Politics or Religion

Mark 12:13-17


I.          Verse 13 – Christ never talked politics, but constantly talked about his coming kingdom.

A.     Who sent them?

1.       “They”

2.       According to Mark 11:27 – “they” are the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.

B.     Certain of the Pharisees - Scribes – did not believe in paying any tribute to Caesar because they believed they were free Jews.

C.     Herodians – who were of the household of Herod, and, of course, believed in paying tribute to Caesar.

D.     The purpose of these two diverse groups coming together is to trick Christ into saying something they could twist around to a different meaning.

1.       It is amazing that two such diverse groups get together to try to trick Jesus.

2.       They want to trick Jesus because of His influence.

a.       Jesus never talked politics, but always spoke of spiritual matters.

b.       Even though Jesus always spoke of spiritual matters, the unbelievers knew His influence was great in teaching the people how to live Godly, quiet lives.

c.       When people are saved, they want to clean up their lives:

(a)    stop using tobacco,

(b)    stop drinking alcohol,

(c)    stop cursing,

(d)    stop running around;

(e)    begin producing a fair days work for a fair days pay,

(f)     begin to be decent law abiding citizens,

(g)    begin taking care of their own families,

(h)    begin to speak right about everything – work, play, family, government, etc.

II.     Verse 14 – They approach Him with lies and deceit, then apply the trick question.

A.     See verse 15 – They not only ask Him if it is lawful, but whether they should pay it or not.

B.     He asks for a penny as a means of illustration.

III.   Verse 16 – He simply asked them should image was on the coin.


Read the letter from the Christian Coalition.

Read the letter from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Read the letter from Pat Robertson.


IV.  Why are these people after us?

A.     Why were they after Christ?  They were after Christ in exactly the same way they are after us.

B.     They are trying to throw us off track from what the Father wants us to do.

1.       These people know Christ isn’t following them, so they want to discredit Him, thus proving, to themselves, at least, that their way is the best way.

2.       These people really don’t care how they discredit believers, as long as they are discredited.

C.     The influence of Christ was great, in that God caused Him to be noticed.

1.       The influence of Christian people is great because God has given us this influence.

2.       At exit polls from elections, 33% of participants declared they are Christians.  This is the largest voting block in the entire U. S.  If this single group would vote their conscience, or rather the conscience of God, certain people would never get elected, and certain people would always get elected.

3.       The Americans United for Separation of Church and State are trying to scare us.  They are the ones threatening to take away our tax exemption.  And Christians are showing they are more concerned with temporal things than spiritual things by falling for their lies.

4.       The Christian Coalition and Pat Robertson realize how fickle “Christians” are because they continue to encourage them to speak up for truth regardless of the consequences.  Of course, Christians need this.  Mostly because we have one foot in heaven, and the other foot on this earth.

D.     The ways of God are not political, but spiritual.

1.       The ways of the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ is not political, but spiritual.

2.       The ways of the true believers is not political, but spiritual.


Nehemiah 1 – Nehemiah prayed and God granted him the political power to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.  God can and will do the same thing for us.

Daniel was in a situation where he could do nothing, because the time wasn’t right.  He did pray when the time was right.

1.       Daniel 1 – Daniel refused to eat the meat offered to an idol because he knew it would hinder his worship of Almighty God.

2.       Daniel 9:3 – When Daniel understood that the captivity would be 70 years, he did absolutely nothing political, but sought God by prayer (interceding, talking to God about it, perhaps singing to God about it), supplications (earnest prayer), fasting (to do without food), sackcloth (clothing like a feed sack), and ashes (what is left when something is burned).

I Timothy 2:1-4 – God wants us to pray that we will be able to lead a quiet and peaceable life.

Romans 13:1-7 – God’s instructions as to the rightly dividing of politics and religion.