Class Notes: 9/14/2014
Mark 12:13;-Mark 12:14; Jesus validates the believer's responsibility and the coexistence and compatibilitty of the Nation and the Church in His response to the Herodians
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 12:13; where the Herodians and the Pharisees have joined forces to attack Jesus in the temple. In the previous exchange Jesus had sent the chief priests, the scribes and the elders packing after condemning them for their failure to obey God.
Mark 12:13; They didn't stay away long. Net notes 28, 29; This brief alliance between the Pharisees and the Herodians occurred under the principle of the enemy of my enemy is my friend
The Pharisees, were a strictly religious party. They were not opposed to getting political control of Palestine their primary emphasis was religion, and when they joined forces with the Herodians they were in effect establishing the principle of the union of religion and state because the Herodians represented the state.
The Herodians were strictly a political party that supported Herod against the Roman empire and everything else. They were in favor of Herod's rule of the entire Middle East. They were in favor of Herod against Rome, Herod against the Jews, and Herod against everything including Jesus.
The Herodians had seen the demonstrations of Jesus' Messiahship through the miracles, they had heard the things that Jesus said, and they recognized that He was the true heir to the Davidic throne, that He was the son of David, that He had a right to rule, and they were opposed to Him because if Jesus' legitimate claims to the throne were implemented Herod and his would be removed from any possibility of ruling Palestine.
They had no idea that that was not Jesus objective at the time. This is a standard case of arrogance projecting it's own intentions on others and blaming them for things they haven't done or have any desire to do.
So we here we have religion combined with politics in order the get rid of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whenever you have the union of religion and state you have established tyranny and freedom is always destroyed.
This is what the founders of our nation fled from and this is what the world faces with Islam today and it is why to the greatest extent possible it must be defeated and God is giving his client nation another chance to fulfill its responsibility to defeat and subdue it like Charles Martel did in 732 AD.
Mark 12:14; Their use of the word "teacher" (didaskilos) rather than "Lord" (kurios) indicates they are unbelievers. They recognize Him academically; but they do not recognize Him as the unique God-Man, the savior, the Messiah.
They start out with the statement: "we know," and the "we" must be emphasized because they are very proud of their knowledge and their position and they flaunt it.
"We know" is a condescending phrase. (We know that you know a few things but we know more and we are going to prove it!)
Their address " You are truthful and do not look for anyone's favor because you are not a respecter of people and you do not favor any but teach the way of God in truth" is a bunch of hypocrisy designed to try to get him off guard. Net notes 30,31.
This flattery is designed to cozy up to and get the Lord Jesus Christ off guard, because they are trying to get Jesus to make a rash statement against the Roman Empire so they can accuse Him of being a revolutionary agent so they can get the Roman government to execute Him.
"Is it lawful to pay the poll tax to Caesar, or not?" This is taxation. Remember that at the time Judah is controlled by Rome so Rome is in effect divine institution #4 for Judea. They are asking if it is right to pay taxes or not. Caesar represents the Roman Empire and divine institution #4.
This is a loaded question. They are not seeking information; they are trying to ensnare the Lord Jesus Christ so they can destroy Him. They are trying to put the Lord Jesus Christ into conflict with the fourth divine institution that, in this case, would be the Roman Empire.
If the Jewish politicians can get Him into conflict with Rome then they can get the Roman authorities to crucify Him.
Jesus' answer must be understood within the framework of the divine institutions. The principle that they are questioning that we also have today is weather there is a conflict between the nation in which we live on the earth and the spiritual kingdom called the Church that is comprised of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ?
The question is: can a spiritual kingdom coexist on the earth with a political kingdom? In other words, is the Church in conflict with divine institution #4 and, if not, what is the relationship between divine institution #4 and the Church?
For example, in time of war should a believer respond to his country's call to defend it or should he refuse? As long as you have freedoms in a divine institution then the believer in that divine institution has a responsibility to the nation.
If you were a believer living in a totalitarian nation where religion and government are the same you would have the Biblical right and possibly even an obligation to refuse taxation and military service even if they sent you to prison or killed you.
Your first choice should be to flee but if it is too late for that believers have the responsibility to resist by any means they believe is doctrinally appropriate.
For example believers in Hitler's Nazi Germany had the obligation to flee or resist and if they had many would have died but most likely Hitler's evil would have been contained within the nation and not foisted upon the entire world.
This nation was founded on the same basis. The Puritans fled the religious tyranny of the Church and State of England and came here as Pilgrims so they could have religious freedom.
They then fought to maintain that freedom in the war of independence when the same tyranny they had fled from attempted to reassert itself over them in North America.
The same thing may become necessary for us if the socialist statist downtrend in this nation continues unabated and we devolve into a totalitarian state.
The principle is that if you live in a nation where there is a separation of religion and state, and therefore religious freedom you have a responsibility to honor the nation and serve but if you do not God does not expect you to serve.
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