From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” John 19:12
Listen: John 19
The Roman Empire was a first-century world superpower. It stretched through Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and Greece. When we think of the Roman Empire, we often think of the powerful leaders. Men like Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Nero and Caesar Augustus. These were not men to be trifled with and they took themselves and their power seriously.
God in flesh, Jesus is born into this world in a backwoods Roman colony. He begins to speak on a stage that was cluttered with the propaganda of the Roman war machine and the kingdom of Rome. Though he would be completely different from the Roman rulers, the first-century readers of the gospel of Luke couldn’t help but notice the parallels between language used to describe the emperor and the language of the angels announcing his arrival. Words like good news, savior and peace were commonly ascribed to the emperor and Rome. Jesus was redefining and challenging what these words really meant.
This week we will look at how Jesus redefined those words and what it means to be a citizen in Jesus’ kingdom. We will see how Jesus as Caesar radically alters our view of life.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Read Chapter Twelve of the book, A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus underlining things significant to you. Download the lock screen as a reminder of our new citizenship.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.