Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on the Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost, October 18, 2020 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn.
Sermon Text: Matthew 22:15-22
Sermon Theme: “The Things of God“
Old Testament: Isaiah 45:1–7
Epistle : 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10
Holy Gospel: Matthew 22:15–22
We Are Recreated in the Image of God by the Cross of Christ
Plotting against Jesus, the Pharisees attempted “to entangle him in his words” by asking about the payment of taxes to Caesar (Matt. 22:15). The Lord pointed to coins required for the tax, and He answered that we should “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21). But if coins bearing the image of Caesar should be rendered to him, then man — who is made in the image of God — must be rendered to the Lord. That tax is paid for us by the Lord Jesus, the image of God in the flesh, by His self-offering on the cross. And from His cross, as the Lord’s anointed, He reigns as the true Caesar over all nations “from the rising of the sun and from the west” (Is. 45:6). The Lord once called and anointed Cyrus “to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings” (Is. 45:1). Now by the preaching of the Gospel, “in power and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:5), foreigners from all over the world are “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9–10).