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Sermon and Worship Resources
20th Sunday after Pentecost

"Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's,
and to God the things that are God's."
    Mt 22:21


Texts & Discussion:
Exodus 33:12-23
Psalm 99
Isaiah 45:1-7
Psalm 96:1-9, (10-13)
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22 


This Week's Themes:

Investing into the Kingdom
Assurance of God's Presence


Also check out our Stewardship Sunday Resources


The Blessing of Giving

Almighty God our Father
we belong to you.
All that we have comes from you

Our family and friends
Our health
Our possessions and energy
Our leisure and abilities.

Help us to share
in the blessings of giving
as well as the
happiness of receiving

We ask this in the name of Jesus


 Stewardship Sunday Resources


The Things That Are God’s      (see excerpt below)
Matthew 22:15-22
by Rev. Karen A. Goltz


Children's Messages:


Sermon Excerpt:

The Things That Are God’s
based on Matthew 22:15-22
Rev. Karen A. Goltz

            The Pharisees must be getting desperate.  This Jesus has come into the Temple in Jerusalem at Passover, its busiest time of the year, and systematically humiliated and discredited them.  First he makes a big show of overturning the tables of the merchants and moneychangers, accusing them of defiling God’s holy place, then he begins healing and teaching the people.  When the Pharisees challenge his authority to do all this, he responds in such a way as to not only claim holy authority for himself, but to also diminish the authority of the chief priests and Pharisees.  This Jesus then goes on to tell a series of parables that serves to demonstrate how the chief priests and Pharisees are not working according to the will of God, and even suggesting that God himself will abandon them in favor of others.  They have to do something drastic to stop this now!

            So they gather up some Herodians and confront him.  Now, you’ve got to understand that Jewish religious leaders and Herodians didn’t usually buddy around together.  Herodians were those who represented the interests of Roman rule in their colonies, which is what Israel was at this point.  Pharisees barely tolerated Herodians, yet they enlisted their help to confront Jesus.  They wanted to trap him with his own words.  So they butter him up with flattery, and then ask him a no-win question: Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not?

            It’s the perfect trap; if he says ‘yes,’ then he can be accused of being in collusion with Rome, justifying Roman occupation and oppression of the Jews.  This would destroy his credibility with the people and solve the Pharisees’ problems.  But if he answers ‘no,’ especially in front of the Herodians, then he can be accused of revolutionary sentiment against Rome, and addressing those charges would distract him from all this preaching and teaching he’s been doing.  It might even get him arrested and executed as a criminal. 


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