Ambassadors of Love {Mark 12}

2:28 AM

Love God

By Angie Benjamin

Mark 12:17 "Then Jesus said to them "Give to the Caesar what is the Caesar's and to God what is God's" And they were amazed at him.

The religious leaders wanted to trap Jesus with a question that would either show him as a blasphemer or weird fanatic. Nevertheless he avoided the question by showing that, we, believers have a dual citizenship (1 Peter 2:17). Our citizenship in the nation (either USA, Mexico or me in Botswana) requires that we pay money for the services and benefits we receive.

What does the citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven require? that we pledge to God our primary obedience and commitment (Acts 4:18-19 and Acts 5:29).

As God's followers, we have legitimate obligations to both God and the government. It is important that we keep our priorities straight and when the two authorities conflict, our duty to God always must come first before our duty to the government.

God's Things

Let me include this list of duties I found useful from a commentary:

*The Biblical Illustrator

Mark 12:17
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
Our obligations to God and man

The spirit of the passage requires us to regard the rights of all beings as sacred, and to give to them all that is theirs.

I. What is due to God? Or what are the things, the property of God, which our Saviour here requires us to render to Him? “The earth is the Lord’s,” etc. Of course we, and all that we possess, are God’s property. More particularly-

1. Our souls with all their faculties.
2. Our bodies.
3. Our time.
4. All our knowledge and literary acquisitions.
5. Our temporal possessions.
6. Our influence.
He, then, who withholds from God any of these things, or any part of them, does not comply with the precept in the text.

II. What things are due from us to men?

1. All men have a right to our love.
2. To all whom God has made our superiors we owe obedience, submission and respect.
3. To our inferiors we owe kindness, gentleness and condescension.
4. Those of us who are members of Christ’s visible church, owe to each other the performance of all the duties which result from our connection.
5. There are some things which we owe our families and connexions. As husbands and wives.

29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” - Mark 12: 29-31

God's laws are not burdensome. They actually reduce to two simple principles: love God and love others. These commands are from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18) It's only when we love God completely and care for others as we do for ourselves that we can fulfill the intent of the Ten Commandments and the other Old Testament laws.

According to Jesus these two commandments summarize all God's laws. May they rule in your thoughts decisions and actions today...and whenever we're uncertain on which course of action we should take, may we choose love...may we choose whatever truly demonstrates love for God and others!

The coin bearing the emperor's image should be given to the emperor: our lives, bearing God's image, belong to God. 

To ponder:
Am I giving to God what is rightfully his?

The Lord our God is one Lord - This is the foundation of the first commandment, yea, of all the commandments. The Lord our God, the Lord, the God of all men, is one God, essentially, though three persons. From this unity of God it follows, that we owe all our love to him alone. Deuteronomy 6:4 .Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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