Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.
They brought one to him and he said to them,
Whose image and inscription is this?
They replied to him,
So Jesus said to them,
Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.
They were utterly amazed at him.
— Mark 12:13-17
The peace of the Lord be with you. Why is it that so many times in the Scriptures people are trying to challenge Jesus? I think part of the answer is that like our own time, that time was filled with individuals who claimed to be a great spiritual teachers, prophets, or some special person from God. Just like us, they needed to test the reality of these individual claims. In each of these encounters with Jesus it becomes very apparent there is something very special, very unique, very powerful about Jesus of Nazareth. Just as the coin carried the image of Caesar, Jesus bears the living image of God himself. Through his very brief time with us he imparted God’s wisdom, knowledge, and love.
Today the Scriptures remind us that what is truly valuable is not affected by the passing of time. Jesus reminds us through the grace of God that we bear that divine resemblance, and we should honor that with every breath we take, and do nothing that is beneath the dignity of the one who gave us life.
May this day be a day that God’s light will shine through you to inspire others to see their true value and dignity. In the name of the Father, and Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.