Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s

And Jesus answering said unto 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 KJV)

The Pharisees sent spies to trap Jesus into saying a politically incorrect statement and get in trouble with the Roman Government. They got an unexpected response. This was the question in this verse: should we pay taxes to Caesar or not? Jesus responded, “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Jesus’ response implies some things belong to Caesar and others to God. Our religious minds might get uncomfortable with Jesus’ answer. All things belong to God, right? Why would Jesus declare some things Caesar’s and others God’s? He unveils a profound truth every believer and minister should heed carefully: not everything about our earthly lives directly relates to God’s purposes in Christ.

Space will not allow me to expound on this critical truth. An example will suffice. God gave humanity the Bible not to answer scientific questions about the universe. The Bible is not the book for us to learn physics or medical science, though it is scientifically accurate. That does not mean physics or medicine are not necessary. Rather, they are not the purpose of the Bible. The Bible is a book to restore lost humanity to a relationship with God. If we cannot know what belongs to Caesar (whatever that Caesar might be), we will fight battles God never intended for us to fight and so become distracted.

Read more: Science and faith- can you have both?

Think of the possible outcomes if Jesus debated the theology of taxes with the opponents. 

Similarly, a man asked Jesus to instruct his brother to share their father’s money (inheritance) for them. Jesus responded and said, “who made Me a judge over you?” ( Luke 12:14), indirectly telling this man it is not His business to share inheritances. However, He went further to teach them about greed. Jesus knew who He was and what God sent Him to do on earth.  Crave this wisdom to distinguish issues related to our earthly lives and those about the kingdom, as well as the minor from the major.

Ask the Father for wisdom to discern differences in the affairs of life. 

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