Mark 12:13-17 (ESV)
“And they sent to [Jesus] some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. And they came and said to him, ‘Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone's opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?’ But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, ‘Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.’ And they brought one. And he said to them, ‘Whose likeness and inscription is this?’ They said to him, ‘Caesar's.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.’ And they marveled at him.”
This story appears in Matthew 22:15-22 and Luke 20:19-26 also. It is almost the same in all three places—the tale of an encounter concerning the image on a coin.
I’m a big fan of the late Ravi Zacharius and listen to him fairly often. I heard him speak about this passage as part of a question and answer session he did at a secular university. This part about the coin impressed me strongly. But it was Dr. Zacharius’ follow up question he presented to his audience in which he asked in effect, whose or what image do people see when they look at you?
Wow! The Lord Jesus commanded us to give to GOD the things that are His. Are we giving ourselves to GOD (individually and collectively) in a way that others see His image in us—in our person, our social and cultural standings, in our finances, politics and sexuality?
I have room for improvement, how about you?
Notes from the Staff @The Woods