That which is God’s




Jesus is a friend of sinners, we say.  Absolutely!!  Jesus was never hard or rough on sinners, with one glaring exception.  Jesus was constantly in  conflict with sinners who ran around judging other sinners.  The main group of these was the Pharisees, and here is one of Jesus’ encounters with them.  The Pharisees had all the answers, and knew their bibles front to back.  But their hearts were wrong.  They used their bibles as swords, cutting down all those they felt were wrong.  But they were hypocrites, knowing the letter but not the love.  We see an example of their hypocrisy here, as they challenged Jesus in an attempt to pit Him against the authorities.  
 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”   “Hey Jesus – this little book doesn’t say anything to us about paying taxes!!  We know – we’ve read it front to back to front again.  So what do you think?  Do we have to pay taxes to these authorities or not?”  These guys had no intention of not paying their taxes to Caesar regardless of Jesus’ answer.   Their goal was to get Jesus to say something against the authorities so they could have Him arrested and finally shut Him up.  Unfortunately for them, Jesus was never rebellious to authority.

But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”   Truth – how many of us REALLY wish Jesus had answered this question differently??!!  I do, I do!!!  But seriously, take a closer look at the answer Jesus gave here, the one we might post on Twitter to satisfy 140 characters or less.  “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  So the question posed was about paying taxes to Caesar.  Jesus tells us – whose image is on that money??   Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesars.  It’s really too bad the man who asked this question was simply being a hypocrite and not actually seeking to learn anything from Jesus, because there is an obvious follow up question to be posed.  Give to Caesar what is Caesars – and to God the things that are God’s.  Follow up question he should have asked Jesus – what are the things that are Gods??  We are to pay our taxes, but that extra part you threw in there – what does that mean??  Jesus had asked the question – Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?   Who’s image is on that Denarius?  Caesars image.  Then it belongs to Caesar, give it to Caesar.  

Who’s image is on you??  “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….”  Genesis‬ ‭1:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬.  Give to Caesar that which is Caesars, give to God that which is God’s.  His image and inscription are on you.  You belong to Him.  You are what He wants, all of your heart, mind, body and strength.   Give to God that which is God’s…
“The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭20:19-26‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/luk.20.19-26.esv

 

John Lewis

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