SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2008
Render Unto Caesar...
Here we are, right in the heat of political debate season, trying to figure out who will be the next President of these United States. So in honor of our current sermon series, I wanted to take a look at how, Jesus, an undeclared fourth-party candidate might do in a political debate. In our text today, Jesus is being questioned by two of the three major political parties in the Jewish political system. On the one hand, we have the Pharisees, a religious group who were conservative and ultra-nationalists who believed Israel was for God's chosen people -- period. Then we have the Herodians, who were their political polar opposites. They were much more liberal, often collaborating with Herod Antipas and the Roman government and supporting Roman policies, usually for their own personal and political advantage. Isn't it amazing that BOTH sides, bitter political enemies, joined forces and took political issue with a poor, itinerate, no-name rabbi with no party affiliation by the name of Jesus? In our text today, both the Pharisees and the Herodians are trying to trip up the people's choice candidate in a public debate -- on taxes. So, let's take a look at the text and ask ourselves did Jesus win the debate or refuse to get involved in it? Based on this brief debate is there any question where Jesus' "party" loyalties lie? (Permalink)