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Sermon Title: "Out of the Weeds"
September 10, 2017  
Mark Schloneger
Scripture: Matthew 17:22-27

These verses begin Jesus’ mini-sermon on what would soon be known as the church. In short, this whole section (continuing to the end of chapter 18) teaches that, if we want to have good congregations, we will both limit ourselves and give ourselves to others.

In 17:22-27, Jesus talks to Peter about paying the temple tax. Because a king does not collect taxes from his children, Jesus first indicates that people are free from the temple tax. Although this is left unsaid, we know that Jesus replaces the temple and pays “the temple tax” with his own blood. So, in one sense, Jesus frees disciples from the law and the temple requirements. However, Jesus goes on to say that, at times, this freedom freely limits itself “so as not to offend.” Disciples, then, have a double sense of themselves:  (1) In Jesus, they are free children of God; and (2) Like Jesus, they freely limit their freedom as servants of others.

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