(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)

MATTHEW 22:15-22 – THE THINGS THAT ARE GOD’S

Life of Christ #48

We are continuing our study in the Life of Christ.  In past weeks, we have seen Jesus enter the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  Jesus presented Himself as Israel’s king, the Messiah. Although there was a welcome reception outwardly, the leaders of Israel rejected Him. They did not want Jesus as king. 

Jesus examined the temple and then went back to Bethany for the night. The next day as he approached Jerusalem he was hungry and saw a hypocritical fig tree, advertising fruit and having none, and he cursed it.  That day Jesus cleansed the temple.  The next day Jesus came again to Jerusalem and when the disciples called his attention to the shriveled up fig tree which he had cursed the day before. 

Jesus then gave one of His great lessons on prayer. Mark 11:22-24 

On this same day, the chief priests and elders challenged his authority. After Jesus responded to their question, He gave a series of parables that condemned the leaders of Israel, and the religious “right” of the day, the Pharisees.  The problem the Pharisees had was their hypocrisy.     

Vs. 15 – After hearing these scathing parables, the Pharisees had a meeting.  They wanted to destroy Jesus.  They wanted to ruin His reputation. They wanted to see Him dead. 

Jesus was the best speaker whoever lived. He was and is God!  The Pharisees mistakenly thought that they could trip up Jesus in His Words, like politicians do today. If they could entangle Jesus in His own they could accuse Him and have him censored, and perhaps even killed. 

Vs. 16 – The Pharisees sent some of their disciples, men who were training to become leading Pharisees.

We are not sure why they didn’t go themselves, but we can speculate.  Perhaps because they wanted to trick Jesus they didn’t want Him to recognize the people that were being sent. So, they sent men he wouldn’t recognize as Pharisees.

They were trying to be deceitful. 

They also joined forces with another faction, the Herodians. Now this is a strange combination. The Herodians were followers of King Herod, a Roman vassal.  The Herodians were supportive of taxes that helped keep Herod in power. The Pharisees hated Roman domination, and hated taxes.

 

Neither the Pharisees nor the Herodians had time for Jesus.

The Pharisees joined forces so that whatever answer Jesus gave to their clever question, somebody could accuse Him.

If Jesus answered one way, the Pharisees would accuse Him before the Jews.  If He answered another way, the Herodians, sympathetic to the Roman government, would accuse Him before that government.

Vs. 16 – So these men come to Jesus and begin with flattery. They pretend to be sincere men seeking an answer from one that was true, taught the word of God and didn’t care what men thought or said. 

Vs. 17 – Their question was about a poll tax or a head tax levied by Rome on all its citizens.  The Romans provided many benefits and services as a result of the taxes, but taxation was heavy.  They were asking if it was lawful for religious Jews to pay that tax. 

It was a clever question.  The common Jew hated being in subjection to Rome, and hated paying taxes to Rome.  If Jesus said it was right to pay the tax, then the Pharisees would accuse Jesus. If Jesus said it was wrong to pay the tax the Herodians would go to the Roman authorities and probably have Him arrested. 

Vs. 18 – These men acted like righteous, sincerely religious men, but Jesus as God, saw right through their hypocrisy.

And by the way, Jesus also sees through our hypocrisy today.  We can fool people, pretending to be what we are not, but we can’t fool God!  So Jesus called them what they were, hypocrites! 

Vs. 19 – Jesus asks for a denarius, a day’s wage for a common laborer and the silver coin minted by the emperors to pay their tax.  It had the emperor’s picture on it. 

Vs. 20 – Jesus asked whose picture was on the coin.  

Vs. 21 – What was Jesus saying?  It was Caesar’s picture on the coin, give to Caesar the things that are Caesars. The taxes that were due to the government were to be paid.  God had put government in charge for the sake of order therefore, the government was to be paid.  Romans 13:1-7  

So, Jesus was saying give to government what government deserves.  After all, the government is ordained of God.  But then He sees, “Render to God the things that are God’s.”   

God is to be given what is His!  Of course, if it ever comes down to a choice between obeying God and obeying the government, God is to be obeyed! 

