Sermon Transcript – Gotcha Politics and Gotcha Theology

Series A – Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost – Sunday, October 18, 2020 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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0:28the holy gospel according to saint
0:30matthew the 22nd
0:40then the pharisees went and plotted how
0:42to entangle Jesus in his talk
0:45and they sent their disciples to him
0:47along with the herodians saying
0:48teacher we know that you are true and
0:51teach the way of god truthfully
0:53and you do not care about anyone’s
0:55opinion for you are not swayed by
0:57appearances tell us then what do you
1:00is it lawful to pay taxes to caesar or
1:03but Jesus aware of their malice said why
1:06put me to the test you hypocrites
1:08show me the coin for the tax and they
1:10brought him a denarius
1:11and Jesus said to them whose likeness
1:13and inscription is this
1:15they said caesar’s then he said to them
1:17therefore render to caesar the things
1:18that are caesar’s into god the things
1:20that are god’s
1:21and when they heard it they marveled and
1:24they left him
1:24and went away this is the gospel of the
1:28well you know things are really
1:31interesting and that’s a good way to put
1:33interesting when people who are normally
1:35enemies and at odds with each other
1:37have united together to join forces
1:40could you imagine what a weird thing it
1:42would be in the united states here
1:44if the democrats and the republicans the
1:46sjws and the alt-right
1:48all conspired together to do a
1:51particular thing
1:52we would say something is a foot right
1:55so in order to understand our gospel
1:57text today
1:57you have to understand this the
2:01and the herodians were not on talking
2:04all right the herodians let’s talk about
2:07these guys yeah they’re israelites
2:08they’re genetically jewish
2:10and well here’s the thing they have
2:13bought into and are in full support
2:16of the roman empire and they’re big
2:20guys who have herod’s sign on their yard
2:24there’s no election they just do that
2:25because they love him so much
2:27they are totally buying into this in
2:28fact these are jews
2:30back in the day who are wearing roman
2:32togas have no problem using roman money
2:35while the pharisees everybody knows
2:37about the pharisees
2:38these guys have established their own
2:40righteousness created their own rules
2:42added to the scriptures and they had
2:46they had ought with caesar on a lot of
2:49grounds because number one
2:50caesar worshiped idols caesar also
2:54claimed to be a god on earth and they
2:56were not buying into that
2:58and then the coins that they were
2:59required to give to caesar in their
3:03had the image of caesar on it and the
3:06well their big argument was to even have
3:09one of these in your pocket
3:11is idolatry it’s idolatry there’s a guy
3:15who claims to be god on earth and you
3:17have one of these things
3:18and so they have kept themselves holy in
3:20fact if you remember
3:21there are money changers in the temple
3:23the whole reason why there’s money
3:24changes in the temple
3:26is because you can’t buy a sacrifice for
3:30using that filthy idolatrous
3:33roman money so you had to exchange it
3:36for the holy
3:37temple shekel and so there was always a
3:40little exchange rate and they were
3:41making a little money on the side but
3:42you get the idea here
3:43so here’s the thing these guys are
3:45constantly at odds with each other
3:47they’re butting heads
3:48they’re having debates and of course
3:50everybody in israel
3:52has either chosen one side or the other
3:55and they have concocted the perfect
3:57scheme they are going to
3:59trap Jesus in his words
4:02that’s the idea here we’re going to draw
4:04him onto our
4:06turf we’re not going to let him teach us
4:08god’s word on his terms
4:09we’re going to make him pick a side
4:11which is it
4:12is the pharisees or is it the herodians
4:15and if he answers yes to either
4:17they’re gonna string them up this is the
4:19perfect that you almost see these guys
4:21sitting there
4:21you know in a smoke-filled room kind of
4:24concocting this thing
4:25and then afterwards going this is it
4:27this we’re finally going to get him and
4:28then going
4:31there’s no way out for Jesus now this is
4:33what they’re thinking right
4:35and but here’s the funny part the text
4:37says so when
4:38they plotted how to entangle Jesus in
4:40his talk and then they sent their
4:42disciples the pharisees themselves
4:44wouldn’t even go
4:46so they said to their disciples listen
4:48we can’t be seen in public with the
4:49herodians so we’re sending you guys and
4:51you can see them going
4:52really we have to go and be in public
4:54with herodians yes
