What is Caesar’s?
15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.
It is amazing how we can use biblical ideas, religion and God’s word to try and hurt people. Here the Pharisees were doing just that. They gave Jesus beautiful words to try and trap him. How many times do we do the same?
17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”
Then the main reason for their words comes out. They try and use hate of authority and God’s commandments to bring Jesus down. If he sided with Caesar, he would be a betrayer of the Jews. If he sided with the Jews, he would become an enemy of the state and be jailed or killed. It seemed like there was no good solution but Jesus is wiser than man.
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Jesus refused to be trapped and refused to create an enemy. He neither went against Caesar or the Jews. He really became neutral to the situation. He refused to join everything together. There were earthly things, and he followed those but also God’s things and he followed those.
We must learn to be more like Jesus. We so often try and create enemies, thinking that it makes us righteous. It does not. Jesus never intentionally tried to create enemies, mostly for the fact that he was trying to save the very people others were trying to hate.
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
Jesus will never fall into a human trap and there is no reason for you to fall as well. Let the wisdom of God and his word guide you into being like Christ.
Pr. Steven Couto