Monday, September 12, 2005

Give to God what is God's

Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and give to God that which is God's.
It's the answer with which Jesus outsmarted those trying to trap him. But is that really all he was trying to do? Outsmarting us sinners, so blinded by our own self-centered natures, is not a very difficult thing to do. I imagine we're very much missing Jesus' point. Every sermon I've ever heard on this subject, every time I've ever heard it quoted, was about giving to Caesar that which is Caesar's. But what about giving to God that which is God's? Jesus did more than try to side-step a trap; he also tried to open our eyes. It was a short exchange between Jesus and those trying to trap him:

"Is it lawful to pay taxes?" they asked him.

"Show me the coin for paying the taxes," he said to those trying to trap him. "Whose name is on it, and whose image?"

"Caesar's," they replied.

"Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and give to God that which is God's."
What has Caesar's name on it and Caesar's image? The coin. When it was made, it was stamped with his name and image. Give it back to Caesar. It's his doing anyway; it's only fitting that we give it back to him.

What has God's name on it and God's image? We do. We have God's name on us. We are made in God's image. The thing that has God's name and God's image, the thing that's supposed to be given back to God -- that's us.


Word by Word said...

Great point! The only teaching I've heard on this subject is in regards to paying taxes and of course the tithe. But you make the excellent point that the tithe is not just about money. We are Christians that means we bear the name of Christ. We should give ourselves away for Him. We are supposed to represent all that He stands for. We're not only called to give of our money but our time and talent as well.

Great blog. Keep up the good work!

Paula said...

Oh, you are a man after my heart. I taught this in my singles small group last year. You should have seen their faces. What a revelation it was for them. Good insight (and not just because you agree with me! haha).