The Days of Caesar

The Days of Caesar

Sun 20 Apr 2008 PM

Luke 2:1 - “In the days of Caesar Augustus there went out a decree that: all the world should be taxed.”

What was going on in the world, when God chose to reveal Himself in Jesus?
Audio Transcript

Sometimes we need theological teaching, and sometimes we just need a reminder of what God's word says about how to make a sandwich, you know what I'm saying?

I realise that in my walk with God, we needed to start challenging folks to not be a group of people on their way to heaven one day - although that's true.

Instead be a group of people who reveal God to everybody that comes in their contact, who actually minister the kingdom of God everywhere they go.

That tonight after church, if you were to go to KFC, that everybody who works at KFC would know that they've been touched by the power of God - not because you went in there and went weird; but because you went in there and were kind and compassionate, gracious, and slow to anger, and abounding in love.

I'm just challenging us as a collective people; what would happen if your city thought: they meet people's needs; like, they reveal God!

Individually, the sign that we wear around our neck, determines how people treat us; and the sign you wear around your neck corporately, will determine how people respond to you.

How many of you know people, and they have a sign around their neck that says: don't mess with me? You don't mess with them! Then those same people, a lot of times, get mad because no one talks to them!

I was hanging out with some rich people, at this really expensive art gallery, and I was like a fish out of water man! I looked the part, and I dressed the part, and I was with the social group that was the part... but how many of you know, once you're in it, it's kind of like: this is so obvious I don't belong?

The artist/salesperson was going around person to person, and they were trying to sell us art for our living rooms, and they'd walk around - it was very high pressure. I was listening to what they were saying, and they were using words and stuff I didn't understand. There was this real high pressure situation; so I'm looking at one of the pictures, and it said ‘3600’ so I assumed that was $3,600 (and not $36.00). So I'm going: oh man, what am I going to do here? I'm going to have to tell this lady no - and then she's going to be mad at me. I thought: can I pretend?

I thought: how can I get this lady off my back? She had never heard me talk before; so she came over said: hi, do you like this picture? I said (in a Southern accent): Hi there - Is this picture $36.00 or $3,600? I had this wild look in my eye - and she went: um, $3,600 - for a picture! You gotta be evermore kiddin' me!

She said: well sir, this would be a nice accent to your living room I'm sure. I said: listen here lady, I'm from Goose Creek, South Carolina; and I said: I don't know much about acrylics or oils or water colours - I know crayons!

I said: I'm gonna tell ya somethin' - I need somethin' for my living room. You got a big deer head stuffed full o' somethin' I can hang up? Or maybe a Budweiser sign or somethin' I can just hang right there in my livin' room? She said: no sir. I said: well that's alright then, I'll just look around.... She never messed with me the rest of the night - because of the ‘sign I was wearing around my head’ which said 'uneducated redneck'!

So my question to us tonight, the thing I want to challenge us with, is this: are we people who are content with going to heaven one day; or are we people who are committed to bringing heaven to earth to everybody around us?

One way we could do that, is with the sign around our neck - and I want to talk about one aspect of that tonight, by looking at the Christmas story in, Luke 2:1.

Main Message

Luke 2:1 - “In the days of Caesar Augustus there went out a decree that: all the world should be taxed.”

I started going back and looking at what it meant to live ‘in the days of Caesar Augustus’. What was going on in the world, when God chose to reveal Himself in Jesus? What was going on in the world around Him?

Well, the world was being ruled by the Romans; and the Romans had done something spectacular. They had established an empire that stretched from Spain to India. With no electricity, no internet, no phone, no massive way of communication, they established an empire that stretched all the way across Europe, and straight into India. It was one of the biggest leadership marvels ever.

Keywords: turn the other cheek, third way, rabbi with the third way, wheels within wheels, Caesar, Roman empire, Augustus, Germanicus, Pompey, Cassius, Magdala, Varus, Julius Caesar, Octavius, Caligula, Tiberius,Vespasian, Domitian, Advent, Christmas, peace on earth, goodwill to all men, kingdom of peace, turn the other cheek, angels