Wait… so are we or aren’t we supposed to pay our taxes? Why or why not? Does God even care about that at all? What did Jesus and the original Apostles think of me paying taxes to a government that does things I don’t agree with? Or is there a deeper question to answer first? (and more importantly, can I get that answer before the filing deadline on April 15???). The short answer shouldn’t surprise you… but the long answer definitely will! Jesus had a definite opinion about government, taxation, and loyalty… but it probably isn’t what you expect or what you may have been taught as a child. So what did Jesus and the Apostles teach about these issues?
To many Christians, the original Apostles can seem like superheroes. They were there to witness the miracles of Jesus. They even did miracles themselves. They were witnesses to the most important events of human history, the death and resurrection of Jesus. And they were empowered to take the Good News of God’s Love, Forgiveness, and Salvation through Jesus Christ to the known world and beyond. They wrote or dictated important documents that would become among the most famous literary pieces in history. Did we mention that they did miracles?
On the one hand, they became great people who said and did great things. But they started as ordinary people who encountered the extraordinary One True God in the form of Jesus Christ. And they were changed by those experiences with Him. Is the same transformation possible for us? And could the results in our lives be similar to the results in their lives? Those are among the questions Pathmakers Church Teaching Team Leader, Joe Meverden, seeks to answer in our Spring 2013 message series titled “They Had Been With Jesus,” an exploration of the letters of Peter and John cross-referenced with their experiences recorded in the Gospels. Attempting to trace the connections between their writings and their recollections of their adventures during Jesus’ ministry on earth may shed some light on who Peter and John were, who they became because of their encounter with Jesus, and what that might mean for us as we seek to follow Jesus in our own lives.
No one who meets Jesus can walk away unchanged (even on trivial matters like taxes). And that is exactly what happened to these two men because… “They Had Been With Jesus.”