Image Bearers: Matthew 22:15-22
“15) Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. 16) And they *sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. 17) Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” 18) But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19) Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. 20) And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21) They *said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He *said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” 22) And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.” Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭15‬-‭22‬ ‭
This stands out as the most brilliant answer to a critic in the whole Bible. They were setting a trap to accuse Him of insurrection against Rome. They had plotted for some time to come up with this scheme. They thought it was fool proof.
Jesus replied by asking for a coin. Roman coins were minted with a very clear imprint of Caesar on one side. Our modern US coins with presidents on one side are actually patterned after Roman coins.
Upon receiving a denarius, He asked them; “who’s inscription is on this coin?” They responded, “Caesar’s”. His answer was profound; “Then render unto Caesar the tings that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are Gods.”
The implication becomes; “If this coin bears the image of Caesar, what bears the image of God?” Only one thing in all creation was created in the image or likeness of God, and that is mankind.
God is not interested in money, He is interested in people. He so loved the people of the world that He gave His only Son to redeem them. (John 3:16-18)
As a young believer, this text hit me like lightening; “I am valuable to God because I am created in His likeness.” I had never viewed myself as valuable. Based on this text, I surrender my life to God without reservation. I had become a Christian a few years earlier, but God used this text to call me to total surrender.
Study this text for yourself. Are striving to earn money or please God? The two are very different. One is based on the worlds value system, the other is based on a heavenly value system. God created you for Himself. You are His image bearer! Therefore you have value and purpose. You are His treasure.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global