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Mark 12:13-18

Mark 12:13-18


Series: The Gospel of Mark
Sermon: God, the Owner of Man
Bible Passage: Mark 12:13-18

I. Pharisees reluctantly paid tax to the Romans; Zealots refused to pay tax

II. Herodians happily paid tax to the Romans

III. The purpose of their coming to Jesus was to trap Him so that they would accuse Him

1. Is it lawful to pay tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? (14b-15a)
2. If Jesus had said “yes,” they would have branded Him as “anti-Jew” and if He had said “no” they would have branded Him “anti-Roman”
3. To a Jew, the image in a Roman coin amounted to idolatry
4. The inscription “Tiberius Caesar, son of the divine Augustus” amounted to blasphemy

IV. The readers of Mark were in the midst of major Roman domination and split in their loyalty

1. Christianity was not anti-government
2. God’s people have an obligation towards human authorities (cf. Rom 13:1-7; 1 Tim 2:1-3; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Pet 2:13-17)
3. Jesus was not one among the revolutionary Zealots—so are Christians
4. And Jesus and Christians are not anti-government

V. Jesus’ question “Whose is this image and superscription?” alludes to Gen 1:26-27

VI. Caesar’s image in a Roman coin claims his ownership of his coin

1. Caesar is the owner of it
2. Therefore, it belongs to him though it was in circulation

VII. Man is created in the image of God

1. Man belongs to God
2. What belongs to God must go back to God

VIII. Jesus teaches that man carries God’s image and therefore, must be given back to God

IX. Mark illustrates giving by highlighting different incidents:

1. The widow who gave 100% to God (Mark 12:41-44)
2. The nameless woman who broke the alabaster jar (Mark 14:3-9)
3. Jesus gave Himself on the cross (Mark 15:37)

Take Away:

Give yourself to God completely

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at