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Adult Sabbath School Bibble Study Guide - 2nd Quarter 2015, June 16, 2015

Wednesday, June 17

God Versus Caesar

Read Luke 20:20-26. How do we take what Jesus taught here and apply it to our own situation in whatever country we live?

During the time of Jesus, taxation by Rome was a volatile issue. Around A.D. 6, according to Josephus, Judas the Galilean, a revolutionary leader, declared that paying taxes to Caesar was reason against God. The issue, along with several Messianic claims and aspirants, set off periodic anti-Roman revolts. Against such a sensitive background, the question put before Jesus about whether it was lawful to pay taxes revealed the ulterior motive of the interrogators: to answer that it was lawful would have placed Jesus on the side of Rome, showing that He could not be the king of the Jews as declared by the crowds at His entry into Jerusalem; to say No would have meant that Jesus was following the Galilean mood and declaring the Roman rule unlawful, opening Himself to the charge or treason. They had hope to put Jesus in a hind from which He couldn’t escape.
Jesus, though, saw right through them. He pointed to the image of Caesar on a coin and pronounced His verdict:

“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Luke 20:25, NKJV). Living under Caesar, whose currency is used for day-to-day necessities, has its obligation to Caesar. But then there is another obligation a greater one, which rises from the fact that we are made is the image of God and that to Him we owe our ultimate allegiance.

“Christ’s reply was no evasion, but a candid answer to the question. He declared that since they were living under the protection of the Roman power, they should render to that power the support it claimed, so long as this did not conflict with a higher duty. But while peaceably subject to the laws of the land. They should at all times give their first allegiance to God.” – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 602.

What are ways we can continue to be good citizens in whatever country we live, while at the same time knowing that our tur citizenship exists in a city “whose builder and maker id God” (Heb. 11:10)?

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