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Bible Pathways - October 29, 2005

October 29


Read Luke 19

In Today's Reading:

Jesus and Zacchaeus; triumphal entry; cleansing the Temple; parable of tenants; paying taxes; the resurrection; Jesus' authority

The Pharisees conspired against Jesus with the cooperation of a nonreligious political party called the Herodians, a group which urged Israel's submission to Rome (Matthew 22:16). These opposite-thinking groups hypocritically sent an investigative committee from the Sanhedrin, which pretended to be interested in following Jesus. They said to Jesus: Master, we know that Thou sayest and teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute (taxes) unto Caesar, or no? (Luke 20:21-22). Since the majority of Jews deeply resented paying taxes to the Roman government, this "committee" was sure the crowd would quickly turn against Jesus if He said "Yes." And the Pharisees could also say He was not the Messiah of Israel if He taught subjection to a Gentile government. But, if He said "No," the Herodian party could then accuse Him of conspiracy against the Roman government and Pilate could have Him arrested for treason.

But He perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye Me? Shew me a penny (a Roman coin that was an accepted currency among Jews). Whose image and superscription (inscription) hath it? They answered . . . Caesar's. And He said unto them, Render (Give) therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, (the rest of His comment came as a stinging rebuke to their hypocrisy when He added) and unto God the things which be God's (20:23-25). While the image upon a coin is representative of governmental authority, we must also submit to a higher authority because we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This means that the words of Jesus are still as true for us today as they were when He spoke them.

Some misguided citizens today accept the benefits of government but avoid paying taxes. They ignore the two reasons for paying them. Christians are required to obey the laws of the land, which means pay taxes, but they also pay them as a requirement to please God. We simply cannot ignore His clear command to submit yourselves (obey) to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers (I Peter 2:13-14).

Word Studies:

19:13 Occupy = Do business; 19:16 pound = a unit of money to illustrate opportunities and abilities; 19:21 austere = harsh, exacting; 20:20 feign = pretend to be sincere followers.

Cross References:

For Luke 19:38: See Psalm 118:26. Luke 19:46: See Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11. Luke 20:17: See Psalm 118:22. Luke 20:28: See Deuteronomy 25:5. Luke 20:37: See Exodus 3:6. Luke 20:42-43: See Psalm 110:1.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Government Official: Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (ID) · Country: St. Lucia (154,000) in the eastern Caribbean · Major languages: English and French patois · Religious freedom · 83% Roman Catholic; 13% Protestant; 2% spirit worship · Prayer Suggestion: Pray aloud with your voice — God hears (Psalm 3:4).

Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 3:14

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