In Matthew 22:15-21, when the Pharisees came to Jesus to test Him, they asked Him whether they should pay taxes. Jesus’ response is one of the most revealing statements in Scripture. Who would think taxes would be in the middle of that, right?
Jesus asks them, “Whose image is on this coin?” After their response, He replies, “Therefore render to Ceasar’s what is Ceasar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
This is such an amazing response because Jesus didn’t fall for their tricks, but it also illustrates a deeply profound truth about us as humans. The fact that Ceasar’s image was on that coin was enough for the citizens of Rome to give their money to the empire. We are made in the image of God, so when we render to God what is God’s, we have to give ourselves to God.
Every day and throughout the history of mankind, we demonstrate how we belong to God. The way we aspire to be moral, how we create, think, and how much we gravitate toward finding our purpose and meaning all show His image through us.
Yet we show how broken that image is with all the confusion of the world’s religions, the greed and lust of our hearts, and the rebellion against our Maker. We’re constantly in a state of identity crisis.
The question that I think we ask ourselves through our actions is, “Whose image do I bear?” We find our identity in so many things and people, and whoever we identify with, we’ll render ourselves to. So we’ll answer this question by identifying with money, sex, relationships, and much more. Even in the gay pride movements, we see the constant identification with homosexuality as who they are. It’s the summation of their identity, which is why the culture wars concerning homosexuality are so fierce.
But since we bear the image of God by nature, no matter what or who we run to, we can’t scrub away that image. We can’t suppress that image, and God has purposed in His will to restore that image in us through Christ.
When you remember that you bear the image of God in you, you can truly render to Him your life, and be all that you were meant to be. So give to God what belongs to Him, and know that you were meant to be His.