by Marvin D. Patterson

The Christian's Relationship to Church and State
Marvin Patterson
Matthew 22:15-22


One night, Bill Clinton was awakened by George Washington's ghost in the White House. Clinton saw him and asked, "George, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?"

"Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did," advised George.

The next night, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moved through the dark bedroom. "Tom, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?" Clinton asked.

"Cut taxes and reduce the size of government," advised Tom.

Clinton didn't sleep well the next night, and saw another figure moving in the shadows. It was Abraham Lincoln's ghost. "Abe, what is the best thing I could do to help the country?" Clinton asked.

"Go to the theatre."

We are in the final week of the life of Christ, and it is Wednesday Morning. If you will remember, Jesus came into Jerusalem on Sunday morning riding on the foal of a donkey. The people hailed Him with Hosannas, and waved palm branches over Him, and thus we call it today Palm Sunday. We also saw that on Monday, Jesus came back into the City of Jerusalem and cleansed the temple of all the thieves and moneychangers that were taking advantage of the people. He threw them and their tables out of the temple because they had made God's house of prayer into a house of merchandise.

On Tuesday morning, Jesus came back and cursed the fig tree, signifying that God had set Israel aside. Now it is Wednesday morning, and Jesus is freely moving about in the temple teaching the people about the kingdom of God. The religious rulers had questioned Jesus about His authority, and He does not give the source, for He was the authority! Now we see that Jesus has just given three breathtaking parables that were designed to show that since Israel and their religious leaders had rejected Him, now He would reject them. We pick up our reading with the response of the Pharisees to this ...

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