4:56and so the disciples of the pharisees
4:58and the herodians then come to Jesus
5:01oh and listen to these words man so
5:03they’re gonna butter Jesus up
5:05you’re gonna make Jesus’s ego just swell
5:09teacher we know that you are true
5:12and you teach the way of god truthfully
5:15and you don’t care about anyone’s
5:17for you are not swayed by appearances
5:23so i mean what are they expecting Jesus
5:25to go wow
5:26it’s about time that you kind of find
5:28figured out how important i am and
5:30all this kind of and that i teach the
5:32word of god truthfully yeah it’s good to
5:34see that you guys have finally come to
5:35your senses
5:37no the text says he saw right through
5:40and detected their malice malice is one
5:42of these things it’s
5:44hatred on steroids it’s hatred to the
5:47point of
5:48murder one way or another so you can see
5:51the setup here
5:52in our day we talk about what do we say
5:54gotcha politics
5:56have you noticed that trump and the
5:58media don’t really get along
5:59and it always seems like whenever
6:01there’s one of those press conferences
6:03that the questions asked by the media
6:05are like those high inside fastballs
6:08designed to bean trump in the head or it
6:11you kind of get so we call it gotcha
6:12politics this is the perfect gotcha
6:15this is not just gotcha politics this
6:17has got your politics and gotcha
6:20all mixed up in one and this is going to
6:22lead to the demise of Jesus and the
6:24whole goal here
6:25is the murder of Christ the pharisees
6:29and the herodians
6:30normally enemies have come to the
6:31agreement Jesus has got to go
6:35he’s got to go so Jesus is aware of
6:38their malice said
6:39why do you put me to the test you
6:42yeah he called him hypocrites because
6:45they are
6:47and so he says show me the coin for the
6:48tax and you can kind of see the the
6:50disciples of the pharisees going
6:52we don’t have one of those we’re not
6:54allowed to have one of those so they
6:55look over to the herodians and one of
6:56the herodians reaches into his pocket in
6:58his toga and pulls out a shiny
7:00new daenerys and goes ting here you go
7:04right so Jesus takes the coin
7:07he says whose likeness and inscription
7:11is this
7:15caesar’s they said to them therefore
7:18render the
7:19the caesar to the things that are
7:23it’s caesar’s money that’s his likeness
7:27give to caesar the thing if caesar wants
7:29it back give it back to him it’s just
7:31it’s his and you sit there and you can
7:34just see their
7:35their heads at this point exploding how
7:37did he get out of this
7:39but that’s kind of the point now with
7:43that i’m going to save the last part for
7:44just a second here
7:46with that we recognize then that when it
7:49comes to earthly governments
7:51the scripture is clear god is the one
7:53who establishes kings
7:55even the pagan ones even the idolatrous
7:57ones even the ones who don’t believe in
8:00even the ones who are atheistic
8:04and things like that god can use them
8:05too and you sit there and go but
8:07but but but they’re evil
8:10yeah uh-huh and what’s your point
8:15you see our prophecy our old testament
8:19did you pay attention to who was
8:21mentioned in that old testament text
8:23fellow by the name of cyrus you guys
8:25remember cyrus
8:26all right see isaiah prophesied about
8:29long long long long long before cyrus’s
8:33great great grandmother was born and
8:37named him by name and chose him he was
8:39the king of persia
8:40who was responsible for releasing the
8:44from their babylonian captivity and god
8:47called this persian king
8:51his messiah that’s what anointed means
8:55that’s how you say it in hebrew meshiach
8:58thus says yahweh to his messiah
9:01to cyrus whose right hand i have grasped
9:05to subdue nations before him and to
9:07loose the belt of kings
9:09to open doors before him the gates
9:12may not be closed and so you’ll note
9:15then here god raised up
9:16cyrus for the purpose of you and
9:20i for our salvation because he played an
9:23instrumental part
9:25by sending the jews back to to israel
9:29after the babylonian captivity well the
9:32remnant that remained
9:33among them were those who were part of
9:36the lineage
9:37of Jesus Christ Jesus’s ancestors were
9:41among that
9:42that group and by sending them back god
9:45was using
9:46cyrus this pagan persian
9:50king to help make sure that you and i
9:53were bled for
9:54and died for that we were forgiven of
9:56our sins and that the messiah would come
9:58to bear so you’ll note then god
10:03kingdoms so then do we pay our taxes
10:06well as the old television show used to
10:09say you bet you’re bippy
10:11we pay our taxes in fact romans 13 says
10:14it this way
10:16let every person be subject to the
10:18governing authorities there is no
