Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Render Onto Caesar What Is Caesar's

In my last post, I shared a word I felt God was calling me to claim for 2020.
2019 is not over, but I'm already seeing how the Lord is preparing me for the upcoming year and my faith is being greatly challenged. I keep hearing my new word in Scripture, in devotionals, in songs, and in prayers. My word is


As Christians, we are warned many times in the Bible that we may endure persecutions and hardships of many kinds. We are also told over and over, "Do not be afraid", "Do not fear", and "Fear not."
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
  • Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”
  • Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
  • Matthew 10:31 "Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

Jesus was continually put in "sensitive" situations with the people surrounding him. Many people tried to use their authority and power to trick him, blame him, and revile him, but he always stood his ground and was ready to respond to their questions and badgering. In the book of Matthew, twice in a row the local so-called religious leaders tried to attack him...

Matthew 22:15-21, 34-46
"Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him(Jesus) in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians."

Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the TRUTH.  You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are." 

"Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”

"But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” 

They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, 
“Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

 “Caesar’s,” they replied.


"And when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they themselves gathered together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with a question: “Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?”

Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

While the Pharisees were assembled, Jesus questioned them: “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is He?”

"David’s,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him Lord? For he says:

‘The Lord said to my Lord 
        “Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your 
So if David calls Him Lord, how can He be 
         David’s son?”

"No one was able to answer a word, and from that day on no one dared to question Him any further."

The Pharisees and Herodians wanted to entangle Jesus over the issue of taxes. If Jesus says they ought to pay, he betrays the Jews who resented the Romans. If he says do not pay, he would be in trouble with Caesar and the Romans. Either conflict could undo him and his influence. The malice in the question springs from envy. Even Pilot knew the Jews were handing Jesus over out of envy. (Matthew 27:18) Caesar’s(the government) influence and our allegiance to them are shaped by God’s superior possession and authority. We render to Caesar(government) the things that are Caesar’s(governments)  as an act of worship to God. (Ephesians 5:22; 6:7) If we don't pay taxes, we are sinning against God.

Jesus’ answer of the greatest commandment is another model of how theological discussion should proceed. The command to love the Lord God with one’s whole heart, soul, and strength was simply a quotation from Deuteronomy 6:5. No man was able to answer him a word,.... They saw the dilemma they were reduced to, either to acknowledge the deity of the Messiah(the truth), or confess their ignorance(and their guilt); and neither of them they cared to do, and therefore judged it to be the 

Jesus, having confounded the great sects of the Jews, proceeds, in his turn, to propose to them a question for their solution. This was done, not for the purpose of vain conceit and triumph, but: show them how ignorant(and accountable) they were of their prophecies. humble them in view of their ignorance. They were wrongly confident in their ability trick and scare Jesus into submission. bring to their attention the true doctrine respecting the Messiah - his being possessed of a character superior to that of David, the most mighty king of Israel - being his Lord, at the same time that he was his descendant. 

What a perfect example of how we should address those who come against us, who try to do injustices in the name of "righteousness" and their own made up "laws". We are not to fear, but trust in God's protection and His truth to prevail.

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"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, {the devil will test you}, and you will suffer persecution. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown." Revelation 2:10

We are called to be fearless in the sight of evil man's attacks because God is for righteousness and justice! He will not let the righteous be forsaken.(Psalm 37:25)

Instead of fear, we are to turn our hearts and minds to the Lord in prayer. We are to fully trust Him to carry us through. We are also called to love and pray for our enemies...

 "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," Matthew 5:44

So, today and every day I am saying a prayer....May the Lord also lead you to pray for those who you come across each day in your life. 
Image result for Matthew 5:44 prayer for enemies

Until next time, may you be
...strong and courageous. Deuteronomy 31:6 
in the Lord and in His mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10)

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