This is an exposition of Luke 20:20-26. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, October 22, 2017.
I hate being put on the spot. I don’t mind answering questions but I hate the feeling of being on trial. That is the thing I dreaded about my ordination service.
I knew there would be a questioning – a “trial.” I had handled the question and answer time when I came to Masham in view of a call. No problem. That went smoothly. I wasn’t really nervous about that questioning – but ordination was different. I had been around preachers enough, even at that age, to know you can’t trust them! One of them was bound to try and make a name for himself at my expense. “He’s the one that made that Harris kid cry at his ordination.” I just didn’t know who it would be. Would it be the old man who makes it clear at the associational meeting he doesn’t trust anyone born after 1930? Or will it be one of the young guys trying to make a name for himself as a tough-nosed conservative?
It was an uncomfortable feeling as a 25 year-old kid being “examined” by the ordination council. The congregation, family and friends watching as you are put on the hot seat. It is that experience that causes me to have a profound appreciation for what happened to the Lord Jesus during the last days of his earthly life and ministry. On Sunday he entered the city of Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna” – “save us, save us!” The next morning he assumed his role as Lord of the Temple when he drove out the money changers and the animals. He began meeting with the people and teaching in the Temple. The religious establishment was furious and was determined to kill him. They had to find something. Something that could be used to bring him before the Roman authorities. The Jews did not have the power to execute. That remained in the hands of the Romans. So they had to find something that would be sufficient grounds for the Romans to execute. They came up with a plan. And that is were our text begins.
Text: Luke 20:20-26
There is nothing like the power of love to bring folks together except of course the power of hate! The religious establishment hated the Lord Jesus so much they were willing to join forces with anyone who shared their passion. Politics makes strange bedfellows. In their efforts to get rid of the Lord Jesus the Pharisees joined forces with the Herodians. You could not find two groups who had less in common than these two. The Pharisees were the religious right. The Herodians were the political left. The only thing they had in common was that they despised the Lord Jesus. Thus they joined forces to bring him down. Luke records their encounter with our Lord in our text.
As the drama unfolds before us I want us to notice three things.
- An ingenious plan. (20:20-22)
- An amazing reversal. (20:23-26)
- An abiding principle. (20:25)
Thus we are left with an abiding principle:
The child of God owes his respect to the state and his allegiance to God.
Ancient coins were actually understood to be the property of the person whose picture and inscription were on them. By carrying the coin and using it in commerce you reveal an indebtedness to that government or that power. You are obligated to that government. They provide peace and protection. They provide law and other support. You are responsible before God to live in obedience to that authority. Give them their due. It bears Caesar’s image – give Caesar what already belongs to him.
In the same way – you “bear” the image of God. Give to God what is rightfully his. The state is deserving of respect and obedience – God is deserving of your very being!