Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:15–21).
The Jewish nation/leaders were the keepers of the Law and the oracles of God. Blessings like adoption, the service of God, the promises, the sayings of God, and the covenants all belonged to them. Now, they are apostate and determined to get rid of Jesus, the Son of God. To get rid of Jesus is a satanic act! These leaders wanted Him out of their way because He posed the greatest threat to their authority. They had abandoned the ways of God but desperately sought to maintain control of His people. What they were doing no longer was about God, it was about keeping power!
I see frightening parallels in these scriptures and the fix we presently find ourselves in as Christians. All over the world, many Christian leaders have relegated Christianity to a worldly concept! How do we give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s? The answer is staring us in the face! Christian devotion must first be to God and secondarily to other things! Jesus tells us to render to Caesar the things that belong to him, therefore, we are free to do good, but we are to give to God what belongs to Him- things like faithfulness, loyalty, obedience, devotion, honor, and the like (Matthew 22:21). By giving the Lord first place, we will never be conflicted as we face life’s puzzling decisions but be unwavering and determined as we ought to be.
All that is happening in the world is not what we suppose it to be. It is about getting rid of Jesus!
To be continued …