Jesus said to them, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, render unto God the things that are God's.” And they marveled at him. Mark 12:17
You will recognise Jesus’ response to the question: Tell us then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? It was asked in order to trap Him as an enemy of the Roman occupation of Jerusalem. While the question was asked specifically about taxes, the context was the brutal occupation of the Jewish kingdom. I see a parallel to the current turmoil in Hong Kong. This is the classic two Kingdoms issue: The World and The Eternal.
Today, there are many different opinions, "sides" of the issues, and even conspiracy theories that are floating around. Island ECC's position and actions are well known so I am not focusing on the protests.
Why it is important to emphasise the spiritual is because you like me have been asked or perhaps will be asked why Christians respond in certain ways to temporal events. The classic definitions of temporal from Merriam-Webster is: of or relating to time as opposed to eternity; of or relating to earthly life, or lay or secular rather than clerical or sacred.
Obviously we live in a temporal world so it is important to see and respond to temporal events with a spiritual focus. The classic “what did Jesus do” / “what would Jesus do” evaluation is a great tool as is the so-called “Golden Rule” as written in both Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31: So in everything, do to others what you have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and Prophets.
We should also remember that our temporal life is a testing opportunity for us to treat and love others as we love ourselves. Further, please recognise that there are obligations to the state that do not conflict with our obligations to God.
I pray that each of us thanks the Lord daily for focusing our lives in the eternal.
Let us focus on the spiritual and not on the temporal by:
- Praising God for being loved, the only God from the beginning until the end.
- Pray that we would treat others, as we would like to be treated.