1. In 2 Peter 3:18 we are taught to grow in the knowledge of Christ. 2. The Scriptures are the source for accomplishing this growth (John 5:39). 3. This lesson is a study of the Lord's teaching in Luke 20:19-26 concerning "civil duties." a. On this occasion Jesus faced a difficult situation -- He was being tempted. b. Jesus took advantage of it to teach His followers a valuable lesson -- we are to fulfill our responsibilities to the government as well as those that relate to God. 4. Let us begin by examining . . .
I. WHAT HAPPENED ON THIS OCCASION (Luke 20:19-26)
A. The chief priests and scribes were involved in a plot against Jesus. 1. (19:47-48) They were already upset with Jesus. 2. (20:1-8) They questioned Jesus about His authority, but He answered them wisely. 3. (20:19) After Jesus told a parable the priests and scribes wanted "to lay hands on Him." 4. (20:20a) These men sent spies to try to find something that could be used against Jesus. 5. (20:20b) They wanted to deliver Jesus to the governor. B. (vs.21-22) A question was presented to Jesus. 1. Notice how flattery was used (vs.21). 2. The question (vs.22) had to do with paying tribute to Caesar. 3. (Matthew 22:16) The people who asked this question were: a. the disciples of the Pharisees (representing the religious law) b. the Herodians (representing the civil law). 4. It seems that the priests and scribes thought they would have something they could use against Jesus, regardless of how He answered. C. (vs.23-25) Jesus answered this question. 1. Jesus knew what these people were up to -- "He perceived their craftiness." 2. He first asked why they were tempting Him. 3. He used a piece of money to show that responsibilities relating to the government are to be fulfilled as well as responsibilities relating to God. D. (vs.26) The Lord answered this question in such a way that nothing could be used against Him.
II. OUR CIVIL DUTIES ARE ALSO ADDRESSED IN OTHER PASSAGES
A. See: 1. Romans 13:1-7 (Acts 5:29) 2. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 3. Titus 3:1 4. 1 Peter 2:13-17 B. These passages teach us to: 1. obey the laws of the land 2. pay taxes 3. pray for our leaders.
III. OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO GOD ARE ADDRESSED IN MATTHEW 22:37-39
A. One responsibility is to love God. 1. Loving God includes keeping His commands (1 John 5:3; 1 John 2:3-5). 2. To obey God's commands we must be familiar with them, so we must study His Word carefully (2 Timothy 3:16-17). B. The other responsibility is to love our neighbors as ourselves. 1. We learn what this involves in Matthew 7:12. 2. Jesus illustrated this in His parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10).