Jesus or Caesar?

When offered by Satan, Jesus refused the political power of Rome. So, why do we continue to seek what he rejected? When I became a disciple of Jesus, I was taught NOT to “be unequally yoked” with the world. Yes, conditions around the globe were tragic, but what did we expect from a world order under Satan’s boot? What humanity needed was the good news of God’s kingdom, not another corrupt political ideology.

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Only God’s kingdom will prevail and endure. All other political powers are fleeting, already they are passing away.

Despite human pretensions, history demonstrates the impermanence of political power and governments. Rome endured for a thousand years, but its empire fell all the same. Like life itself, political power is fleeting, and it often collapses quickly and unexpectedly when its allotted time expires. Only the reign and realm of God will last forever.

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Christ’s comment about violence taking the kingdom refers to violent men who attempt to seize the work of God – Matthew 11:12.

In Matthew, Jesus declares that “violent men are seizing the kingdom of God.” Is he referring to malevolent men outside the church who attempt to seize control of the kingdom? Or does he mean Christians must aggressively pray and otherwise press into it? Are disciples to “forcefully seize” the promises from God, and does his kingdom advance through forceful action?

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After his baptism, the Spirit “drove Jesus into the wilderness for forty days and nights.” Like Israel, he was “tested” by Satan, but unlike that nation, he overcame every test and emerged victorious and “full of the Holy Spirit,” and thereby, well-equipped to proclaim the kingdom.

This contest with the Devil determined just what kind of Messiah he was – A mighty conquering hero or the humble Servant of Yahweh. Moreover, his temptation was a vital step in preparing him to become the herald of the kingdom.

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Jesus received complete authority from his Father to reign over the Cosmos. Only his kingdom will endure.

At the height of his power, the absolute monarch of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, boasted before heaven and earth, “Is not this Babylon the great and exceptional kingdom that I built by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” His boast was not an idle one. Babylon was one of the great powers of the ancient world.

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