“He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’ ” (Mathew 22:21)
In response to the religious leaders asking if it was OK to pay taxes to Caesar, Jesus said, “Yes.” His answer clearly indicated that Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world. It exists within this world and within varying governments. There is no Christian nation. There may be more Christians in one than another, but Christians live in a Kingdom without borders. We are citizens of Jesus’ Kingdom that is Spiritual and Eternal. The governments of this world come and go, but His lasts forever. We live faithfully to the world government we are under as long as it does not infringe on our being citizens of His Kingdom. Then we stand, to the point of martyrdom if necessary, to oppose evil.
It is hard for us to believe sometimes that Jesus didn’t want us to set up a Christian world government, but He didn’t. We are not capable of such an endeavor. Our sin destroys such an effort sooner or later. It is not long until we begin “lording” it over others because they are not fitting into our vision of a utopia. No! Our Kingdom is not of this world. It is with Him. We live in a sinful, fallen world. We seek to lift it up but are not surprised if it falls because we are in it. May the Lord help us live our lives as the aliens we are, under the world government we are a part of. But we remember, our Kingdom is not of this world!
Heavenly Father, we are first and foremost members of Your Kingdom, which is not of this world. And yet we live in this world and are called to live as Your children in obedience to You. Strengthen us to stand for all that is Your will in the nation we live in. You hold the answer to meaningful life here and in eternity. May we live each day bringing You Glory.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.