Holy Tuesday contains my favorite sets of passages in the gospels. It is the showdown at the Temple. Picture it with me. Yesterday Jesus spent the morning clearing the Temple and the afternoon healing the sick and blessing the children in the newly freed up space. The religious leaders were fuming that Jesus would dare to come to their city and pull such a stunt.
They wanted him punished. But first they need the crowd to turn against him. And today on what is now known as Holy Tuesday it was time to try and do just that.
The crowds thought that Jesus was a great teacher, the plan religious leaders plan was simple they wanted to show that he was not. The religious leaders wanted to reaffirm their status as the people who know God best.
The challenge, ‘Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?’, is the most nefarious of the bunch. If Jesus answers yes it is right to pay taxes to Caesar the people turn on him. If he answered it was not right to pay taxes to Caesar the Pharisees could have Jesus charged with inciting a rebellion.
It them immortal words of Admiral Ackbar, it’s a trap!
Jesus successfully avoided the trap with the now famous saying (a’la KJV) ‘Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s’. Much has been said about this saying. And a great deal of it focused on the obvious. The coin had an image of Caesar so by all means give it to Caesar.
However I think many of us miss the second, and more important part of Jesus’ saying, give to God what is God’s. The question many of us forget to ask is, ‘What has God’s image on it?’
Here is a hint.
Jesus was saying if Caesar wants money so much he has made it in his image fine, but God wants you so much he has made you in his image. Have you spent time wondering what it means to be made in God’s image? It comes with both privilege and responsibly. In the garden we had the privilege to walk and talk with God, and the responsibility to care for garden. But there is so much more.
Today as you take time to reflect on Holy Tuesday remember that you, and every other human being is made in the image of God. Thank God for the privilege to be in a relationship with him, and ask his what is he calling you to do.