He Questioned Who Was Really In Control
Youve probably heard the passage in Matthew 22:15-22 where Jesus famously says to give to Caesar what is Caesars. I have seen many interpret this verse to say Jesus is telling his people to not be political. Not only is that a misunderstanding of this passage, but Jesus doesnt even follow that rule.
What Jesus is actually doing in this passage is he is causing his audience to question who was actually in control. The Pharisees thought they had trapped Jesus by asking him if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. They think either way he answers he loses. If he says yes, the Jews will hate him because the taxes were massively unfair. If he says no, then the Roman Government will come after him for trying to subvert their power. Jesus cant win.
But then He does something clever. He asks them who is on the coin. Its Caesar. And he famously says give to Caesar what is Caesar and to God what is Gods.
Jesus is not separating the two and saying we should have a division between politics and religion. Instead, Jesus gives them a conundrum. Hes causing the Pharisees to question what really belongs to God? I mean its everything, right? But they went in with the assumption that something belongs to Caesar. They were the ones with an error in their belief.
They thought they were trying to trap Jesus, but instead, their error was brought into the light.
This is a highly political, albeit subtly, claim that its God who rules and not Caesar.
In Grave Cases Even To Take Life Though Never Deliberately To Take The Life Of The Innocent
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 Gods 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 Gods wrath on the wrongdoer.
Whoever sheds the blood of man,by man shall his blood be shed,for God made man in his own image.
Jesus Promised He Would Institute A One
When Jesus preached his gospel of the kingdom, he was saying that he would return one day to institute a one-world government and a one-party system, with him as the supreme ruler. The book of Revelation depicts this kingdom as one that is characterized by justice, love, and peace in which worshipers from every tribe, tongue, and nation will worship him from a capital city called the New Jerusalem , in which there will be no more pain and no more tears .
What, then, are we to think of Jesus statement to Pilate that Jesus kingdom was not of this world ? Should we think that he means his kingdom will be located up and away from the earth in some sort of ethereal never-never land? No. In fact, his kingdom will be a renewal and restoration of this cosmos. Should we think of his kingdom as being located in the inner recesses of peoples hearts? No. His kingdom is holistic encompassing both the spiritual and material, both the private and public, aspects of our lives.
What Jesus meant when he said that his kingdom was not of this world is that it would not be characterized by sin or by sins consequences. Unlike todays kingdoms, it would be characterized by love rather than self-love, justice rather than injustice, peace rather than war.
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What The Bible Says About Government
This article is the first in a series called What The Bible Says About ___. These exist for people who follow Jesus and want to know what the Bible says about topics that impact election choices. If you dont follow Jesus, it probably wont be helpful.
The closer we get to the election, the more societys general anxiety level grows. If youre a follower of Jesus, you might be wondering if the Bible has anything to say about government. That was me. I did a deep dive, and this is what I found.
Before we begin, a quick overview might be helpful. The 66 books that make up the Bible actually tell one story. Its told in a non-traditional way, of course, but they all point in the same direction. The story is much larger than individual characters, soundbites, or out-of-context verses. Its the story of God and man. As such, the Bibles primary purpose isnt to instruct us in the best way to set up a government. Its primary purpose isnt to teach us how to vote. Its primary purpose isnt to give scriptural wrenches to throw at people sitting across the political aisle. The Bible was written before the White House, before America, before democracy.
This is designed to be a 30,000-foot flyover of the Bibles major themes on government. Can you see every detail at 30,000 feet? No. But youll get the highlights. If you want to dig deeper , there will be loads of resources at the end.
Without further ado, here is the Bible and government, in six acts.
What Does The Bible Say About Obeying The Laws Of The Land
The Bible makes it clear that Christians should obey the laws of the land, as long as those laws dont violate Gods law, which is higher. God is the ultimate and final authority. He should be obeyed at all costs.
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, Titus 1:3
Rulers of the land are supposed to be a terror to evil and praise those who do good. When we obey authorities in what is right, we honor God. But when those in authority become workers of evil, we are not supposed to submit to their ways that are contrary to God. Rulers of the land are supposed to punish evildoers, not empower them.
