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Whose Image And Superscription?


Standing Firm In Christ

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Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s.” Matthew 12:21

The above statement made by Jesus to the scribes and Pharisees is often taken out of its context and used by pastors and laymen alike, in an attempt to prove that God requires tithe of money from the Church member today.
But, when read in context with the entire discourse, and rightly dividing the Word of Truth, it is easy to see that Jesus was not endorsing a monetary tithe at all. Nor was He saying to give money to God at all.
Matthew 22:15-22 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
The Pharisees asked Jesus a question concerning tribute paid to Caesar. Jesus’ profound reply is overlooked by many today.
The image and superscription on the tribute money was that of the ruling government… Caesar’s. In our modern language, we would say it thusly, “Pay the government the taxes they require. The money is theirs.”
Jesus also said that the Pharisees were to give to God that which was God’s. Was He speaking of money? Not at all.
In the very first chapter of the Bible, we are told that man was created in God’s image. So, the question arises, “Whose image and superscription is on man?”
That’s right… God’s image. God’s superscription. Romans 12:1-2 tell us that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God, holy and acceptable unto Him.
“Render unto God that which is God’s.”
In Matthew 22:15-22, Jesus was not telling the Pharisees to tithe money. He was telling themselves to yield their own selves to the LORD. And Paul echoed that admonition in his epistle to the Romans thirty years later.

God’s image is on us. May we all be fully yielded to His service.

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