Luke 20:19-26 – The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.  So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.  So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.  Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”  But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them,  “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.”  He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent
Here are some excerpts from the message preached last Sunday (July 1, Canada Day) at our church by Pastor Davis.
1. It is God who tells us to render unto Caesar. Human governments are ordained of God and its citizens have an obligation to submit to it as an act of obedience to God. Christians are law abiding citizens. Romans 13:1.
2. Subjection to the governing authorities is not inconsistent with reverence to God.
3. We do not just render to Caesar in things that we agree with. Jesus has been asked about paying taxes. And He affirms that taxes should be paid. If believers in Jesus’ day were to pay taxes to a godless emperor who would use tax money for purposes that we would never spend our money on, how dare we think that we should not pay taxes because it may be used for ungodly purposes. Our duty is to pay our taxes. If the government uses it improperly, that is not our fault.
4. It is God who raises up kings and deposes them – Jeremiah 27:5-7; Isaiah 45:1-7
a. Do not fall prey to the lie from the devil that evil governments are established by Satan and good ones by God. Find that anywhere in the Bible – you won’t. God establishes the powers that be.
5. Jeremiah 29:4-7
a. We are exiles in this world. But that does not mean that we will not live to make our world, our country, our province, our city – a better place.
b. What city does Jeremiah 29:4 speak about? Babylon… Followers of Jesus Christ are not home yet. We are exiles, or as Peter says to those he writes – chosen exiles – I Peter 1:1,17 and then see I Peter 2:11.
c. But even though we are exiles here, we are here, and God calls us not to abandon the good of the culture in which we live but to work for its good. Yes, the governing authorities are not ruling for the glory of God. Yes, they bring in laws that deny God and His will. Yes, they will be judged and cast into everlasting punishment. But do not forget dear ones that this is where God has put us and we are to seek the welfare of our city. That has nothing to do with what your politics are or who you vote for. It has to do with who is your true King.
d. Remember that Daniel was an official to godless Kings. Joseph was Prime Minister over pagan Egypt. And last week we considered the prophet Obadiah who feared the Lord greatly while he was working for the worst King Israel had up to that point. And God has put us where we are and when we are. He has put us under the Caesar we currently find ourselves. And He has put us here for the good of our city and our culture. To hide in our little church conclaves is simply not an option.
Tomorrow – rendering to God.