Intro: A child asked his mother, "How were people born?" So his mother said, "Adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on." The child then went to his father, asked him the same question and he told him, "We were monkeys then we evolved to become like we are now." The child ran back to his mother and said, "You lied to me!" His mother replied, "No, your dad was talking about his side of the family."
* stand and read Luke 20:19-26 (switch slide after v.22)
19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 20 So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.
This governor was Pilate and shortly, they would do exactly that.
They feared the people, so they pretended
Example: Chinese Movie, Farewell, about using a wedding as a cover-up for a last goodbye to the Gramma with terminal cancer, but not telling her.
The reason to gather the people (wedding) and the real reason (cancer).
1. Fear leads to pretense
Pretense comes from pretend.
(an attempt to make something that is not the case appear true)
The reverse it also true: Pretense leads to fear of being FOUND OUT.
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2 Timothy 3:12-13
They needed a reason to arrest him.
Jesus was breaking the law by blaspheming.
(the reason they would give for killing Jesus)
They wanted him gone and would say or do anything to make it happen.
(the real reason)
Review: Fear leads to pretending to be something I’m not.
“We are only as sick as our secrets.”
Example: What if every place you went on the internet?
With nothing to hide, there is no fear.
21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.
22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”
“They smear honey around his mouth.”
Flattery - excessive and insincere praise, given especially to further one's own interests.
2. Flattery warns of foul play.
Why tribute to Caesar?
** Background about Rome and the Jews
Flattery and then the question:
A “loose, loose” for Jesus… either way:
1. Say Roman taxes are good and alienate the people.
2. Say they don’t have to pay Rome and be guilty of leading a rebellion.
But… was there a third option? No answer.
3. Wisdom doesn’t need to justify itself.
Example: Eve’s biggest mistake in the Garden was engaging with the devil.
“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’”
She opened herself up to deception by talking with him at all.
He was mistaken so she would set him straight.
God really said this: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17
Example: Steve Lee, “We missed you at the meeting Tuesday night.”
Me, “I was at church and couldn’t be here and there at the same time.”
Steve, “I didn’t ask where you were. I just missed you.”
I made an excuse without being accused.
Jesus’ identity was secure without the approval of man.
23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them,
24 “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar's.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.
The mark of God… Freedom, not FEAR.
4. Two marks of Jesus are freedom and responsibility.
People often say this means, “Pay your taxes.”
But does it say “Pay your taxes.” ?
Take this one here.
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
John 21:22-23 NIV
Be careful not to go beyond what is written.
It’s easy to go beyond what’s written under pressure.
What did Jesus say?
“…what is that to you? You must follow me.”
Jesus said, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.”
Ask yourself, what is God’s and what is Caesar’s?
Then act accordingly.
What comes next?
1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
5. The message of Jesus simplifies life.
The Pharisees complicated everything.
Paul kept it simple.
1 Corinthians 2:2