Once again, Jesus is asked a trick question. Answer one way and the Pharisees will claim his allegiance is with Rome rather than God. Answer another way and the Herodians will claim his advice against paying taxes will enrage the Romans and cause problems for the Jews. Jesus answers with both/and. When he says, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God,” he is saying that we must live according to the expectations of our society and government, but our life’s work should be enacting the ideals of God’s kingdom. There is a balance in Jesus’ answer that seems to be lacking in our current age.
How can we embrace and enact the kingdom ideals while respecting civic rules and expectations? Are there aspects of our societal systems and government that you feel stand in contrast to the kingdom of God? How can we engage with what is broken in our systems in safe, respectful, healthy, and life-giving ways?
Today, pray for God to restore balance to our collective human existence.