The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 9

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. "Why are you trying to trap me?" he asked. "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it." They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"

"Caesar's" They replied. Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." (Mark 12: 15b -17, NIV).

On the surface, the issue in this passage seems pretty straightforward; is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? But there was a deeper issue involved, and Jesus used the opportunity to teach a fundamental truth about responsibility to God.

Having been brought a coin, Jesus asked them whose image appeared on it. When they correctly answered, "Caesar's", Jesus responded, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's."

This brings us to the question: What are 'the things that are God's'? Presumably, whatever bears the image of God! Jesus was saying to them "Give your money to Caesar; it has his image on it, and thus belongs to him. But give yourselves to God. You bear His image and you belong to Him".

Because every human bears the image of God (even though it has been damaged and tainted by sin), everyone has sensitivity to spiritual things. Everyone human being (yes that includes the unsaved!) therefore possesses the potential for fellowship with God. This potential for fellowship with God is actualized at the time that we "believe in the one whom He sent". This is the 'new birth' that Jesus spoke about (John 3: 3 -18). It is not belief in a system or a philosophy or in 'being good'. It is belief IN HIM for our salvation. He is the way. There is no other. The New Testament makes it clear that after the new birth, God will restore the image that was damaged through The Fall. It indicates that He will even build upon it and go beyond it (2 Cor. 3:18).

You bear the image of God; and as a believer, you belong to him, not potentially but actually! Commitment, devotion, loyalty, and service - all of which must be enshrouded by love for Him and your fellow believers - these are the things that those who bear the image of God must render to Him.

Worth thinking about?



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