The FBE-er: Render

Hey FBE-ers!

Sorry for the late issue!  I had originally wanted to put out the FBE-er more frequently during this focus on the family…  We’ll see how it goes from here!

I’ve been humbled over and over by Beka.  One of the difficult things about being a pastor is that people often expect you to have all the answers, and, if you’re not careful, you begin to agree with them!!!

I give premarital counseling, and I help married couples look to scripture to find God’s standards for their marriage.  I preach on the nature of the Church, and I lead the other ministers of FBE to serve God in serving the Church properly.

Surely I have all the answers in regards to marriage, family, church, and everything in between.

But Beka spoke up a week ago concerning some areas where I was missing it in every area of my life – marriage, family, and church.  She wasn’t mean about it, or rude.  But I didn’t like it.  And I got defensive.

But every word she said was true.

As I’ve been meditating on the changes I’m making at home and in the church, this passage came to my mind for some reason – Luke 20:19-26 (Matt 22:15-33; Mark 12:13-17).

Some of the religious leaders come up to Jesus to trap Him in a question, “Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?”  If Jesus simply said, “Yes,” then all His claims about the Kingdom of God may be put into question.  He would look like a “pro-Roman” traitor.  If Jesus simply said, “No,” then the religious leaders could go tattle to Pilot (the governor) and have Jesus killed.

But Jesus is kind of a smart fella.

He asked for a denarius.  A denarius was the coin used to pay the tribute to Rome, and what is more interesting is that the Sanhedrin – the religious leaders asking Jesus this entrapping question – were the ones in charge of collecting the tax for Rome.  Of course they would have a denarius to give to Jesus.  

By merely asking for a denarius Jesus had already turned the heat around back on them.

Then Jesus asked a very interesting question, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”  The “likeness” or image, would have been of Caesar – probably Tiberius, but possibly of Augustus.  The inscription on either coin would have said something of the Caesar’s connection to deity – Julius Caesar was declared as deity, so consequent Caesars would call themselves, “son of god.”

Then Jesus said, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

What is most important here is that Jesus didn’t make anyone happy.  He drew a distinct division between God and Caesar, which would not make the Romans happy.  But He also said, “give back” to Caesar.  There are some benefits from Caesar that we should pay for?  That answer couldn’t have made the Jews all that happy either.

But Jesus called attention to the idea of “likeness.”  “Let Caesar have his likeness.  Let God have His likeness.”  What is God’s “likeness”?  What is God’s image?

We are.
Genesis 1:26-27 
God created humanity – male and female – in His image.
Return to God His image.

Jesus turned this trap into an alter call.

And married couples, we should respond.

We are One with our spouses.
Render unto each other what is the other’s.
You belong to your spouse.
Together you belong to God.

There are no excuses here.
If you want to Render unto God what is God’s – the image of your marriage – it begins with YOU… not your spouse.

You must Render unto your spouse yourself, so that together, you can Render God’s image back to Him.

Fully submit to each other today – beginning with you.

If you aren’t married, you are still called to Render yourself to God.  The unity of God’s image isn’t perfected in marriage.  It begins in marriage, but it is perfected in His Church.  (See John 17).

Paying Pleasant Tribute,
Nick

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I've been on staff at FBE since 2012. Where I first was hired as a creative coordinator, I am now the Pastoral Assistant. I married my beautiful best friend, Ashley Garcia on December 19, 2015. Knowing God is a constant and endless pursue, third wave coffee is a must, punk rock and hardcore keep my spirits high.

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