There is a lot of content in this passage, so I want to sit on just a portion today. I love anytime Jesus has the opportunity in scripture to be tested by the religious leaders. I say this because He always navigates those times brilliantly. In this passage, the scribes and chief priest realize that the parable Jesus had just told was directed towards them (the parable of the wicked tenants).
So the religious leaders decide to trap Jesus. They ask Jesus if it is lawful to give money to Caesar as tribute. Jesus responds by asking who appears on the denarius. Of course it is Caesar. I would imagine that at this point the Jewish leaders probably thought they had Him. But Jesus was not too concerned with their civil and political agenda. He simply says give to Caesar what is Caesars.
But don’t miss this, Jesus is referring to the concept of bearing an image. The coin bore the image of Caesar. So if that is so then give what is in the image of Caesar to him. But He continues to say “give to God the things that are God’s.” Jesus is referring to what is in the world that bares the image of God.
We often talk about the aspect of money in this passage, which is not in itself bad. But we can easily look over what Jesus is saying about who we are. We are created in the image of God. Therefore, should we not give ourselves over to God? We do not belong to ourselves. We belong to the creator who made us in His image. It is a call to humility and to recognizing who God truly is. The Religious leaders were missing this. They were consumed with politics, status, and the condemnation of others.
We give ourselves as tribute to many things in this world. With the reminder today that we are to Give to God what is made in His image (Ourselves). What will you stop giving yourself to today in order to give yourself to God.
By: Dakota Gragg — Student Ministry Associate