When is a parasite not a parasite? When it is dead. A parasite is dependent upon someone else while it lives. This is true of plants and animals. It is also true of human beings. People detest the thought of being parasites and yet no-one is truly independent. In the fullest sense, we are all dependent upon God for it is in Him that we live and move and have our being.

A parasite must cling closely to the one that supplies its life. If we depend upon God, then it is to God that we must stay close. If we put our trust in the world then it is to the world we will cling.

Some have felt that since we live in this country and receive its benefits that it then becomes our duty to support it actively. To do less than this would cause us to become parasites, these sincere but misguided people contend.

This is very poor logic. Receiving the benefits that automatically accrue to those that live in a particular city, county or state is not wrong, although the recipient had nothing to do with making the laws that made the benefits possible.

Certainly, Republicans enjoy the benefits of a Democratic Administration as do Democrats a Republican one. They all accept the privileges voted by the other party, even though they might have voted against the bill that provided them. Politicians do not look upon themselves as parasites when in reality they are the biggest parasites of all. Why is it that these same people will look with scorn upon one who is faithful to a higher form of government and to a king who hasn’t yet been crowned? Those poor souls who want to be popular with everyone fall for those who urge them to vote or else they will be parasites.

When Jesus was challenged, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread,” he did not do it, and yet he was the Son of God. He did not have to do wrong to prove he was God’s son.

We do not have to do wrong by playing a part in the activities of this present world which is so soon to be broken in pieces by the King of Kings, to prove that we are not parasites. Of course we are parasites. So is everyone else.

The world decides who they want to follow and then they attach themselves to this or that party of man. In doing so they are parasites.

We, as children of God, have decided to cling to our Saviour and so we have made our choice and cling to the Lord. Without him, salvation is impossible for us. We shall never do it alone. We are dependent upon him. We are therefore parasites in that our life comes from him.

While we live in this country, we enjoy the protection of the fire and police departments and this is fine, Paul took advantage of his Roman citizenship without being active in the politics of Rome. Jesus taught us to pay our taxes and to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. Paul instructed us saying, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil”. If everyone was like us, there would be no need for a police department.

Certainly Paul received the advantages of Roman citizenship without casting one single vote for Caesar. That night when Paul left Jerusalem bound for Caesarea surrounded by 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen and 200 spearmen, he was receiving the best protection available; those soldiers were commanded to protect Paul, and protect him they did, in spite of the fact that Paul’s allegiance belonged not to Rome but to Christ.

We either belong to the world or we belong to Christ. We cannot belong to both. If Christ is our King then we will refuse to do more for the worldly rulers than to render to all their dues: “tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour”. For we have put on the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore we will “not make provision for the flesh”.