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SERMON SUMMARY: It’s no secret that our nation is deeply divided. Anyone who dares to speak publically to a political issue can expect applause from some people and ire from others. So how did Jesus respond when asked to take sides in a political argument, especially one involving taxes, authority, and the role of the government?  Come find out this week as we return to our series on the Gospel of Mark.



Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.

—Jeff Sessions


But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

—Acts 5:29



Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;

   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.


3 Put not your trust in princes,

   in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;

   on that very day his plans perish.


5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,

   whose hope is in the Lord his God,

6 who made heaven and earth,

   the sea, and all that is in them,

who keeps faith forever;

7     who executes justice for the oppressed,

   who gives food to the hungry.


The Lord sets the prisoners free;

8     the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;

   the Lord loves the righteous.

9 The Lord watches over the sojourners;

   he upholds the widow and the fatherless,

   but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.


10 The Lord will reign forever,

   your God, O Zion, to all generations.

Praise the Lord!



Mark 12:13–17

13 And they sent to [Jesus] some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. 14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” 15 But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.



Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to glory of your Name. Amen.