Which one of your parents do you look more like? Which one of your kids looks most like you? My kids look like collective mixes of my wife and I. A friend of mine who is a grandparent says that her grandkids look like her. She also admits that the other grandma says that the grandkids look like the other grandma. My friend admitted they are probably both right.
In the gospel this week Jesus answers a difficult question about whether or not to pay taxes. Remember the Romans were the occupying enemy force of the Jewish people. They hated the Romans and so to pay taxes was to support the enemy. But to not pay taxes was treason.
Jesus takes this difficult question and turns it into a lesson on our relationship with God. Jesus tells those gathered to pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s. And what is Caesar’s? The coins with Caear’s face on them. Then Jesus says repay to God what is God’s. What is God’s? The logic flows that anything that has God’s face. Just as the coins that have Caesar’s face on them belong to Caesar, anything that has God’s face is God’s.
Genesis 1:27 says, “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” What has God’s image? You do. I do. We do. What are we supposed to repay to God? Us.
What God wants from us is us. He doesn’t want us for what we can do. He doesn’t need it. He doesn’t want us for what we can offer, for he gave us all that we have. He doesn’t choose us because of what we deserve. He wants us because he loves us. Since God gave us everything, we owe him everything.
God loves us because we are his. What he wants from us is our whole selves.
Live It: Put a penny or other coin into your pocket tomorrow (even if you are wearing sweatpants at home). Every time you feel that coin in your pocket remember that you are made in the image and likeness of God and make a little prayer offering yourself to God.