This is a sermon I gave at G3 Fellowship on April 28, 2013 on Mark 12:13-17. It goes beyond the traditional message about the tribute to Caesar and shows the importance of literary as well as historical context in understanding the meaning of a passage, especially in the gospel accounts.
The outline below is complex for a sermon (more a teaching outline) and I learned not to use such a complex one again – keep it simple, right! Sometimes we need to make mistakes to really get the point. Regardless, it is provided below to highlight my main points.
P.S. I know there is some controversy about whether the denarius presented to Jesus was the Tiberius denarius or the Augustus denarius, but since Tiberius was the ruling Caesar, I am convinced it was most likely the Tiberius denarius. That detail is not really important to the story because either Caesar represents the authority of the Roman government. Thus, I did not discuss this.
Our Wise God!
CTT: Mark wrote Mk 12:13-17 to show that God is the ultimate wise ruler and the things of this world have their proper place under His rule.
- Worldly wisdom is deceptive (13-14)
- The wisdom of the world is often based on selfish agendas
- Paying tribute to Caesar was a foolish controversy of the day
- Godly wisdom is dependable (15-17)
- A wise Jesus sees through the hypocrisy
- A penny used to pay the tribute resolves the dilemma
- Caesar is the authority of Roman Empire
- God is the authority of Israel’s religion, and the whole universe
- Jesus, the true Son of God, exhibits true godly wisdom
- The religion of Israel & the Church was to be under God’s authority
- The religion of Israel & the Church was hijacked by men (not giving to God the things that are God’s)
- In God’s wisdom, the religion will be taken away from Israel and given to direct heirs throughout the world.
- God has given us many things for life in this world
- None of these things are to replace nor be above God (including religious things)
- If our agenda lines up with God’s agenda and His Word, we will exhibit wisdom