Render Unto Caesar

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

Gospel – 6/1/21 – Mark 12:13-17

Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”

Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”

So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.

While we are called, ultimately, to seek our place with God, we still must live in this world.

In this world, there are laws which must be obeyed as long as they don’t cause you to deny that natural law we know as that which is written on our hearts – God’s Law.

Today, there are those, Pharisees and Herodians who don’t follow that natural law but instead, they are about greed and deceit. They are so much in the World they don’t even recognize God’s Word before them. So, they try to trick Jesus into saying something against the laws of the World.

But Jesus is too human (good and natural) and not enamored of worldly things. He asks them for a coin which is used in the world.

Here he simply tells them, and confounds them “again”, that while in the World you must obey the laws of the world but you must always honor God by paying him what we owe him – our love and faith.

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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