When rulers and those in authority agree with and uphold the laws of God, they become ministers of God and we are instructed to obey them, showing that our conduct is upright and honorable. A Christian should not suffer because of their bad behavior, but should be in subjection to the Godly laws of the land that are in place to hold back evil.
When a government has righteous leaders, they make righteous laws that keep things in order. Crimes are punished. Those who do wrong to their neighbor suffer the consequences. These types of laws are in line with Gods Word and should be followed by Christians.
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How Long Do Lotus Roots Last
Lotus roots can last up to two weeks after they are harvested if they are kept in cool, dry conditions. Lotus root, however, may spoil if it has been stored for more than two weeks. Therefore, you should be cautious of lotus root that has been stored for more than two weeks. Lotus roots can last for up to two weeks in some cases.
The Image On The Coin
In ancient times, an image on an object showed ownership. Since the Roman emperor also viewed himself as a god, some Jews objected to paying taxes with Roman money, calling it idolatry. By acknowledging the image of Caesar but not condemning it, Jesus confirms that this perspective was flawed. Caesars right to claim taxes was backed up by his image appearing on Roman money. The image was not a demand for worship, just a demonstration of ownership.
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Although God Originally Chose Only One Nation He Desires Ultimately To Draw All Nations Into The Light Of His Word
It is too light a thing that you should be my servantto raise up the tribes of Jacoband to bring back the preserved of Israel I will make you as a light for the nations,that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it,for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.By its light will the nations walk,and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
The Government Was Instituted For Gods Glory
God is the creator of the Heavens and the earth. He has created all things. Everything that God has created and put into place was done so for His glory. The government authority is a dim mirror of the authority structures that He has placed elsewhere, such as the church and the family. All of this is a dim mirror reflecting the authority structure within the Trinity.
13)1 Peter 2:15-17 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
14)Psalm 33:12 How blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen as his own inheritance.
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The Hebrew Bible And The Poor
The Hebrew Bible has extensive regulations that require the wealthy to set aside for the poor a portion of the crops that they grow.
The Bibles Book of Leviticus states that the needy have a right to the leftovers of the harvest. Farmers are also prohibited from reaping the corners of their fields so that the poor can access and use for their own food the crops grown there.
In Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Bible, there is the requirement that every three years, 10 percent of a persons produce should be given to foreigners, the fatherless and widows.
Helping the poor is a way of paying rent to God, who is understood to actually own all property and who provides the rain and sun needed to grow crops. In fact, every seventh year, during the sabbatical year, all debts are forgiven and everything that grows in the land is made available freely to all people. Then, in the great jubilee, celebrated every 50 years, property returns to its original owner. This means that, in the biblical model, no one can permanently hold onto something that finally belongs to God.
Governing Authorities Established By God
God has set the government in place within a specific realm of authority. The government was given to us to punish lawbreakers and to protect those who uphold the law. Anything outside of that is outside of Gods given realm of authority. This is why so many Christians are opposed to increasing federal mandates. That is giving over more authority to the government than is within the realm of authority that God has said that government should have.
8) John 19:11 You would have no authority over me at all, Jesus answered him, if it hadnt been given you from above. This is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.
9) Daniel 2:44 In the days of those kings, the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever.
10)Romans 13:3 For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil. Would you like to be unafraid of those in authority? Then do what is good, and they will praise you.
11) Job 12:23-25 He makes nations great, and he destroys them he enlarges nations, and leads them away. He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a pathless waste. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.
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How Did Jesus Pay The Taxes In The Bible
The first occurs when the tax collectors from the temple came to Peter to see if Jesus was going to pay the temple tax. It seems that Jesus did not agree with the policy of collecting temple taxes, however, He was willing to submit and pay His due. In this instance the money with which to pay the tax was miraculously provided from a fish.
God Is Sovereign Over The Government
With the voting season looming before us, it is easy to become concerned about who will win the election. Regardless of who wins, we can know that God is in control. Praise the Lord that God is sovereign over the government. In fact, having a governing authority was Gods idea. He is who appoints the rulers. Even the ones who are not Christians or who are evil dictators. God has appointed their rule. He has done so for His divine purpose.
