Truth Taught- Jesus tells us that we are to financially support the government God has placed over us but we must never worship it. Worship is God’s alone
Last time we looked at the Parable of the Wedding Feast. That was the third of a series or trilogy of three parables that Jesus told about the Kingdom of Heaven. The general conclusion or point to each parable was that the current caretakers were not producing the fruit of the Kingdom and God was about to remove the Kingdom from them and give it to new tenants who would produce the appropriate fruit, namely Justice and Righteousness.
Now, we are moving on to a trilogy of questions. The religious elite are going to put Jesus to a test or as Matthew tells us, a trap. We must realize something here, they are not asking out of genuine concern or desiring to know what Jesus has to say, they have formulated these questions so that whatever answer He gives, they can trap Him in His words.
The first question we will look at today.
The Jews, like it or not, were under Roman control. Rome was in charge and any freedom the Jew had was a benevolent gesture from the Empire and could be rescinded at any time. The patriotic Jew hated Rome. There was the occasional outbreak of Jewish defiance even a revolt or two sprung up over the years. The longer they were under Roman control the more they detested the pagans with their idolatrous symbols that they had displayed all over the Holy City. Some had even been hung in the Temple from time to time. The Jews hated Rome.
One freedom Rome had given the Jews was that they still had the freedom to worship in their temple the way they saw fit. The only thing Rome was really interested in was that the Jews paid their taxes. So, there was the taxes everyone had to pay to Caesar then there was the Temple Tax. The taxes paid to Caesar was paid in Roman coinage. Rome allowed the Jews to mint their own coins to be used in the Temple.
The Jews refused to allow Roman money to used in the Temple area because, mainly, the coins had the profile of Caesar, in this case Tiberius, and had the inscription, Divi Filius or Son of God. These coins went against everything the Jew stood for. They reminded them that they were in subjugation to Rome, they went against all they saw as right, they went against their tradition to not have a graven image.
1. Go Tell Israel…
16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.” ’
God had told Moses what He wanted him to do. Moses had two questions for God: who am I that I should go? God basically told Moses that it really didn’t matter all that much who he was but the key God said is that I will be with you. Then, Moses asked God who He is? God replied
Exodus 3:14 (ESV)
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
God then makes Moses a promise saying that He would bring them up out of Egypt to the land flowing with milk and honey.
Here is the picture of salvation for us. God not only saves us from our sin but saves us to something. He brings us up out of slavery to sin into His Kingdom. God did not save them from Egypt to let them alone but brings them up and into the land.
Truth Taught- Israel has rejected her Messiah and judged herself to be unworthy of eternal life
Jesus has condemned the Jews and their works religion. He has the authority and has passed judgement on those who were leading Israel’s religion.
Our Lord has told two parables picturing the fact that the Kingdom of God has been taken away from them and given to others who will produce the fruit God seeks.
There is a progression with each of these stories. The first was a Father and two sons, one working in the vineyard and the other saying he would but never did. The second parable moved from a Father to a rich Landowner who leased his vineyard out to tenants but they refused to give the owner the fruit of the vineyard that should have been His. He sent His servants and they were killed. Then He sent His Son saying they will respect My Son. Sadly, they killed His Son too.
Now, we come to the third Parable of condemnation. The religious leaders have crossed the point of no return. Judgement is coming and there is nothing they can do about it.
This Parable is elevated even more as we see that Jesus is speaking now of a King.
It’s appropriate that as we look at this final parable of this trilogy that we make sure what Jesus’ purpose is in speaking in Parables…Read More
Exodus 3:10–15 (ESV)
10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
If you remember from last time, we left Moses at the burning bush with his sandals off with his head covered as he would not look at God. Remember, also he was on the Mountain of God we said was actually Mount Sinai where God would eventually lead His people. God told Moses He was the God of His fathers, He had seen the affliction of His people, had remembered His covenant and was about to do something about it.
1. God Calls Moses to Bring His People Out of Egypt
10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
We don’t really know why God does the many things He does. Why didn’t God rescue His people Himself? Why did He use Moses? This is as some tell us, a paradox of divine grace. Why does God use sinful men to do His work of salvation? Why does He use humans?
He used Mary who was herself a sinful person to give birth to a sinless Savior which would secure our redemption. Why did God use sinful men to write a perfect inerrant Bible? All 66 books are God’s Word and God’s pen touched not of the pages and all of it is His Word complete and perfect. No portion of it more or less authoritative than any other. All Scripture is profitable and useful.
Truth Taught- Jesus is the rejected and murdered Son. His rejection and murder on the cross have sealed the fate of fruitless Judaism and created a new people who will produce the fruit God desires.
Jesus has entered His City. The rightful heir to the Davidic throne has come. The King, the Messiah, the Son of David, the long awaited One is here and some believe but many do not.
He came in prophetic fulfillment. As He entered on the colt. He then cleansed the Temple which, as we saw, was another Messiah prophecy. He then declares that at His return, the Mount of Olives will be split, again showing a prophecy fulfilled. In response to these things, the leaders of Judaism ask Jesus by what authority do You do these things and who gave You this authority?
Jesus will not play their game. In response, He asks them a question about John the Baptist. Did his baptism come from God or from man? In other words, was John’s ministry given to him by God, was he a real prophet or was he a self-appointed swindler? In rabbinic tradition, if they would answer Jesus’ question then they would have the answer to theirs. However, they refuse to answer. Then Jesus tells them He will not answer their question either.Read More