Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s and to God the things that are God’s. Jesus
Of all the enigmatic words of Jesus, these are among those which have been debated the most. The conventional consensus seems to be that Jesus is saying, at a minimum, that folks should pay their taxes. Taken further, this saying became the foundation for the “two kingdoms” doctrine, which has had some horrific consequences. For more on that, see my post HERE.
This morning I’m thinking about those words and the context in which they were spoken. I’m not going to elaborate on my views on all this, but I do have a few thoughts I’d like to share, in the form of some questions.
Are there things on this earth that belong to Ceasar?
Are there things on this earth that belong to God?
Are there things on this earth that do not belong to Ceasar?
Are there things on this earth that do not belong to God?
If Ceasar’s claim is legitimate only as to those things that don’t already belong to God, what are those things?
If we first render to God those things that are God’s, what is left to render to Ceasar?