Give What to Who?
Christianity in the Public Square / Matthew 22:15–22
We constantly have to figure out who gets what while giving Jesus everything
• I wanted to take the next couple weeks and talk through what it means for Christ followers to live publicly. Publicly regarding our speech and actions. Publicly regarding social media. Publicly regarding politics. Publicly regarding whatever public square we find ourselves in.
• We are called to think differently
• believe differently
• act differently
• We have to ask some questions?
• Is Christianity social?
• Does it have anything to say to the world?
• Yes. It does
• Christianity effects everything in us. It effects everything around us.
• The church is the representation of God on the earth.
• So the world should look at the church and be able to figure out what God looks like.
– It is inevitable that we are political and social. We live in a civil society. Jesus was political. But He was not political in the way that the disciples wanted or hoped Him to be.
Matthew 22:15–22 (ESV): Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.
Our Culture is naturally Entangled
• This issue, who gets what is incredibly important.
• Jesus places the political action of paying taxes within the wider field of giving to God.
• There is not a distinction in the world we live in where God has removed Himself or has removed evil. We live in the tension of both
• Augustine calls this a two world system. Or that we live in the city of the world and the city of God.
• If Jesus told them to pay the denarius, the tax owed to Caesar. That Caesar was to get that much, how much is left?
• Everything else.
• Jesus is not separating secular and sacred. He is, by stating that God gets all else, that the world in which Caesar operates operates within God’s sovereignty.
There is a vast difference between what we are giving to and what we are loving. What we love determines how we give.
We recognize that when Jesus gets our loyalties everyone wins.
Jeremiah 29:4–9 ESV
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.
Because our loyalties belong to Christ, Because He is the One leading and caring and looking out for us, because we look to the church as our identity and center,
So we can render to Caesar, we can care for others, we can serve God as over and above all of that.