Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at him. Mark 12:17 KJV
Yes, yes, April 15th is approaching, and it is again time to “Render to Caesar.” The Pharisees asked Jesus a “no way out” question about if it was right to pay taxes. A “no” would have angered the Romans, a “yes” would have angered the Jews oppressed by the Romans. Yet, as often is the case, Jesus finds a way in “no way out” situations. He asks, “Whose image is stamped into the coin?” “Caesar’s.” “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Acknowledge Caesar’s authority over his earthy kingdom but acknowledge God’s authority over His Kingdom, both earthly and heavenly, “including” Caesar’s kingdom.
Matthew took it one step further in the NIV translation:
So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. Matthew 22:21
Give back to Caesar but give BACK to God what is His. Our time, our talents, our blessings, and every breath was given to us by our Heavenly Father so it is only right we should return it all to Him.
But then there is Caesar, always Caesar. We spend our 9 to 5 laboring in exchange for our “denarii”, a necessity to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. But what do we do with the time not owed to Caesar? I am guilty of exchanging too much of my “not Caesar” time for more “denarii.”
For the pagan world runs after all such things … Luke 12:39
… and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:39-31
Jesus showed the image of Caesar was imprinted on the coin and returned to him. Yet we are imprinted with the image of Jesus himself, made in His own image. All that we are should reflect Him and all that we do, even to our next breath, should return to Him.
Render to God the things that are God’s.