Luke 20: Render unto God That Which Is God’s
In Luke 20, we find a plot to catch Jesus in some type of treason so that the Jewish leaders would have reason to get Him in trouble with the Roman authorities. As a result, they brought Him what would have been a controversial question at the time.
Luk 20:22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?
Luk 20:23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?
Luk 20:24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.
Luk 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.
The question had to do with money, and Jesus addressed that. However, I imagine that the audience was left with another question. Doesn’t everything belong to God? I think that was the point.
That is true, and even Caesar himself belongs to God. As a result, it seems to me that Jesus is making a larger point than simply whether or not it is right to pay taxes.
By giving God what belongs to God, we are talking about total surrender. We are talking about our money of course in the context of the passage, but our ambitions, dreams, hopes, relationships and everything else go along with that. If we are giving to God what belongs to God, then it is a package deal.
I don’t know about you, but that is somewhat intimidating. I like to have some control. I like to call some of the shots, but Jesus seems to be making the point that if we are really going to follow Him, we need to give unto God that which belongs to God.
Where then do we go from here? What are the implications of this type of radical surrender?