Matthew 22:15-22 ESV
Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.
I. PARTNERING TO TRICK JESUS (15-22)
A. Jewish factions partner in trying to trip Jesus up.
B. Pharisees flatter Jesus trying to get Him in trouble with Romans.
C. Jesus too smart for their foolishness. Whatever has Caesar’s image on it, give it back to Caesar since it belongs to him.
II. GIVING TO CAESAR WHAT BELONGS TO CAESAR
A. Christians commanded to obey government as long as they do not contradict Bible. Government is good gift of God. (Rom 13:1-4)
B. Jesus set the example by quietly submitting to a corrupt government in His crucifixion.
C. Daniel and friends quietly submitted to Babylonians right to punish them and were ok with whatever came their way as a result.
III. TESTIFYING THE LOUDEST THROUGH QUIET RESOLVE
A. God may ask us to give Him glory by submitting to government persecution rather than fight for constitutional rights.
B. Suffering for the Gospel and Jesus is hard to embrace.
C. In crisis, will we stand and shout for the wrong things or calmly proclaim Jesus as enough?
IV. GIVE TO GOD WHAT BELONGS TO GOD
A. Our lives are not our own because we were made in the image of God and He has bought us at a price, His own death. (1 Cor 6:19-20)
B. We are Christian first. Americans second.
C. We all quietly suffer for those we love. Do we love Jesus enough to quietly suffer in His name?
V. EXTRA EXAMPLES
A. Paul was imprisoned unjustly but chose to stay in jail because God was using him in greater ways in jail than as a free man.
B. History recalls the huge impact of quiet revolutions and non-violent protest. There is power in silence and suffering.
CLOSING / APPLICATION
1. Government put in place by God as means of good. Like all things in this world broken by sin, it is not what it ought to be.
2. Our frustration with government is that we are looking for it do something that only Jesus can do.
3. To work in government is a noble and Jesus honoring work. Just keep it in the right perspective.
4. Allow every frustration with the government to cause you to long more for the One who will set all things right.