Jonathan's Perspective  

Jul 31

'Taxes and the Image of God'

Every once in a while you get a new insight that makes you say, 'Wow, I've never thought of that before.'  That happened to me when I was reading Luke 20:20-26 in which Jesus is being asked about paying taxes.  Jesus said to those who were trying to trap him:

"Show me a denarius.  Whose image and inscription are on it?" "Caesar's," they replied.  Jesus said to them, "Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

I usually say, 'Touché!  Jesus showed them.'  Sometimes I get caught up in the fact that Jesus won the verbal sparring match with his enemies and I fail to see what he is teaching his followers.  Jesus goes beyond saying that paying taxes is proper. Why did Jesus follow up 'give unto Caesar what is Caesar's' with 'give unto God what is God's'?  He didn't need to in order to answer his accusers and make his point.  However, Jesus wanted to teach a greater truth, and that truth hinges on the coin's portrait.

Jesus made his point about paying taxes by focusing on whose portrait is on the coin.  The coin with Caesar's face was created to serve Caesar's kingdom.  When Jesus broadens the conversation, it begins to take on a whole new meaning.  The implicit question we must answer is: where do we see the portrait of God?  The answer lies in human beings. 

'God created humanity in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.' (Gen 1:27)

What Jesus really seems to be saying is that God has claim on our whole lives since his portrait - his image - is on us.  Everything we are and do should serve God's Kingdom.  God requires our whole selves to order our relationships, our businesses, our families, and our communities in a way that pushes back the chaos and reflects the beauty and truth of the Kingdom of God. 

God claims much more than a little of our money.  God claims our whole being!  How is God calling you to serve his Kingdom?  What area of your life or relationships needs to be in better order to reflect God's good Kingdom?  God never leaves us on our own to accomplishes this; He has given His very self through the Holy Spirit.  When you seek God's voice in prayer, and follow the Spirit's lead you will see His "Kingdom come, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Seeking Life that is Truly Life,

Jonathan

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