19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 20 So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent. – Luke 20:19-26 (ESV)
Whenever I hear someone quote this verse it usually has to do with paying taxes to the government here on earth. That is, of course, a good and fine thing to do. Certainly these words of Jesus can be interpreted to be a reminder to be good citizens in handing over to the government what belongs, by law, to them. But in reading this verse in that fashion we miss Jesus main point
Political discussions are replete with offensive and divisive comments regarding the scandals of the day. Yet, we need to see that the scripture here clearly tells us that these were not sincere concerns of dedicated citizens. These were trick questions to trip up the Savior. Jesus answers directly but turns the whole discussion to something even more scandalous. The scandal that Jesus mentions is a scandal of the soul.
The issue at hand is that the people of God are not giving to God what truly belongs to Him! We attend service each Sunday and think that we are doing well. We give in the basket each time the offering comes around assuaging our consciences that we acting rightly. But Jesus reminds us that God wants more than our time, more than our money, God want to be the Lord of your life. He wants to be the Lord now; not at an altar years ago; not back when you were emotionally upset, lost and broken; not on Sundays and Wednesday nights. He is your fulltime Savior and deserves a fulltime surrender.
Please give Him what is rightfully His.