September 5, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
The teaching associated with the context of this verse is so amazing that, if completely understood, it would change any Christian’s attitude about many things. While this devotion can’t even begin to scratch the surface of this important subject, let’s learn what we can.
To get the whole picture this entire chapter needs to be read and reread. Please do when you get time and if you don’t have time, make time. It’s that important. On one hand the teaching is simple, on the other it is profound. Many miss its true extent by overlooking its profundity through skimming over its simplicity.
If there were a title of this devotion it could be “Whose money was it anyway?” Jesus answered this question very clearly. He said of this money which had Caesar’s image on it… Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s…. Most know that the Lord said this and even quote Him often. But what did He mean? The money used in that day was coined by Caesar, distributed for debts public and private by Caesar, and even had his image on it. It belonged to Caesar. Jesus said as much when He said …the things which are Caesar’s… He was referring to the money of the day.
But that is not all that Jesus said about this topic. In fact, His complete quote is this: …Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. Most quote the part about Caesar and overlook the part about the things that are God’s. There are things that are Caesar’s and there are things that are God’s. Both are to be rendered back unto them appropriately, suitably, and rightly.
Jesus is teaching a fact that, if understood, would clear up much confusion. A foundational truth that must be remembered here is that the Lord’s Kingdom is not of this world. In this story He willingly accepted peaceable subjection to earthly powers. But not all things on earth are earthly. Some things are God’s, and God’s alone. Things like faith, obedience to His Scriptures, true Biblical worship, Bible believing churches, His Word, repentance, the Gospel, on and on the list goes with things like, tithes, offerings, and alms (by the way these last three superseded money). These, and many other things belong only to God. Yet, it seems there is a pressure to render the things of God unto Caesar. This is a dangerous pit into which many are falling. The interesting thing about this is that it always comes back to money and the love of it.
The Bible Edge for today is to always be cognizant of this truth. There are things that belong to Caesar, and there are things that belong to God. Make sure to render both appropriately.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.