GIVE CAESAR WHAT IS CAESAR’S & GIVE YOURSELF TO GOD Part 1
Pastor Wole Gbogboade
Text: Matt. 22:15-22
Some Sadducee came to Jesus to test Him with intention to trap and arrest Him. This follow the failure of the Pharisees on a similar attempt.
However, in the process of asking the question, they revealed somethings about Jesus due to their relationship with Him since they’ve been following Him. And these make very vital lessons we have to learn from. They said to Jesus, Teacher, we know you are a Man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Furthermore, you are not swayed by men because you pay no attention to who they are.
“They sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are honest, and teach the way of God in truth, no matter whom you teach, for you aren’t partial to anyone.” Matt. 22:16 (WEB)
If they knew all these about Jesus, why are they not following Him? The lesson here is that, it is not enough for us to know the truth; we must practice it in order to be free. John 8:31-32
Their religion, tradition and the gains they are making out of it has blinded them from following Jesus. Secondly, they address Him as Teacher, how come they are not walking in His teaching? Jesus said, why do you call me Lord, Lord and you don’t do what I say? Luke 6:46. So, it is not enough to know and call Jesus Lord, it is important that we obey His command.
In John Chapter One, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and he said of Him, behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Hearing this, two of His disciples follow Jesus when He was going. Why didn’t the rest follow Him? The step of faith must follow what we learn about Jesus in order to be His disciple so we can be like Him. Eph. 4:11-14.
The Sadducees then asked Him to tell them whether it is lawful to pay tax to Caesar. To this, Jesus rebuked them when he said, you hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me. Therefore, the only reason they came to ask Him question was not to learn and follow the truth but just to trap Him. The lesson here is to ask question for knowledge and to change and not to have sinister motive when we ask question. Therefore, when next you ask question about the kingdom, check your motive. Our motive must be right so we can conform to kingdom mindset.
He then used parable to answer their question. He told them to bring a coin. Then, He asked, whose portrait is on this coin to which they answered Caesar’s. And He said to them, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God. When they heard this, they left because their motive has been defeated. Instead of them to repent, they still left in their spiritual ignorance and in their sin.
What Jesus meant is that they should give Caesar’s image on the coin back to him and give themselves to God since man is made in God’s image and after God’s likeness.
Secondly, our love should not be towards money but to focus on God. Thirdly, it is not enough to obey Caesar, it is more important to obey God’s command and conform to God’s image and likeness.
Fourthly, just as Caesar put his impression on the coin, that is how we should carry God’s impression upon our lives from the heart.
The making of silver coin (money) will illustrate what the Lord is teaching:
A silversmith takes the raw silver into fire at its hottest spot. After heating it so much, the dross drop off the raw silver. Then, the silversmith puts it in water and sees something like ash covering it. Then, he takes it back into fire to heat it again and again until he can see his own image on the silver like a mirror before he is done with it.
The lesson here is that God is the Silversmith over our lives, he wants to see Himself in our heart and in our lives so we can be His true ambassador for Christ. Since the silversmith put Caesar’s image on the silver coin, God has put His image in our lives. The Sadducees are after the image of Caesar whom they loved to please because of gains instead of following Jesus to be like Him who is the express image of God as they also ought to be. John 1:18. Col. 1:15, 2:9-10 (KJV)
Jesus said, where your treasure is, that is where your heart will be. We need to check our heart why we are following Christ. Is it just for gain or for God, for gold or for God?
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