Will God be present in our lives? Redefining “Kingdom”, Daniel 7:9-14 You see, we truly do have enough money, somehow, for our highest priorities. Jesus is not suggesting that there are two kingdoms, the sacred and the secular. But the text itself provides no clue as to what was meant. No, their taxes were shipped off to Rome for the most part and funded whatever the Emperor needed to fund in the Imperial city. Thus, by eliciting from his opponents a coin with a graven image, Jesus discredited them with at least some in the crowd. Built on It can dominate our lives, but it is only temporary. The coin bearing Caesar's image set up Jesus' second move, the famous saying itself: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.". Everything belongs to God. Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” It was, of course, an image of Caesar (presumably of Tiberius, the current Caesar). That led the Pharisees and Herodians to think they could trap Jesus. What belongs to God? Only Caesar had the right to mint coins. Our loyalty to our governments is limited and relative. We will be voting soon in an important election. The word "render" means "give back." We can give the government what it is owed in taxes, but that is the extent of what we owe to it. Because He trusted in God’s love and care, He willingly gave up all that He had and all that He was. When we accept God’s grace and put it to work in our lives, then we can understand how loving God is. Taylor Meador Fuerst, “Rabbit Trick.” Retrieved from. Moreover, its inscription heralded Tiberius as "son of the divine Augustus" (that is, son of a divine being) and would have been offensive to many Jews. It's Time to Relax and Get a Good Night's Sleep, Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Beliefnet’s Partners, From time to time you will also receive Special Offers from our partners. Do we show up for community meetings to speak out either for or against a particular issue even though we may be ridiculed or do we just not go at all because we don’t believe our voices won’t make a difference? Jesus also said, “Give to God what belongs to God.” The Bible says that we were created by God and that we were created in the image of God. What belongs to Caesar, and what belongs to God? Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Rather, in this passage as in several others, we see his deft debating skill. But this prompts us to ask ourselves, what does belong to God? He is suggesting that loyalty tends to be accompanied by hope. Jesus wasn’t after Caesar’s money or kingdom or anything prized by the world. It neither claims taxation is legitimate nor gives aid to anti-tax activists. Required fields are marked *. It deserves appropriate respect in the political and government sphere, but it is limited and part of God’s larger world. God's Plan, See God's love and power, his presence and purpose in your life everyday, Zephaniah 3:14-20 The c... read more. I think the resentment comes from several places. We bear the image of God. But what about God? Our first allegiance is to him. David F. Sellery, “Gotcha.” Retrieved from, Scott Peterson, “Matthew 22:15-22.” Retrieved from, The Rev. Most of us don’t want to pay taxes, but we want to have money and use it as we wish. We rightly curse the government when it makes wrong or unethical decisions. They hoped Jesus would state that obvious truth and provide an “on the record” statement which they could then use against him to have him arrested by the Romans for sedition, because he was promoting non-payment of the Roman tribute tax. Has anyone ever asked you a question that there just wasn’t any way to answer it without getting yourself into trouble? We are a currency, stamped with the image of God. We thrive not because of what we accomplish, but because of who we’re connected to. We were created in God’s image, and Jesus calls on us to return to God all that we are and all that we have been given. Then Jesus goes one step further than they anticipated. Jesus was gaining great popularity among the Israelites. And keeping with Jesus’ line of thought, what is it that bears the image of God? Jesus was after what belonged to God because Jesus was God. They were hoping, and expecting, that Jesus would insist that no, it was not a right, or righteous, thing to do to pay the tax to Caesar. So, like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, we stand accused by His words. Just as we are to give to governments what belongs to them, we must give to God what is His, especially our love and obedience. By the dwelling of the Spirit within us, we have the power to live as Jesus did, to walk in God’s way. There is no tax spreadsheet, no calculation that reduces who we are to numbers and percentages. Do we measure the financial wealth of our churches rather than the level of sacrificial service we offer?

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