What God Wants

FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2016

Putting Politics in Perspective

Key Bible Verse: He asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:20-21, NIV)

Dig Deeper: Acts 5:17-32

Holding the coin in his hand, Jesus asks, “Whose likeness and title are these?” They respond, “Caesar’s.” Jesus then responds, “Pay therefore to Caesar the things that are due to Caesar …” The Herodians think they’ve won. Before the Herodians can celebrate, though, Jesus says, “… and pay to God the things that are due to God.”

To understand what has occurred, we need to look at the word “likeness.” It is the Greek word eikon, and it means “image.” Both groups gathered that day would have been very familiar with the creation account of Genesis. So when Jesus uses eikon, these Jews could not help but think back to the creation where God makes man in his eikon.

Jesus’ point: give Caesar his due; after all, it has his eikon on it. But then Jesus says we are to give to God what is God’s. Well, what is God’s? We are! We are made in his eikon. Jesus is teaching that image equals ownership.

Jesus has in essence said that their arguments about politics in the scheme of things are petty. Governments deal with aspects of our lives like currency, while God wants all of our lives. Government, compared to the kingdom of God … well, there’s no comparison.

– Bryan Loritts in A Cross-Shaped Gospel

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