Matthew 22:15-22.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer! AMEN.

In the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit- Amen.

Today’s Gospel scripture today is one that to me is most interesting.

You see, once Jesus became known and loved, the people in authority in the Jewish religion saw Him as a threat. Even though He tried to include them in His plans their aim became that of trying to belittle Him, trap Him and bring Him down!

In the Gospel message we see one of these attempts in action as His detractors try to trip Him up over the use of money. What they did not take into account is that Holy Spirit is always guiding His own, and Jesus always listened to the guidance of the Spirit and so always walked in wisdom!

The Pharisees asked: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?

So jumping to the end of the passage, Jesus says to the Pharisees and Herodians, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”

We are called to do the same as “Mighty people of God”! Christians as it says in Romans 8:37 are “More than conquerors”. So, realizing that God’s special people, how do we separate the things that are Caesar’s from the things that are God’s?

First of all, from the money that we earn or acquire legally do we separate part of it as being dedicated to God? In the Old Covenant they separated the first tenth for God. We in the New Testament period do not have a command to separate a fixed amount to God but instead, we decide according to our love for God what we want to give as offerings.

The money that we give in our offerings is money given to God. It isn’t given to a human organisation called the Church! It all belongs to God and we as a Church have officers who are authorised to use that money on God’s behalf and for His glory. Of course, being God’s money, He watches to see whether we are faithful stewards. And Jesus says, “Render unto God the things that are God’s”.

Then with the rest of our money we have responsibilities to the government of the day. Jesus does not tell us only to fear God, He also tells us to do our duty towards governments! And in all our doings God is with us to prosper us.

Have you noticed recently that God tells us in the third letter of John, verse 2…

3 John 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.

This is the New Testament equivalent of Malachi 3:10 which says...

Mal 3:10 Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.

God plans to bless us but He is waiting to do it according to how our soul is prospering. Are we doing the things that God says will make our soul prosper?

Are we faithful with God’s money and with the secular things that we should do. Are we giving honour to our spouse so that our prayers are not hindered?

Or do we sometimes act as though God does not exist and wondering why things do not go well for us?

If we follow God then He will stop the devourer, Satan, from taking away the blessings that God has planned for all His people.

Fear God and do what is right, rendering to Caesar what Caesar is due and render to God what God is due, and see how He will protect you and inspire you and see also how you will prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers!