October 27, 2007

Whose Portrait Are You?

Luke 20:20-26

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
Luke 20:25


The spies thought that Jesus would have to answer their question in one of two incriminating ways. Either he would have to side with not paying taxes to Caesar, in which case they could report him to the Romans as a trouble-maker; or he would have to side with paying those hated taxes, which would make him unpopular with the local people.

Jesus instead requested a Roman coin. "Whose portrait and inscription is on this coin?" he asked. "Caesar's," they said. "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's," Jesus concluded.

It probably took Jesus' opponents a few moments to realize that he had slipped from their grasp yet again. They had to recall that there is something that really has God's portrait or inscription on it: us! We bear God's image! (See Genesis 1:26-27.) In essence, Jesus' answer to the spies' tricky question was "Go ahead, give to Caesar the coins that bear his image. But be sure to give to God all that bears his image-your very selves." It was a brilliant answer that satisfied both Roman and Jewish concerns, rendering the devious little trap useless.

Jesus' answer also reminds us of a truth that very few of us explore deeply enough: All that we have and all that we are belong to God.

Are you giving it all back to him?

<p>Dear God, help us to be the best stewards we can be of the houses, cars, bodies, time, and health you give us-even of our very lives, Lord. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.</p>

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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