Scripture Reading

Matthew 22:15-21 (NRSVUE)
Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one, for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this and whose title?”  They answered, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”

Introductory Remarks: 

On this 5th Sunday of Lent, Jesus invites us to join him in acknowledging God’s supremacy in every governmental system.

It takes faith in God’s Omnipotence to render to God what belongs to God and to render to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar. God is never diminished by Caesar’s demands. 

‘The Father in us constitutes the One against which nothing can stand. Truly, the government is upon His Shoulder, and we leave it there.’ A Closer Walk With Jesus, pg. 133

Major Points of the Lesson:

  1. Politics of the world do not supersede God’s ruling authority or spiritual law.
  2. When we educate ourselves on the spiritual law:
    • It is wise to faithfully and consistently practice the law; See James 1:22
    • We have a spiritual obligation to bear witness to the law; Matt. 7:15-20
    • We must courageously and actively participate in political processes that establish a more just, harmonious and equitable society. See the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

TASK: Research the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2016. Decide on a goal that will ‘better’ your community. In faith, go to work and bring it into reality.

ASSIGNMENT: Pages 127-146, A Closer Walk With Jesus (UFBL); 40 Days of Letting Go, Lent 2023, pgs.49-55; Daily Inspiration (UFBL);