‘Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’ Mark 12:17
Lord, should we pay tax?
This is a question that was asked to trap Jesus. It was meant to bring Him condemnation by either causing him to speak against paying taxes or by tricking him into implying obedience to worldly authority is more important than obedience to God. They knew if he chose one option over the other, he would be condemned. But Jesus answered it with such wisdom. He did not have to choose. He told them to give back to Caesar what belongs to him and to God what belongs to God.
Jesus takes it to another level. He challenges the pharisee to think beyond their carnal view. He builds on the physical and reveals to the congregation around Him how they ought to live their lives on a spiritual level. He is not concerned with the worldly things but looking to save the souls of every man. He immediately grabs the opportunity to reminding the listeners that they are God´s -precious and valued.
Made for God
What does it mean to give back to God what belongs to God?
something to someone means this person must have given it to you in the past.
to return something, we have to know what it is we have to return. And this is where the gospel comes in and plays a vital role. It is only the God that can reveal to us, all that is His, that we are His children ad we belong to Him.
“What is God’s?” one could ask. Everything! Everything that exists was made by and belongs to him.
“For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. ” – Romans 11:36
And yet, despite us being His creation, He not only placed us in charge of all His creation as care takers but also gave us free will to govern our lives and make choices independent of His influence if we wanted. see also Colossians 1:16. His wants us to make use of all the resources and talents he provided to fulfill His will on earth. But His greatest will was to have fellowship with us. He gave us free will so that we can willingly choose Him and return to Him. We were made by God, for God. To worship Him and to have fellowship with Him.
But too often, we get taken up by the world and all it’s demands on us. We get consumed by our own desires, lusts and efforts, leaving God ignored along the way. We want to have the delusional feeling of control over our lives even if this means losing it because we feel like only we can make the best choices over our lives. But we are corrupted by sin and even if we tried, we can not even come close to the fullness our lives would reach if we left God take control.
To give back to God what belongs to God is not just a physical duty we have to accomplish. It is a matter of our hearts. We do not just act in obedience, but rather are moved from deep within to give our lives back to Him. We do not just give a part of us and retain a part so we can have some control but we surrender all of it -wholly- in His hand and say “God i trust you”. It is this complete submissiveness that God is yearning for. To trust him entirely with our lives, our loves ones, our careers, our past, present and future, our feelings, our possessions and all that we are.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; – 1 Corinthians 6:19
God is reaching out for our hearts each day. He is calling us back to Himself. He is ever willing to have you home. He wants us to enjoy the fullness of His love and tender mercies. He wants to reveal to us His amazing plans for our lives. To give us a purpose. To give us life and life more abundantly. But we can only have this if we submit ourselves, wholly, to Him, withholding nothing.
is asking you today. Are you giving God His right place in your life? But most of all, have you given yourself back to Him?
Give to God, what belongs to God!