"Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?" "Caesar's," they replied.” Luke 20:24
Questions serve many purposes. They can aid learning, give background, provide review, pinpoint the source of a problem, or entrap someone. Here we see enemies trying to entrap Jesus with their question. “Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar or not?” If Jesus answered yes, he would acknowledge the foreign power that ruled the land of Israel and alienate those who wanted to break free from Roman domination. If he said no, then His enemies would claim He was a revolutionary set to overthrow the power of Rome.
Jesus responded with a question of His own. Requesting a coin, he asked, “Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” The coin bore the image of Caesar, so they were to “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” He continued in a surprising way. “ … (give) unto God what is God’s.”
The coin bore the imprint of Caesar. That coin could be used to pay civil taxes. We bear the image of God, which implies that we belong to God in our entirety. Jesus responded to a question of civil taxes and authority by turning it into a question of our responsibility to God. As bearers of His image, we are responsible to God, who has the ultimate authority over us.
We are left with a question: Will we give unto God what is rightfully His? Will you acknowledge that His image is stamped on your life? Will you dare to pray these courageous words?
Dear Jesus, I want You in the center of my life and commit, through your power, to serve and obey you. Anytime. Anywhere. At any cost. To do anything. My life is Yours, unconditionally, now and forever. Amen.”
Do you want abundant life on your terms, or His?