For whatever reason, many today, as has been the course of history, try to catch Christians in a moment in which they can discredit them of their claims. This is much like what we see in Matthew 22 when the Pharisees found a moment of what they perceived as weakness for Jesus and attempted to discredit him and cause uproar.
In Matthew 22 we see Jesus telling a parable of a wedding feast, encouraging the people in attendance with a story of a King who was willing to let any come to the wedding feast of his son after the original guests of the wedding were no-shows. This story that Jesus told included that a man who did come did not come dressed for the wedding and was cast out as well. In verse 15, we see the Pharisees attempt to cause uproar and find reason to discredit Jesus.
“Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.” – Matthew 22:15-22 (ESV)
They ask Jesus whether you should pay taxes to Caesar, and Jesus makes a bold statement that we must dig deeper into to see what He was really saying. Jesus asks for a coin, and turns the question back to them asking who is depicted on the coin. The answer comes from the men, “Caesar;” Jesus then replies for them to give Caesar what is Caesar’s and give God what is God’s.
What Jesus was saying here was that the coin has the picture of Caesar on it so give it to him, but upon further look, Jesus was making the same statement of us in the second part of His answer.
Jesus was bringing it back to God in a way that we often miss in this account from scripture. In Genesis we see that God says, “Let us make man in our own image.” Jesus is reminding them of this when he says, “Give God what is God’s.” He was saying, you bear the image of God, so in the same way you should give to Caesar that which is his and pay your taxes; you should give to God your life because you were created in His image.
I challenge you today in this. Take a look at your life and see if you are living as you should. Are you giving to God what is His? Are you living a life that exemplifies Christ and embraces the image in which you were created? As we see here, we were created in the image of God, so just as Jesus said to give to Caesar that which is his, we must do the same with that which is God’s. That which belongs to God is each one of us, because we are created in His image, we are created with His likeness upon us, and our lives belong to Him. Live today like you are the image of God.