An Image Problem
As you prepare to read God’s Word today, pray this prayer: “Lord, help me to be open to hear You today.”
Read MARK 12:13-17
 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words.  They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?  Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”  They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied.  Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did the people react to Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees?
So, is it really that simple, then? Divide up your life into what belongs to God and what belongs to “Caesar”—the demands of the world, our boss at work, the government, all the things that press so heavily upon us. Let’s be clear about what Jesus is saying here. The coin he asks the Pharisees to produce is an offensive item to the Jews (though this does not stop them producing one readily when Jesus asks!). It bears the image of their oppressor, and any image was against the Jewish law. Around the edge was the inscription “Son of the divine Augustus,” and on the back “High Priest.” What could be worse?
This is Caesar’s. Let Caesar have it. But if something has God’s image, then by the same token it belongs to him. Each one of us is created in the image of God, and as believers we bear the inscription of the Son of God (see Eph. 1:13). We are God’s, and the whole of our life is his. Like others we pay our taxes and do our jobs—perhaps with more motivation, in fact (see Col. 3:23)! But in all of it we live in a way that honors the one whose name and image we bear.
Is there any part of your life that you are holding back from God? If so, ask God to help you release it to him.
Lord, I know I am made in Your image and belong wholly to You. Help me to always live that way.
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