1) Psalm 135:6 Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in Heaven and in Earth, in the seas and in all the deeps.
2) Psalm 22:28 For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.
3) Proverbs 21:1 The kings heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord he turns it wherever he will.
4) Daniel 2:21 He changes the times and the years. He takes kings away, and puts kings in power. He gives wisdom to wise men and much learning to men of understanding.
5) Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a persons heart, but the LORDs decree will prevail.
6) Daniel 4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, What have You done?
7)Psalm 29:10 The LORD sat enthroned at the flood the LORD sits enthroned, King forever.
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What Does The Bible Say About Tax Collectors
Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, I will, sir, but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted? The first, they answered. Jesus said to them, Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.
What Does The Bible Say About Advocacy
The Bible clearly calls Christians to advocate for those in need.
If secular advocacy is calling on government officials to pay attention to whats important to you, biblical advocacy is reminding them to do what God has called them to do since 88% of Congress publicly claims faith in Christ.
The Bible is filled with many verses in which God specifically asks us to speak on behalf of those in need.
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Render Unto Caesar: What Jesus Was Actually Saying
by ORBC Family | Jul 5, 2019 | Faith, What We Believe
In Matthew 22, we read that a group of Pharisees confronted Jesus and asked for a yes or no answer on whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, the Roman emperor. Jesus responded by asking whose face was engraved on the coins used to pay the taxes. When they answered it was Caesars face, Jesus replied with the now-famous verse, Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are Gods .
This short story about paying taxes has been interpreted in multiple different ways, none of them very satisfactory. Nearly every political viewpoint has attempted to justify themselves using this verse. However, the ultimate explanation is far less about taxes and more about how we relate to the government vs. how we relate to God. A closer examination of this story will reveal its true meaning.
When Is It Okay Not To Submit To The Government
The Bible teaches believers to obey the government but also reveals a higher law the law of God. In Acts 5:29, Peter and the apostles told the Jewish authorities, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”
When the laws established by human authorities conflict with God’s law, believers find themselves in a difficult position. Daniel deliberately broke the law of the land when he knelt down facing Jerusalem and prayed to God. During World War II, Christians like Corrie ten Boom broke the law in Germany when they hid innocent Jews from the murdering Nazis.
Yes, at times believers must take a courageous stand to obey God by violating the law of the land. But, paying taxes is not one of these times. While it’s true that government abuses and corruption in our current tax system are valid concerns, that does not excuse Christians from submitting to the government as the Bible commands.
As citizens, we can and should work within the law to change unbiblical elements of our current tax system. We can take advantage of every legal deduction and honest means to pay the minimum amount of taxes. But, we cannot ignore God’s Word, which explicitly instructs us to be subject to the governing authorities in the matter of paying taxes.
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Was Jesus A Socialist
Jesus was not a socialist. Jesus was not a Republican or a Democrat. In fact, the politics of Jesus transcend any human political party or idea.No. Jesus was not a socialist. Jesus was not a Republican or a Democrat. In fact, the politics of Jesus transcend any human political party or idea.
No political platform or ideology can truly solve mankinds problems. The deepest issues facing humanity are spiritual in nature and will require spiritual solutions.
Think About Your Brothers And Sisters
When I consider the question of where the teaching of Jesus fits into our current politics, I realize that readers are likely to begin thinking right away about questions such as abortion, immigration, racism, social justice, and any number of other current issues. That is a good impulse. If we take the lordship of Christ in our lives seriously, then we should seek to apply that lordship to our participation in politics.
Most readers of this article will be citizens in democratic republics who have the right to speak, to organize, to petition, and to vote. They should absolutely be thinking carefully about how they can act in a responsible and loving way in the light of both their vertical relationship to God and their horizontal relationships with fellow image bearers. I think it is useful to think in terms of the brotherhood and sisterhood of men and women under the fatherhood of God. Just to state it that way helps us to begin thinking well.
Rather than work my way through a list of current issues and to suggest which choices would have the approval of Jesus Christ , I would like to take note of two major points that I see shining through from Scripture.
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