Render to Caesar

Mark 12:17

Emperor Augustus

Photo by Clemens van Lay / Unsplash

Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

Mark 12:17, ESV

How quickly do we become caught up in worldly things and miss fulfilling our duties to God? I have often shared my dismay at how so many sideline any religious conversations with the statement, “Two things that we do not discuss in polite company are religion and politics.” Yet, more often than not, politics are more commonly shared. Don’t get me wrong. I like a good political discussion. I truly love a good religious discussion. Jesus knew that not all would agree with Him or His statement, but He spoke the truth. As followers of Christ, we are called to be good citizens and maintain the Law. However, God is supposed to be first in our lives. When paying taxes, we pay them. When keeping the law, we keep them unless it goes against God’s Law, and then we adhere to God’s Law and await the punishment of the civil law. There may be consequences for our disobedience. The Bible confirms this reality. Our Lord suffered on the Cross because He challenged the religious laws while affirming God’s Law to the religious leaders, and it angered the religious leaders, who then used civil law to bring Jesus to the Cross. We are called to dual citizenship, God’s Kingdom, and the kingdom of this world. Our heart is first with our God and second here on earth. We don’t receive diplomatic immunity, however, from the earthly rulers but are fully subject to them and their punishment. It is here that we may give greater witness to God.

Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.

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