Our Next Guest Is: The Church and State Debate

Series: Our Next Guest | Week 9: A Journey Through the Gospel of Mark

Day Two Mark 12:13-17

13 Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 14 “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay them, or shouldn’t we?”

Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin, and I’ll tell you.” 16 When they handed it to him, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 “Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”

His reply completely amazed them.
– Mark 12:13-17 (NLT)

1. What two groups of people approach Jesus to trap Him (see this article for more on why this is ironic)?
2. Do you think they believe the things they say in verse 14?
3. What stands out to you most about Jesus’ reply?

As opposing religious and political parties now conspire against a common enemy – Jesus – Jesus remains calm and in charge. Reread His question in verse 16, and hear His question being asked of you. Whose picture and title are stamped on you? Or as other translations word it, whose image (NIV), or likeness (ESV), do you bear? Think about what you give a majority of your time, money, or thought life to, as those are usually good indicators. We live in a world where we submit to our rulers and pay taxes, but never to the point where it causes us to disobey God or not honor Him above all else. Pray that He would be your first priority.

For Further Learning: Faithfulness in Exile podcast with Tim Mackie

*TPCC does not necessarily endorse all For Further Reading/Learning sources. They are simply meant to be a helpful tool.

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