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Mark 12:13-17

Author: Kent Berghuis

God or Caesar?
Mark 12:13-17

Main idea:  We must fulfill our obligations to government, but more importantly to God.

I.  We should fulfill our obligations to government.

	A.  It is sometimes difficult to know what our obligations to government are.
		1.  Sometimes governments rule by force without our best interests in mind.
		2.  Sometimes governments are corrupt and do not seem worthy of our support.
		3.  We ourselves are part of the "body politic," and so we both observe and 
			participate in government as believers.

	B.  Christ makes it clear that the government deserves our cooperation.
		1.  Jesus asks for a coin to show that the government makes the economy possible.
		2.  This implies that the government rightfully charges for its services.
		3.  Because of government's authority, we should pay what rightfully belongs to it.
		4.  There shouldn't be a division between obeying God and government.
		5.  We may note that Jesus was less concerned with where money goes than where	our heart goes.

II.  We must first of all fulfill our obligations to God.

	A.  The "trap" was set for Jesus out of evil intentions, not a sincere desire to do right.
		1.  The Pharisees and Herodians were strange bedfellows (13).
			--The Pharisees were opposed to Roman authority in Israel.
			--The Herodians benefited from Roman authority.
		2.  They compliment Jesus verbally while not believing their own words (14).
		3.  Their actions are the point of Jesus command to give to God what is God's.  	
		They were not willing to give him their hearts and act righteously.

	B.  How do we give to God what is God's?
		1.  Recognize that ultimately all of your life belongs to him.
			--Your heart and spiritual allegiances
			--Your physical life and possessions
			--Your course of life and ambitions
		2.  Dedicate yourself to giving back to God what he asks.
			--Throw yourself into pursuing his values first.
			--Use your possessions and resources to further his kingdom interests.
			--Commit to a lifetime of discipleship and obedience.

Conclusion:  While you probably already are giving to Caesar what is Caesar's, make doubly 
sure that you are giving to God what is God's.


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