Mark 12:13-17 Give to Ceasar


Mark 12:13-17

13 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk.

Again, the Pharisees were trying to find ways to discredit Jesus and His ministry. At this point in time, they saw how many people were following Him and they felt that they are losing their influence on people because of Jesus. So they devised a plan to trap him with some questions that could discredit him. At the same time, the Herodians were threatened because Jesus might be running for public office and winning the hearts of the people. Jesus brought the two camps together!

14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. 

With flattering words, they tried to get Jesus. In the book of Proverbs, we see how flattery is used as a negative tool to manipulate people (Prov 26:28, Prov 29:5). Be careful with people who love to flatter you. This reminds me to preach the gospel to myself that I am already loved and accepted by God and I don’t need men’s flattering affirmation anymore. Then came the question that put Jesus to the test:

Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”15 But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius, and let me look at it.”

Why put me to test. Jesus had to first call them out. He was saying, I am not flattered by your words – I know that you are testing me. He exposes their hypocrisy before moving on.

16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s. Give to God what belongs to God. Jesus commanded the believers to obey the government that is in place. In fact, in the book of Romans, Paul discussed how Christians must view government.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Jesus and then Paul changed the way Christians should see and honor government whether it is a good government or not. Jesus called us to honor by obeying the law of the land and God gave civil government officials higher accountability in His eyes as well.

[wpdevart_like_box profile_id=”LIKE” connections=”show” width=”300″ height=”550″ header=”small” cover_photo=”show” locale=”en_US”]Take this time to pray for our government. Pray that God would give our president and vice president wisdom as they govern our nation. Pray that God would surround them with godly men and women. I pray that I would move in the spirit of honor as I live out my life as a citizen of our country. May my love for God and country grow all the more this year. 

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