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					SOAP DIGEST                       Are You Stuck in a Withholding Pattern?
RIGHTEOUSNESS                                                                       Saturday, May 28, 2011            1

SCRIPTURE             Matt 22:17-22
17 [The Pharisees said] tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?
19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius,
20 and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"
21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." NIV

OBSERVATION - A trap was being laid for Jesus by the Phairsees concerning whether a corrupt pagan
government should receive tax support by God’s people. Jesus knew they just wanted him to say something they
could tell the Roman authorities to use against Him. So He had them show Him a minted Roman coin (which they had
in their possession) to identify the portrait & script stamped thereupon. To which He assigned responsibility to give to
all authorities what they demand of the people.

APPLICATION – I must admit, I don’t care too much for this passage - which is all the more
reason why I must take it to heart. Just as Jesus knew the motives and rationale in the heart of
the rebellious Pharisees, He knows what is in my heart. It seems evident that withholding money
that belongs to our economic system that is called upon even by a corrupt government doesn’t
fly with Jesus. Moreover withholding anything that belongs to God is equally rebellious and
unacceptable to Him.

PRAYER Dear Lord,
You know the motives of all of our hearts. I confess that I don’t like to give any more to corrupt government regulators
and spenders who have little regard for the people who are stuck paying the freight. Yet I look at your Divine wisdom
that is always present to answer every challenge and question and I want that for myself. I know that it is the product
of your righteousness and I want that too. Lord make me the kind of man you desire of me. Let me not lean on my
own wisdom but trust in you and acknowledge you in all my ways. In your name I pray. Amen

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