The Most Important Vote You’ll Ever Cast

3467332_zThe religious leaders came to Jesus, hoping to trip him up (Mark 12:13-17). Tiberius Caesar, a brooding paranoid who regularly executed those who challenged him, was ruler of the most powerful nation in the world, and was considered by many to be “what’s wrong with this country.” So the leaders asked Jesus, “To whom should we pay taxes?” implying that it would be wrong to support such a government. Indeed, democracy collapsed under the reign of the Caesars, and immorality reached the level of madness—the number one form of entertainment was gladiatorial battles to the death, accompanied by the public rape, torture, and murder of foreigners and other undesirables.

Jesus pointed to the tribute coin and asked, “Whose image is this?” “Caesar’s!” they spat back. “Well, then,” Jesus replied, “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Was he saying, “The Romans are good guys, so do what they tell you to do”? Hardly. He was saying, “You can’t get the freedom you’re looking for from any human government. You can only get it from God.”

My country is in the midst of a virulent mid-term election. Each of the leading political parties, and its candidates, is considered by the opposition to be “what’s wrong with this country.” They may or may not be right. But whoever’s image ends up imprinted in the media, it’s God’s image that is imprinted on us (Genesis 1:27), and real freedom can only be found in him. So vote for the best human you can.

But render to God what is God’s.

true-freedom

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to The Most Important Vote You’ll Ever Cast

  1. Cindy Aten says:

    For me as a Christian, its even more important than who is the best human. It is to understand how that person’s position lines up with the will of God as expressed through his Word. I cannot vote for any candidate that supports abortion on demand.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. joyroses13 says:

    Thank you for these words right now, it is tumultuous times! My stomach is already whirling inside wondering what the results will be and what that means for the next 2 years!! BUT…the one thing I need to tell myself it that none of this surprises God! He knows all and He still rules above all!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: The Most Important Vote You’ll Ever Cast – Smart Christian.net

  4. Good words, Mitch. Good words.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. JOY journal says:

    A voice of reason! Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. stolzyblog says:

    Interesting interpretation you give. I think about the meaning of this differently.

    First off, I operate with no assumptions, if possible. So… I have no information that many considered Tiberius to be what is wrong with the Roman Empire (at the time of the related gospel story). Also, I do not colorize the dialog, imagining that “they spat back…” I simply want to receive what spiritual message is there. Finally, I certainly do not suppose that any form of democracy had ever been toppled during the history of Rome with it’s emperor system.

    But these are asides; how do I think on the story?

    It relates back in a way to the original three temptations Christ encountered during the wandering in the desert, shortly after incarnating into the body of Jesus at the baptism by John. Specifically, one temptation, the final one I believe, had to do with the role of ‘money’ in earthly culture, and Satan lorded his power and command over ‘silver’ within the earthly affairs of men, including it’s corrupting influence upon human work. What Christ is telling the questioners is to keep well distinguished the matters of spiritual and monetary matters. (In direct opposition to contemporary “prosperity theology”, which is anti-Christian) The state functioned as the power which governed money flow in those times, as it has a considerable hand in doing now. Christ tells that there is no contradiction, under the present circumstance wherein economic life is unspiritualized, between adhering to the state’s laws regarding taxation and carrying an inner spiritual devotion to what is eternally true. This is a temporary disharmony which must be lived through (and we still are).

    There is often confusion — materialsm in fact — between practical earthly monetary matters on the one hand and spiritual matters within the gospels. This is heavily reflected in the ideas of some theologians who see Jesus as some form of political revolutionary for the Hebrews. Nothing could be crazier. Not of this world. Not of this world.

    This is how I see it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Stolzy (sorry, I’m not sure if that’s actually your name), I do indeed “colorize” dialogue at times, although in this case it’s based on what we know about the Jewish leaders’ feelings about the Caesars (and Jewish views at the time that the Roman coinage they were forced to use was idolatrous). My statements about Tiberius are based on historical commentaries. The “democracy” I refer to is the previous Roman Republic which had been replaced by the Roman Empire. Re. Jesus’ take on materialism, I agree very much with what you say, although (as I’ve indicated above), I don’t see Jesus stopping there; when he says “give to God” he’s criticizing them for practicing manmade religion while their hearts are far from God. I’m curious about your statement re. Christ incarnating into Jesus at his baptism: what, if you don’t mind my asking, is your theological orientation–Christian Science, Religious Science, Unity Church, or?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. numrhood says:

    missing mark 12:11

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Nancy Ruegg says:

    “Vote for the best human you can” is challenging, with all the disparaging campaign ads that often bend the truth, omit an important part of truth (skewing understanding of the issue), or downright lie. And where are the objective voices to keep us rightly informed? Most of them have also polarized. I say AMEN to Joyroses13’s comment above: “None of this surprises God! He knows all and He still rules above all!” Our prayers are for those who ARE elected, that they might lead with honor, wisdom, and selflessness.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ron Whited says:

    Thanks Mitch. Always nice to hear “a voice of reason” among so much vitriol.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. pastorpete51 says:

    Thanks my friend. Nice perspective on election eve. Yes God’s image is the one we are supposed to bear and our hearts are what we should render to Him. Happy voting – blessings

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The Second-Rate Scientist says:

    Amen! Great reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Very well said, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Roos Ruse says:

    Pray. Vote. Repeat daily. Amen.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Excellent Mitch! Help us to remember to keep God first, not politics. Amen.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    Just keep praying. The Lord is at work.

    Gary

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Solacebrother/blogspot says:

    I had to share this

    Liked by 2 people

  17. heatherjo86 says:

    I refrain from voting especially after really researching Matthew 4:8-10 and Luke 4:5-8. These verses detail a conversation between Jesus and Satan. Satan offers Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world and their authority for one act of worship. Jesus of course refuses stating that it is Jehovah only you must worship. The most interesting thing is that Jesus never disputes that Satan owns these kingdoms. In Luke it says they were delivered or handed over to him. 1 John 5:19 says that the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one. This would explain why there is so much corruption, greed and dishonesty in politics. After meditating on these verses I had to ask myself “who am I truly supporting when voting for either candidate. Jesus’ Kingdom is not from this source (John 18:36) so I don’t feel as though I should participate.

    Liked by 2 people

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