Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him. Mark 12:13-17
Jesus said that the coin bearing the emperor’s image should be given to the emperor. But our lives, which bear God’s image, belong to God.
He challenged the pride, greed and hypocrisy of the religious leaders of his time…. these traits often trouble us too.
Many times I forget my identity – I am a new creation, bought at a price. Now I am to be a reflector of God’s image, full of forgiveness, grace and truth. Often my pride and greed take over and it doesn’t look nice.
How can you show grace and forgiveness in your relationship? Are you giving God all that is rightfully his? What do you need to let go of?
Prayer (as a couple)
Dear Lord, You have given us a new identity and a new freedom through Christ. Help us to know and reflect your love to each other and to those around us. In particular we ask you to help us to deal with our pride and greed and in particular _____ (Name an issue that comes to mind) so that we can be more like you. Amen.
Prayer (for others)
Dear Lord, We lift up _____ and _____ to you. Help them to reflect your image to each other and to those around them and to deal with the greed and pride that contaminates all our relationships. Please convict them of any specific issues they need to deal with, so that they may be more like you. Amen.
What we do, how we behave, reflects what we believe’