Render to Caesar

Biblical Text: Matthew 22:15-22

“Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s” is one of the most quoted saying of Jesus. But I’m convinced that 99.9% of the time it is quoted, we quote it terribly wrong. We use it to let ourselves off the hook on our duty. That is the essence of the trap they were laying for Jesus. Which side of this divide are you on Jesus? And whichever side he is “on” he’d lose the crowd from the other side. They marveled at his answer. Not because it was simply a rhetorical masterpiece of weaving between two poles. We hear politicians daily attempt that, maybe monthly do it successfully. But those are always like the apocryphal saying of Barack Obama – “my superpower is that people hear what they want to in my words.” When Jesus said this what they marveled at was how it convicted everyone. Jesus isn’t on any of their sides. He’s the King of the Reign of Heaven. This sermon attempts to restore some of the marvel of that saying.

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