William Andrew Dillard
That mankind is made in the image and likeness of his Creator: body, mind, and spirit, has been a major preachment in ministry, both of myself, and of others who were studied, Bible preachers. It was therefore a special joy to me to hear Brother Don McCutcheon deliver a strong message on this point from Matthew 22:15-21. How many times have I read the twenty-second chapter of Matthew, and simply passed on with a visualization of what is right to offer to God from our material blessings. Of course, it is right to do that, but so much more is brought home here, and I feel certain the Pharisees and Herodians got the point.
There, on the coin, the tempters presented to Jesus in their attempt to entangle Him in his talk, was exactly what one might expect: a line-drawing likeness of Caesar with letters above identifying him as the emperor and authority of the Roman empire. The question posed was, “Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, or not?” In addition to calling them what they were (nothing wrong with that), Jesus asked for a piece of the tribute they were talking about. When a coin was produced, Jesus simply asked whose image and superscription was upon it. When Caesar was so identified, the answer was brilliant and obvious: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s: and unto God the things that are God’s.”
But are not all things God’s? “All things were made by Him; and without him was not anything made that was made,” John 1:3 tells us. But this was a pitting of material things vs spiritual things, and the answer of Jesus turned it back on the hypocrites. The producer of the coin was Caesar, and the Roman Empire as attested by the image and superscription. So render such to him. Then what is to be rendered to God? The same thing! That is, render to God the bearer of His image and superscription which is yourself: the crowning act of creation as noted in Genesis 1:26-27: mankind! To be in the image of God necessitates a trinity: mind, body, and spirit. This is what Paul affirmed in I Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Every person is to give himself to God! Friends, when that is done, there will be no dilemma or argumentation of what else should be given to God.
Think about it! You are the image and superscription of God! Then, render unto God the things that are God’s!
“What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would give Him a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part.—-
But what I can, I give Him,
Give my heart.”
Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894
Fear of Man
Proverbs 29:25 – The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
Isaiah 51:12 – I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
John 12:42 – Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
There are many signs that show the fear of man. There is not a one of us that want to admit we have fear, especially the fear of not having mans approval. When we have fear, we feel the lack of safety. Mn normally seeks the approval of other men. For many, this fear keeps them from taking a stand. This fear holds them back from doing outstanding deeds. There are some that struggle with this problem all their life. Because of it they do not witness to the lost or take a stand for the truth.
Through Isaiah, God says “I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;”. God always puts things in perspective. Man dies. At present, man lives. While man lives every man makes a fool of himself from time to time. The most knowledgeable says or does something stupid. The most cunning messes up from time to time. If truth is made known, we fear man more than we do God. What keeps us from blessing our meal in public? Fear of man. What keeps us from witnessing about our Savior? Fear of man. What keeps us from standing firm on the truths of the Bible. Fear of man.
Consider that some that know the Lord as Savior do not reveal themselves to others because of the fear of the things that they might have to give up or the worldly pleasures. One of the fears of some Jews that were saved was, they would be pushed out of the synagogue. They were saved but wanted to cling to their past life. Some are like that today.
We need to rise up and dispel the fear and be bold to take a stand for Christ and truth.
Leave a comment
Filed under Commentary, Uncategorized
Tagged as fear, God, Lord, man, pharisees