Vs. 22 – The argument of Jesus was rock solid!  It could not be denied. In fact His accusers were amazed that He gave an answer with which nobody could legitimately argue. 

As Warren Wiersbe said – “Caesar’s image was on the coin. God’s image is on man.” Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, (New Testament) Volume 1, (Wheaton Illinois, Victor Books, 1989) p. 80 

Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 

Because we are God’s we should give to God the things that are His!  That leads us to the question of the morning, “What are the things that are God’s?” 

What are the things that belong to God? 

OUR TEMPLES

1 Corinthians 6:19-20What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [20] For ye are bought with 

OUR THANKS

Psalm 113:3From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is 

Hebrews 13:15By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 

OUR TIME

Psalm 90:10The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we 

Psalm 39:4Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. 

Psalm 90:12So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. 

Ephesians 5:15-1See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, [16] Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [17] Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 

OUR THOUGHTS

Philippians 4:8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think

OUR TALENTS

1 Peter 4:10-11As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. [11] If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

OUR TONGUES

James 3:8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 

Ephesians 4:29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.   

Psalm 141:3, Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. 

OUR TREASURES   

Matthew 6:19-21Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: [20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: [21] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

OUR THINGS

1 John 2:15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

Matthew 10:37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he 

OUR TRUST

John 3:16  – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever 

Psalm 62:8Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. 

 THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT ARE GOD’S

Our Temples

Our Thanks

Our Time

Our Thoughts

Our Talents

Our Tongues

Our Treasures

Our Things

Our Trust

These are all God’s

WHAT IS NOT GOD’S IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW? 

(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)

MATTHEW 9:23-27 – STORMY WEATHER

LIFE OF CHRIST #24 

We all face trials and troubles often.  It is what Cole Porter called “Stormy Weather” in a song that he wrote.  

There were a couple of times when the disciples faced storms on the Sea of Galilee.  

As we look at this story about literal storm, we also learn lessons about the figurative storms that cause trials and troubles in our lives.  Let’s see what lessons we can learn this morning about stormy weather. 

STORMY WEATHER IS BEST FACED WHEN JESUS IS IN THE BOAT 

Vs. 23 – Think of the boat as our lives.

Although God is present everywhere, there is a special sense in which God is present in our lives.  When He indwells us, He has taken up special residence inside of us. John 14:16-17 

God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the Christian.

He is there to guide us, protect us, keep us, teach us, and comfort us.

And God has promised the Christian that this presence is unending! Hebrews 13:5-6 

You have heard people say, and might have said yourself, “I wouldn’t want to face this problem without the Lord!”

How true!  If God is willing to take up residence in our lives through his Holy Spirit it would be dumb not to avail ourselves of His presence. 

When you trust Christ as your payment for sins, you are what the Bible calls, born again, by the Spirit of God.  And God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. Romans 8:9    

If you have truly trusted Christ as your Savior, you have God’s presence in your life no matter what the storm may be.  Make sure that you have Christ in the boat that is your life!    

STORMY WEATHER RESULTS FROM OBEDIENCE   

Vs. 23 – The Lord Jesus entered the boat.  The disciples followed Him into the boat. It was the Lord Jesus who decided where they were going. Luke 8:22 

The disciples ended up in a storm on the Sea of Galilee because they were following Jesus in obedience.

Of course, being obedient to God as a Christian and following Jesus’ leadership in our lives is the right thing to do. Luke 9:23-24 

Following Jesus after trusting Him for forgiveness does not mean that it will be an easy life.  In fact, we will have storms. 2 Timothy 3:12, James 1:2-4 

The storms that Jesus leads through will make us strong and mature.  And I’d rather follow Jesus in the middle of a storm than to not follow Jesus.  Being in the center of the Lord’s will is always the safest place to be. 

But you’ll also face storms if you’re not obedient to God. 

Would you rather face storms being in the center of God’s will, or out of God’s will? Which makes the most sense?   

STORMY WEATHER IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

Vs. 24 – I don’t have to tell you how dangerous storms can be.  Just consider last year’s tsunami and hurricanes Ivan and Rita.

This storm was a very violent storm, and even seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having trouble with it. 

The storms of life which we face are also dangerous.

