The other day my parents were in town and were picking my youngest daughter up from Church. While we were all sitting together, a coworker of mine walked by who didn’t know my parents. After being introduced, they said,”Well of course your Chris’ parents. I can see the resemblance.”
Who do you resemble? I am not asking which of your parents or siblings or even celebrity do you look like (although the celebrity question is fun). What I mean to ask is who is it that you have modeled your life after? In other words, finish the sentence: I try to live like _____________. I am going to venture a guess that if you really thought about it, you could name a person or maybe a couple that you model your life after.
In our gospel this Sunday, Jesus is asked about paying taxes to the Romans. If he says the tax is lawful, he is essentially a supporter of the Romans and betraying his own people. If he says don’t pay the tax, well then he is fomenting a rebellion against Rome. Either way, he gets the answer wrong for some group. But Jesus avoids the question entirely, never actually answering if the tax is lawful, by telling his followers to pay the tax because it is Caesar’s face is on the coins. But then Jesus takes it a step further and tells all to give back to God what has his image.
At the point of creation of humanity described in the book of Genesis it says, “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Who do we look like? God. We are literally made in the image and likeness of God. And because of that what do we owe God? Our entire selves. We owe God everything.
How do we do that? How do we give back to God what is his? I think this is a lifelong process. There is no easy answer or simple instructions. However, it starts with an authentic prayer of surrender. It starts by finding a quiet moment and soberly, simple praying, “God, I give you my life. I give you my failures and my successes. I give you good and my bad. I give it all to you.” (or something like that.)
The next step is the part that will take the rest of your life. Then we conform our life to Jesus. We seek to model our life to the life of Jesus. We try to be more and more like Jesus every day. In other words, we try to look more like Jesus each day. As much as if you look at a quarter and see George Washington’s face, when people look at our lives, they should see Jesus.
LIVE IT: Surrender your life to God. Start by praying the simple prayer you see above. Second try and change some aspect of your life to look more like Jesus.