Mar30MonMarch 30, 2020
JOURNEY TO THE CROSS - DAY 6
20 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. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar's.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” 26 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.
GOD AND CAESAR
We have traveled along with Jesus this past week, watching as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and hearing Him weep over the growing crowds. However, His increased popularity was threatening to both political and religious leaders. It’s not often two opposing groups come together to defeat a common enemy, but they did today. With a bit of flattery and a trick question, they hoped to trap Jesus and discredit Him.
If Jesus answered their question by saying that it was not lawful to give tribute (pay taxes) to Caesar, then the Roman government could arrest him as a rebel. If Jesus answered it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, they hoped that public opinion would turn against Jesus as much as people rejected tax collectors.
Can you imagine the hush that went over the crowd as they waited for His answer? Each person would have been straining to hear and see what Jesus is doing with a coin as He spoke. Isn’t it interesting that even coins today each bear the image of someone? Looking at the image on the coin, Jesus affirmed it is right to give to those what is owed them. The Roman government would have agreed. The Jewish leaders knew God’s image is within each person. Genesis 1:27 “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.” Jesus simply reminded them to give themselves to God.
The old denarii Jesus looked at is long gone, but God’s image in each of us will always remain. Lord, help me to see beyond what is temporary and to see every person as Your image-bearer and may our lives look more and more like yours.