Sometimes we will be in physical danger because of persecution, accidents or illness.

Other times we are in emotional danger with our “storms” threatening to overwhelm us with fear and/or depression.

Other times we are in Spiritual danger, with Satan’s attacks challenging us to give up or to sin. 

And this verse alludes to another danger.  We might be concerned because in the midst of the storm God appears to be asleep.  He does not seem to be responding to our problems during the storm.  He seems to be silent. 

Our Lord Jesus was able to sleep because He had a human body that got tired.  He was also able to sleep because, being sinless, He had a clean conscience.  He was also able to sleep, because He quietly allowed Himself to rest in the hands of His loving Heavenly Father.

If you are doing what is right before the Lord, confessing your sins as a Christian, and striving to live for Him, don’t panic when God appears to be asleep. He’ll show Himself to be very much alive at just the right time. 

STORMY WEATHER INVOKES FEAR AND PANIC 

Vs. 25 – When storms come we tend to fear. And sometimes when storms come we will go into a panic.  The situation seems to be absolutely hopeless! 

Humans tend to be fearful.  If we didn’t tend to be fearful, God would not have put so many verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid. I’ll just give you two samples, but there are many more “do not fear” verses in the Bible. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10 

We tend to fear and worry about what might happen but hasn’t happened.

We tend to fear and worry about the future.

We tend to fear and worry about the opinions of others.

We tend to fear and worry about our children, our parents, our spouses. 

Then comes the times our problems are so real to us that they tend to overwhelm us.  We hit the panic mode. 

Yes, many fears are justified.  But there is a proper way to handle fear.

These seasoned fishermen were literally in over their heads and they knew it, coming to Jesus in panic. 

STORMY WEATHER REQUIRES PRAYER AND FAITH 

Vs. 25 – The disciples awoke the Lord Jesus.

Their anxious prayer was an indication that they had come to the end of themselves, and that they had at least a little faith that Jesus could help. 

I personally think that they waited too long to ask Jesus for help.  The moment things got a little stormy, I think they should have come to Him. 

We are like that.  If things seem to be just a little stormy or troublesome, we’ll just worry over it and try to solve it ourselves, instead of bringing it to God right away.

But when problems get full blown, we come in a panic with a little, but not much faith that God can help. Philippians 4:6, James 1:5-8 

Vs. 26 – Note that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for waking Him up.  Like I said, I feel that He would have welcomed being woken up sooner.    

Notice our Lord’s calm rebuke in the midst of the storm.

He was not in a panic. He’s totally under control.  He can even take the time to rebuke the disciples before He did anything.  He is master of the situation. 

Let’s remember when we give our stormy problems to God He is not in a panic.  He can solve the problem leisurely if He chooses to.  There is no reason to get in a dither or bent out of shape. 

STORMY WEATHER REVEALS THE GLORY AND POWER OF GOD 

Vs. 26 – Jesus said the word and there was perfect calm. It was like there had been no storm. There was no rocking of the waves that normally follow a storm. There was perfect peace. 

When Jesus speaks the Word there is perfect peace.

Sometimes the problem totally disappears, but more often than not the place where the greatest miracle has occurred is inside of us. 

We are at peace.

God has calmed the ragging in our souls. 

Vs. 27 – The disciples were absolutely amazed!  The Lord Jesus had done what they had never seen before.  A human being told the storm to cease and it did.  The winds obeyed Him! The waves obey Him. 

They had a new appreciation for the power of Jesus!

They had a new appreciation for the glory of Jesus!

And when Jesus calms our storms, we too, should have a new appreciation for the power and glory of the Lord Jesus.

We should be amazed!

We should be filled with praise and worship.

We should be ready to trust Him when an even bigger storm comes. 

STORMY WEATHER IS BEST FACED WHEN JESUS IS IN THE BOAT

STORMY WEATHER RESULTS FROM OBEDIENCE

STORMY WEATHER IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS

STORMY WEATHER INVOKES FEAR AND PANIC

STORMY WEATHER REQUIRES PRAYER AND FAITH

STORMY WEATHER REVEALS THE GLORY AND POWER OF GOD