10:19authority except for from god
10:21those that exist have been instituted by
10:24therefore whoever resists the authority
10:26resists what god has appointed
10:28and those who resist will incur judgment
10:32so you know render disease are the
10:34things that are caesar what does that
10:35also include well it does include taxes
10:37you’ll see that
10:38but it also includes recognizing that
10:42whoever is in charge has been instituted
10:45by god
10:46now here in the united states we know
10:47that the first week of november
10:49armageddon is going to break out
10:51but at the end of that whoever wins the
10:55will be prayed for in this church
10:59whoever wins the election will be prayed
11:02prayed for and you’ll note then we will
11:05pray that god will
11:06work through that fellow for good
11:09therefore whoever resists the authority
11:11resists what god has appointed those who
11:13resist will incur
11:14judgment rulers are not a terror to good
11:16conduct but to bad
11:18would you have no fear of the one who is
11:19in authority then do what is good you
11:21will receive his approval
11:23four he is god’s servant for your good
11:27but but but but but that guy
11:30doesn’t even believe correctly he has
11:33false ideas he’s a
11:35yeah i know what’s your point the left
11:38hand kingdom is established by god
11:40for the purpose of punishing the
11:44that’s what it exists to do and you’ll
11:47if you pay close attention to what the
11:49government’s all about right
11:50what does the government do well
11:52congress and the senate meet together
11:53and what do they do they make laws
11:56right they make laws so once they make a
11:58law then this is considered legal
12:00and this is considered illegal and those
12:02who break those laws what do they do to
12:05oh they arrest them and they punish them
12:07or they find them
12:09right and so you’ll note then you have
12:11your judicial system set up for the
12:12purpose of establishing
12:14correctly whether or not somebody has
12:15committed a crime or not and then they
12:18end up going to prison or they are set
12:19free you’ll note that
12:21the government spends an inordinate
12:23amount of time
12:24dealing with all the evil in this world
12:28and the reality is this you can be an
12:32you could be a buddhist you’d be a
12:35you could be whatever and still do a
12:38pretty decent job
12:40of punishing the evildoer that’s what
12:42they’re established
12:43to do so render diseases are the things
12:45that are caesar’s
12:46so if you do wrong be afraid
12:50he does not bear the sword in vain he’s
12:52a servant of god
12:53an avenger who carries out god’s wrath
12:55on the wrong doer
12:56therefore one must be in subjection not
12:59only to avoid god’s wrath
13:00but also for the sake of conscience and
13:03who was the head of state
13:05while the apostle paul was writing this
13:09caesar was the head of state the roman
13:14now because of this then you also pay
13:17your taxes
13:18the authorities are ministers of god
13:20attending to this very
13:22thing yep we pay our taxes guess what
13:25i’ll be doing
13:26on april 15th next year regardless of
13:29who wins the election
13:31sending in my taxes right now just so
13:34you know
13:35i wait until the very last minute
13:37because i don’t want the government to
13:38have my money
13:39a moment sooner than they think they
13:41have asked for it
13:42but you get the idea but still the tax
13:45gets written to the united states
13:49and that’s what we as Christians do and
13:51we recognize that by doing this this is
13:52a good work god wills for us to do this
13:55pay to all what is owed them paul then
13:58goes on to say
13:59render to caesar the things that are
14:00caesar taxes to whom taxes are owed
14:03revenue to whom revenue owed is owed oh
14:06and listen to this one
14:08respect to whom respect is owed you mean
14:10i have to show respect to that guy i
14:12didn’t even vote for him
14:13he’s not my president well he actually
14:15he is
14:18so yes respect and honor for whom honor
14:21is owed
14:22so now that we got that sorted out
14:25render to caesar the things that are
14:27and god is the one who has established
14:29that what do we make of what Jesus does
14:32next because this is what i think is
14:36a good way of putting it the ultimate
14:37gotcha but i have to kind of
14:40note here that i’m going to change the
14:42meaning of the word just a little bit
14:45um see Christ says render to caesar the
14:48things that are caesar and to god the
14:50things that are god’s
14:53which begs the question
14:58what is god’s
15:02does that mean send in your tithe check
15:05yeah sow a seed offering to rose bro
15:08no that’s not what this is talking about
