Reading: Matthew 22: 18-22
Verse 20: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.
There are certain times when we must give something. In our real life worlds there are times when I must give hours to my job. There are times when I must give time to my school work. There are times when I must give attention to my health. These are but a few of the demands on our time. I also must give love to my family and friends, compassion to those in need that I encounter, kindness to the stranger. And lastly I must give money to the cell phone company and to the grocery store, to the restaurant and the university. There are many things that demand our time, our emotions, and our money. Although many of these are “required”, to decide how and where we “spend” all that we have left takes some serious prioritizing.
In today’s passage, Jesus is faced with a tough question. To answer one way will anger the religious leaders; to answer the other way will anger the political leaders. It appears to be a no-win situation. At times our choices on how and where we spend our time, emotions, and money can feel the same way. To all gathered there that day, Jesus gives an amazing answer. He says, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s”. If this coin stamped with the image and title of Caesar is due to Caesar, give it to Caesar. For the most part we willingly follow this concept today – paying our bills and taxes to whom they are due.
The second half can be a bit harder. Yes, I can give that one hour on Sunday morning and that hour once a month to my committee. And, sure, I can give $10 a week to the offering. Well, okay, I’ll even go once a year to cook and serve the meal at the rescue mission. Others far exceed giving these 70 hours and roughly $500 a year to their image-bearer. Many in both groups wrestle with the question of giving enough. They realize how much God gives them and they wrestle with what they are giving to Him. It is a good wrestling. God will place upon our hearts the call for our time, our emotions, our money. It is a personal decision born out of a personal relationship with our God. We are made in God’s image, blessed by His love and care. This day, what shall we give?