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Thank God we serve a God that never changes! He is the constant in the universe. For a time I was interested in the cosmos, or cosmology, which is more how the universe works. I’m interested in ideas, and one of those, are the “Theory of chaos” which has been widely studied. And they talk about chaotic systems in the universe. Chaotic systems are apparently systems that have no pattern. For example the coast line of CA, has a chaotic system of winding roads that seems to also have no pattern, the weather is a chaotic system, you can’t quite tell where the wind comes from or where it goes. You know Jesus talks about chaotic systems in John chapter 3. “He says the wind blows, and we don’t know where it comes from, but we know it’s there. That’s a chaotic system. Even in chaotic systems, the scientists have studied and discovered a “constant,” it has a name, the fellow that discovered it, gave a name to it. And well you would “think” anything that does not have a “constant,” would be a chaotic system. But yes the scientists discovered that even in the appearance of chaotic to us, there is a constant! And I like to think of “constant,” as the mighty Hand of God! In all of the universe, even when things seem so chaotic, there’s a constant! The mighty unchanging Hand of God! Our purpose is to lift up Christ, that all men might drawn to Him. Whatever the problem is, Jesus is the answer! Speaking this morning about “The Politics of Jesus.” This is another one of those “Puzzle pieces,” that a Christian is a follower of Christ, and everything that is important to Him, that He taught, is important to us!
TEXT: MATTHEW 22:15-22
15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? .
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s: and unto God the things that are God’s.
22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
The Pharisees, often similar to lawyers, in their wickedness, thought much about how they could trap Jesus in His words. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 20And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s: and unto God the things that are God’s. This actually tells you something about “The Politics of Jesus.” Acts 5:26-29 26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The apostles here had been warned not to preach about Jesus, but they had …and were arrested, a result of “politics.”(verse 26). So when the apostles were brought before the council, they were interrogated, (28). The apostles answered with the well known scripture, that ” We ought to obey God rather than men. This is the scripture that is famous and is often quoted with such circumstances we are going through like today’s pandemic that restricts our freedoms. This scripture is often quoted as a tool when the sentiment of when there is government overreach, that “we ought to obey God rather than men,” and that may result in civil disobedience, when accused of disobeying the law. We can also take this passage as what the apostles believed, Jesus believed, and visa versa. John 18-36-38 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. Jesus is standing before Pilate, when Pilate questions Jesus/ 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what has thou done? John 19:7-11 7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; 9 And went again into the judgement hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
These four passages are political passages. In the first passage in Matthew, He’s asked by the religious rulers if it’s lawful to give tribute to the government. To which Jesus said, “If it belongs to Caesar, give it to Caesar. That’s a political statement! The second passage in Acts, “We ought to obey God rather than man.” We told you not to by the law of this council, which is the law of this city, we told you not to preach and you’re doing it anyway (said to Peter and the disciples) so therefore you are in violation of the law, what is your answer? And they said “we ought to obey God rather than men.” So they were saying, when the law of men comes into conflict of the law of God, we must obey the law of God! Also something that is not said, and presumed upon, “therefore we must protest. in some sense against the law of men.” But…you don’t find that there! People start to write in “stuff,” into these passages that’s not there. The third passage, John 18, Jesus is before Pilate, as also in the fourth passage of John19. Pilate’s asking Jesus, who are you, where did you come from, and Jesus answers “”I’m a king, because you say I am. You have identified me as a king, and a king I am.” And He then says, My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, would my servants fight. Jesus then told him, that if on the cross, He could call legions of angels to bring Him down from that cross. But I’m not going to do that. So Jesus has power as a king, and is king over His kingdom! He said His kingdom is not of this world! This world has a set of laws, with civil behavior, etc., expected, of society and the laws that go with it, of morals and values, that may not be held in common, but it has them! Civil society has all of those things. And this world is a kingdom in and of itself. But this world’s king is not God! The world’s kingdom, is not the kingdom of Heaven!
This world does not love God, ..Romans chapter 8 tells us that it hates God. There’s a spirit of anti Christ that hates God. Jesus’s kingdom has it’s own laws, it’s own civil behavior for it’s citizens or subjects. And the citizens or subjects of this kingdom are meant to obey the laws of God. So sometimes these two kingdoms overlap, and rub up against each other. We’re humans that occupy those space in this world. We’re subject to those things, but we’re also citizens of Heaven. And Acts is telling us, that where there is conflict, the Heavenly kingdom governs! The Heavenly informs the earthly kingdom, and not vice versa. And what happens, people get confused sometimes, and the earth starts leaking into their thinking even though they are citizens of the Heavenly. and allowing the earthly to inform them, rather than Heaven.
The Politics of Jesus