Great word from The Word from Jesse this morning!
As we dig deeper into this week’s Bible text: Mark 12:13-17, another great lesson from our Lord and Savior from His lips. We read that Jesus answers his persecutors with the infamous words, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Jesus avoided the trick question by showing that believers have dual citizenship. As 1 Peter 2:17 tells us “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” Our citizenship in the nation requires that we pay taxes for the services and benefits the government provides. Our citizenship in the Kingdom requires that we give God our primary obedience and commitment, as Acts 5:29 instructs, “Peter and the apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings.”
We readily accept that Jesus was the only perfect human being in history. We must then understand that He was a perfect citizen, as well, and teaches good citizenship. Teddy Roosevelt said, “The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight.” What more is Jesus asking of us than to “pull our weight” as regards our responsibility to our government. Paul reinforces that attitude in Romans 13:7 when he says, “Give to everyone what you owe them: if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect: if honor, then honor.”
As Christians and God’s followers, we have legitimate obligation to both God and the government. But it is important to keep our priorities straight. When the two authorities conflict, our duty to God always takes priority. The coin with the image of the government should be given to the government; our lives bearing God’s image, belong to God!
Are you giving to God what is rightfully His?