“Render As Appropriate” By Kirk Hunt
And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”
They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Matthew 22: 20–21 NKJV
Jesus, the all-powerful King of all kings, did not move to overthrow the Roman Empire. In fact, the Disciples themselves seem to have been bewildered (Acts 1:6) by Jesus’ “failure” to seize political power. Instead, through His example and instructions, Jesus commands them and us to render good citizenship and make disciples.
The Romans were polytheistic pagans. The Caesars spent lavishly on the human blood sport of the gladiator games. Still, Jesus did not seek to directly overthrow the Romans. Being a good citizen does not mean you condone or (choose to) participate in everything the government does.
Jesus, Peter, John and Paul lived, worked and evangelized under the Roman Caesars. There were occasional inconveniences (imprisonment, beatings, beheading or crucifixion). Ultimately the Kingdom of Heaven was established in the earth.
Christians today have the same instructions (Matthew 28: 19–20) as Christians then; make disciples, everywhere. You may have to render some good citizenship to your “Caesar” but your King (Jesus) still commands.
The Roman Empire eventually ended, but not because Christians worked against their government. Despite being thrown to the (literal) lions, Christians worked to turn pagans into Christians. It took blood sweat and tears, but enemies became Gospel brothers and sisters. Should we not do the same?
Think: Scripture commands me to make disciples and be a good citizen of my government.
Pray: “Lord, help me to be a good citizen, first of Your Kingdom, then of my earthly government.”
Copyright © August 2016, Kirk Hunt
This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.