15:11at all in fact
15:12using this same imagery
15:16you’ll note that Christ held up the coin
15:18and said whose likeness and inscription
15:20is this
15:21well may i remind you of something quite
15:25regarding our creation regarding our
15:29creation in genesis chapter 1
15:31it says god said let us make man in our
15:36after our likeness let them have
15:39dominion over the fish of the sea over
15:40the birds of the heavens of the
15:42livestock and over all of the earth and
15:43over every creeping thing that creeps on
15:45the earth
15:46so god created man in his own
15:49image in the image of god he created him
15:52male and female
15:53he created them
15:56to render to god the things that are god
15:59is to recognize
16:01that Christ doesn’t want your money
16:04Christ wants you
16:08we were all made in the image and the
16:09likeness of god we belong to him
16:12and granted sin has destroyed and marred
16:16that image of god and that likeness but
16:18you will note that
16:20Christ came to destroy the works of the
16:23to redeem those who were lost
16:26to save us to render to god the things
16:29that are god is to recognize
16:31that god wills for us to love the lord
16:33our god with all of our heart
16:34our soul our mind and strength and to
16:37love our neighbor as ourself
16:40this is what it means to render to god
16:41the things that are god but the thing is
16:43is that
16:43we don’t we haven’t we’ve
16:46woefully fallen short of this and so
16:50we recognize then that the mission of
16:53is to come and to get
16:56us we are
17:00gods you are gods and you’ll note that
17:02these fellows these pharisees their
17:04disciples and the herodians
17:07this isn’t even on their radar they
17:10don’t even
17:11have the things of god in mind the only
17:14thing they care about
17:15well is themselves their power their
17:18false religion their whatever
17:20they’ve lost sight of the fact that god
17:23has called them
17:24to be forgiven and to be merciful to
17:28to render things that are to god the
17:30things that are god
17:32and that’s you so you’ll note then that
17:34Jesus here
17:36is about ready to go to the cross he
17:38according to colossians
17:41is the image of the invisible god
17:44in human flesh and so Christ came to
17:48that image of god and to return us to
17:51god himself
17:52by bleeding and dying for all the ways
17:55in which
17:55we have failed to love god with all of
17:58our heart
17:58our soul our mind and strength
18:02all the ways in which we have thought
18:04that we belong to
18:06and exist for ourselves
18:09how many times have you heard somebody
18:11said it’s my body i can do with my
18:14body whatever i want to do with my body
18:17well it ain’t it belongs to god
18:22and Christ has bled and died for it and
18:24paid for that
18:25paid for you with his own precious
18:28blood so you’ll note here that these
18:32they actually backhandedly spoke the
18:34truth about Jesus
18:36teacher we know that you are true and
18:38that you teach the way of god truthfully
18:41and you don’t care about anyone’s
18:43opinion if you’re not swayed by
18:46this is true Jesus he is
18:49the one who knows what is true and he
18:53about god truthfully and he has made it
18:56clear that he has come
18:57to seek and to save the lost
19:00and we note then that scripture is very
19:02clear that for everyone who believes
19:06that they are no longer under the
19:07dominion of darkness under the power of
19:09the devil
19:10or even under the delusion of their own
19:15or their own self-determination
19:18but instead having been set free and
19:20redeemed from those
19:22we are then adopted into the family of
19:25god and
19:25have the right then to call god
19:28our father as adopted children
19:32so you’ll note this text begins with
19:34gotcha politics
19:35it begins with gotcha theology
19:38but it ends when you consider the
19:40implications of it
19:41with a different kind of gotcha here in
19:44the united states
19:45when a family adopts a child
19:49you have to go to court a judge has to
19:51make it official it has to be approved
19:54and they have a term for that day the
19:56day when the
19:57judge finally puts the gavel down and
20:00the adoption final it’s called gotcha
20:05and so a good way to think about it here
20:06is that what they intended to do
20:08in doing the gotcha with Jesus Jesus by
20:11going to the cross
20:12does the ultimate gotcha
20:15so that they can be forgiven pardoned
20:19redeemed and adopted so that
20:22god can render to god the things that
20:24are god’s
20:25and that’s you and that’s me all done by
20:30through faith because of the great love
20:33that god has for
20:34each of us in the name of Jesus amen
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