Pay up!


Luke 20:21-25
Spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
(This was a trap.  If He said pay the taxes many Jews would see Him as a compromiser willing to support an evil empire that cruelly subjugated them.  If He said, “No”, He could face the wrath of Rome for encouraging insurrection against the empire.)
He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius (a Roman coin). Whose portrait and inscription are on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Jesus says a coin that bears the image of Caesar belongs to Caesar and so it is only right to give it back to him if he asks for it in the form of taxes. Most coins I have seen have experienced some wear. They are nicked, scratched and damaged. Despite the flaws there is still a recognizable, though flawed, image of “Caesar” on the coin or bill.

Scripture says we were made in the image of God. Through the fall of man and the evil of this world that image has been severely marred, perverted and soiled but God’s image can still be seen. Man’s desire to create, his love of beauty, his ability to reason, his sense of morality and many other traits set him apart from the animals and reflect the glory of his Creator. Since we bear the image of God it is only right to render to God what belongs to God.

Created by “Caesar” (the government), coins are loaned to us but ultimately we die and they are passed on to others. Created by God, our body, soul and spirit is loaned to us but ultimately belongs to God and will return to Him. I have to ask myself, “Have I given to God all that belongs to Him or have I cheated on my divine taxes?” I may fool the IRS and “win” but if I try to cheat God I become the ultimate loser.
Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.


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