Examining Loyalties on Earth

November 21, 2021   /   Clairemont Emmanuel Baptist Church

Examining Loyalties on Earth

Following Jesus

Mark 12:13-17


Matthew 22:15


The Pharisees and the Herodians were enemies; their mutual hatred for Jesus brought them together to oppose Jesus who they saw as a threat. If Jesus had said it was unlawful to pay taxes to Caesar, the Herodians would have accused Him of being an enemy to the government.  If Jesus said it was lawful, all of the Jews would have been against Him.  Jesus displayed unbelievable wisdom in avoiding the trap they laid for Him and He took this occasion to remind them what they owed to God. We owe everything to the One who owns us. 


Luke 20:21



Secular                              Spiritual

Government                    God

Pro-Herod                        Anti-Herod

Pro-tax                             Anti-tax

Hated Jesus                    Hated Jesus


Psalm 2:2

Matthew 9:9

Acts 5:37

Luke 20:23

Matthew 22:18


Our Responsibilities to Government

  • I will live in subjection to the laws of the land, even if it’s a government. (Romans 13:1, 2; 1 Peter 2:13-16)
  • If allowed, I will vote and engage in the political process to bring my Christian convictions into community life. (Proverbs 14:34)
  • I will for those who are in political leadership over me, but I am first a citizen of Heaven and worship God alone.  (1 Timothy 2:1, 2; Philippians 3:20)
  • I recognize the government’s right to tax, and I will . (Mark 12:17; Romans 13:6–7).

“No man can honorably receive all the benefits which living in a state confer upon him and then opt out of all the responsibilities of citizenship.”                                                                                                                   -William Barclay

  • I should not obey the government when it commands me to do what the Bible , including to act against my conscience.  (Romans 14:23; Acts 5:29)
  • My ultimate allegiance is to Christ and (Matthew 6:33)


Our Responsibilities to God

1 Peter 2:17 

  • Honor everyone.

It’s possible to honor each other even when we

  • Love the brotherhood.

Galatians 6:9, 10

1 John 4:21

“Agape.” [love is] is like God’s love for us. 

– It’s not, “I’ll love you IF you do this or that.”

– Nor is it “I’ll love you BECAUSE . . .”

– It IS “I love you . . .”


  • Fear God.

Matthew 10:28

  • Honor the emperor.

Mark 12:17


Who or what belongs to God?  What bears His image? !

Genesis 1:26a

“Every one of us has been stamped with an image by the supreme authority in heaven and earth. God Himself has placed His image on us. Caesar owned that denarius, but he did not own the people of his time. Likewise, the state does not own us. God owns us; He has the supreme right to claim our lives as His own. So, then, we are to render to God the things that are God’s, including our lives, our liberty, our possessions, and our affections.”                                        -R.C. Sproul


Psalm 24:1

Deuteronomy 8:18

Because God’s image is stamped on us, we are His


Daily Meditations

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

Mark 12:16



Read Mark 12:1-17.  What was the motive of those who asked Jesus this question?

Have you encountered people who have this motive in their questions?

How can you deal with them?



Read Mark 12:1-17.  What is the difference between compliments and flattery?

Would it be fair to say that flattery is a form of lying?



Read Mark 12:1-17.  Did Jesus expect to change the mind of the Pharisees and Herodians with His answer?

How do you think the crowd responded when Jesus delivered such a wise answer?



Read Mark 12:1-17.  What is the legitimate purpose of human government?

What are the responsibilities of citizens?



Read Mark 12:1-17.  No matter what country has our allegiance, how should we balance patriotism with Christianity?



Read Mark 12:1-17.  What are the responsibilities of humanity, made in the image of God?

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