires us to be violent! It requires that we put on the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD and when we have done so, to STAND against all that assails us in the evil day.
SPEAK RIGHTEOUSNESS AGAINST EVIL. Silence is Consent!