Luke 20:20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.
The Big Idea: Caring About What God Cares About Brings Us In Line With Him
The Jews were taxed by the Romans and it was unpopular. If Christ answered that the tax was unjust, then the pharisees could report him to the Romans. If he answered that it was just, then the crowd would have turned on him. Christ pointed out that he wasn’t there to talk politics. The coin has Caesar’s image on it, so give it back to him. We are made in the image of God, so we belong to him. Souls are the currency God cares most about.
The kingdom that Christ is concerned about is spiritual. If the pharisees had cared about people, they would have cared less about taxes. They also would have understood the authority by which Christ taught.
Application: When we forget about what God cares about, we get distracted by the world, and by unimportant things. We get caught up in political quarrels, controversies, or just drama. But those things are worldly and the opposite of putting on the mind of Christ. Our currency, our concern is for those around us. The currency of this world is like an economic bubble. It seems real valuable now, but someday soon it will be worthless, so we need to invest in the things are are valuable. Even when that more valuable currency is argumentative and trying to pick a fight about politics.