Sunday – February 3, 2013

February 3, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

Did the Religious Leaders Wear Boxers or Briefs? from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Our passage raises the important issue of the relationship between God and the governments of the earth. This is not just an issue in Jesus day, but an issue that every generation in every society must confront. Jesus is not saying Caesar is control of the political sphere and God is in control of the religious sphere, as if they were counter-weights against each other. To Jesus, the coin with the face of Caesar was just another idol in a long list of idols and Caesar can have it back if he desires it.
Whoever’s face is on the money has the right to ask for it back in terms of taxes. Jesus had no problem with the people giving back to Caesar what was his. But the expectation goes both ways- just as Caesar expected to get back the things that were his, so too God expects to get back the things that are His. If we bear God’s image, as we are told in Genesis 1, then God owns us and we owe Him worship and obedience. The danger is we have grown to love our money. If government owns the money, and we make money our god, then the government owns us.
Join us this Sunday as we look at Jesus answering questions about money and marriage as we look at “Did the Religious Leaders Wear Boxer or Briefs?” as we continue in Mark 12 verses 13 to 27.


Word On Worship – February 3, 2013 Download / Print

Mark 12:15-17
[Jesus] said to them, “Bring Me a denarius to look at.”  They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

Our passage raises the important issue of the relationship between God and the governments of the earth. This was not just an issue in Jesus day, but an issue that every generation in every society must confront.  Jesus is not saying Caesar is control of the political sphere and God is in control of the religious sphere, as if they were counter-weights against each other. To Jesus, the coin with the face of Caesar was just another idol in a long list of idols and Caesar can have it back if he desires it.

In the past it was the desire of the church to exercise sovereign control over the state in the name of God. For centuries in Europe, the rule of kings was just another instrument of the papacy to enforce the will of the church in secular society. But the church that seeks earthly power and glory always loses both its moral compass and its spiritual vigor. The pursuit of power in earthly terms, whether by the church or the state, has always done tremendous harm to both. It is the spirit of this world that lies to us with the promise of might makes right and take before it is taken from you. It is only the power of Christ which enables people to give so that God can give us yet more.

Whoever’s face is on the money has the right to ask for it back, usually in the form of taxes. Jesus had no problem with the people giving to Caesar what was his, but the expectation must go both ways. Just as Caesar expected to get back the things that were his, so too God expects to get back the things that are His. Since we bear God’s image, as we are told in Genesis 1, we are owned by God and we owe Him worship and obedience. The danger is we have fallen in love with our money. If government owns the money we love, and we make money our god, then the government owns us.

An unhealthy union between church and state has been the undoing of both. We are drawn away from our primary mission of the proclamation of the gospel when the church becomes politicized. Inevitably, politics distracts the church to get behind good causes, not the gospel which transcends every society and government. However this should not distract the individuals who make up the church from being salt and light in every arena they are called to serve, from the school room to the board room and from public sector to the private sector, even political action. However, the church must deter the things of God from becoming political wallpaper for programs and policies promoted by politicians. The church is to have clean hands and hearts to speak with power the words of life: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”

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