“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
Listen: Matthew 6
Caesar didn’t make a small claim on the lives of his citizens. He expected total allegiance. Jesus recognized you can’t serve two masters either (Matthew 6:24). You either swear allegiance to him or you do your own thing. At the end of Chapter Twelve, John Dickson writes in A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus that “the imperial descriptions of Jesus remind us that he is Lord over all things…He has claims, so the New Testament insists, over my finances, my career, my politics, my sex life, my intellect, my leisure, my ambitions, and my family. In short, confessing Christ as emperor is about giving him free reign in one’s life.”
The big idea of Jesus’ kingdom is that we all have to answer the question: Who is your ruler in life? Naturally, we are going to give our allegiance to our culture and to our selfish nature. But Jesus is calling us away from that. He is asking us to follow him and live the life we were created for (John 10:10). That’s the thing about Jesus as Caesar—he’s the perfect Caesar. He isn’t power hungry or an egomaniac. His instructions help us be better people. We can choose to serve a ruler who is on our side.
When we choose Jesus as our ruler, we begin a new life. When the old allegiances flare up, we need to remind ourselves that’s not who we are. When we are wavering between being obedient or not, we can stop and say “That’s not who I am.”
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Baptism is the public symbol of a life surrendered to God. When you are baptized, you publicly state before your friends and family that you have placed your trust in Jesus. You tell them that you are leaving your old allegiances behind and are wholly devoted to God. If you haven’t been baptized, visit adabible.org/baptism today to sign up for baptism to publicly declare your allegiance to Jesus. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.