Whose Image is on you?
Jerry A Collins
v Who calls the shots in your life?
v What place of honor does God hold for you?
v How are you giving to God what belongs to Him?
All of us have a biological image stamped within us. We all belong to a family from which we bear our physiological image. That image not only indicates who we belong to but also obligates us in ways we are not obligated to others. For instance, I work to place food on the table of this family. We will do some crazy things—both good and bad—because of the image we bear with each other. My dad’s motto for taking care of those bearing our physiological image was ‘we’re family’ and that meant we went out of our way to take care of one another even those distant relatives. But there is a larger issue to consider. One common to all of us not just the immediate family we are physiologically related too. But our relation to our creator of whom we all bear His image. What does this demand of each of us? If we truly bear God’s image then what obligations do we have with this? This is especially complicated when we have to determine how to live responsibly as an image bearer of God and still have to live here where there is competition with that. Jesus is challenged with the obligations between our allegiance to the world and that of our God. Who should win? What should we do? How do we sort this out? One of those issues is taxation.
YOU CAN EXPECT YOUR OBLIGATION TO GOD TO BE TESTED 15-17
Deception Religious leaders were setting a trap for Jesus with
this question vs 15. What is
interesting is that rivals came together in their opposition to Jesus. Notice
the two groups were ‘the disciples of the pharisees’
and the ‘herodians’ vs 16.
The Pharisees are devout and traditional Jews. They were the first line of
defense against any attempts to undermine the tradition of Moses. The Herodians were allies of King Herod the Great. Herod had
been made king by the Romans so this group had more political aspirations toward
Flattery They make claims to Jesus that neither group believes at all. They tried some flattery to set up their case—You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth and defer to no one for you are not partial to any 17. No one could take this seriously since this group had opposed Jesus often. How could they believe Jesus would? They did say one thing truthfully—namely, that Jesus stood His ground with courage and conviction. Yet, they were lying because they did not believe a word of it.
Jesus perceived their malice vs 18 when the question was asked.
This group was intent on doing Jesus real harm not just to His reputation, even
to His life. Anything to ruin His credibility with the people
OUR SUBMISSION TO GOD IS OUR PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY 18-22
Rebuke Of course Jesus
perceives their malice intent since He knows the heart of men 18. The idea is
that He actually perceived their wicked intent not that He just knew they were
hypocrites. We may have picked that much up ourselves just by listening to what
they had to say. These guys have an agenda and it was to
destroy Jesus at all
costs and any way they can. It did not matter if it was with the opinion of the
people or the power in
Hypocrisy So Jesus let’s the cat out of the bag and tells them He knows what they are up too and that they are all just a bunch of hypocrites—lying through their teeth. Their wicked scheme is obvious to Him. He then asks for a coin to set the stage for His rebuttal and eventually turning the whole thing on it’s head vs 19. It is interesting that Jesus did not have His own coin with Him.
Submission Now Jesus asks them a question Whose likeness and inscription is this? Vs 20. It was Caesar’s of course we know that. But Kings would mint coins to show their authority over the people of that realm. So it would be Caesar’s money, inscription and authority. This coinage was offensive to the Jews because the emperor’s image on the coin was a reminder of their roman oppression. The Law of Moses taught they were not to make any graven images. Here was an image that obligated the Jew to acknowledge a ruler who also called himself god and this was repulsive to the Jew. Jesus gives a simple answer in vs 21 Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. It is one thing to give your money to Caesar but how can we know what things belong to God? We are the image of God which implies that we are to give our lives to Him. Money is earthly and a creation of human governments so give it to them. But we bear God’s image—spiritual life, understanding, conscience and capacity for moral and ethical decisions and creativity.
Our purpose to rule over the earth as God’s representatives. To do His will and represent that in this life.
That image has been ruined by sin but can be made useful to God again when that image is renewed and made alive born again as new creations in Christ. Now we have the responsibility to be conformed to the image of Jesus here on earth.
1. Dedicate yourself to God and surrender to Him. Present your life as a living sacrifice to Him. You belong to Him give yourself to Him.
2. Then develop your capacities to represent Him well wherever you are—whatever you do. Make yourself useful to God. Don’t sideline yourself. Study the scriptures to do that.
3. Remember to keep yourself available to God all the days of your life. Represent Him well. Give your life to Him—that is your mind, heart, capabilities, priorities, devotion. There is no limit to what God can accomplish through someone fully obligated.