Vol.VI No.XII Pg.1
February 1970

Things Of God

Robert F. Turner

When certain Pharisees tried to ensnare Jesus by asking, Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cesar? he asked to see the tribute money. They showed him a coin, and he asked, Whose is this image and superscription? They said, Caesar's Then Jesus gave the classic reply, Render therefore unto Cesar the things which are Caesars, and unto God the things that are Gods. (Matt. 22: 15-21) (KJ)

The literal rendering of Marshall seems to give even greater stress to the point. Render then the things of Caesar to Caesar, and the things of God to God. Things of Caesar — that were of Caesars world—— that bore Caesar s image. While we are in the world, and have responsibilities to society, government, etc., our legitimate obligations here must be met. We meet such obligations with the currency of the realm — material debt paid with material coin; and it should be noted that there is a sense in which God is served when we use this material world properly.

But the coin is not given to God, it is given to Caesar; and God is served only in that He sees His creatures function in this life as He would have them function. There is Christian significance in properly fulfilling all rightful obligations. (See Co]. 3: 17-25 Rom. 13: 1-f.)

In a far greater sense, we have something else to render to God. It is that on which God has placed His image — the very soul of man. God made man in His own image (Gen. 1:26), i.e., an intellectual being, to think and to choose. He gave man individual identity, a conscious self, an affinity and capacity for spirit being but little lower than God. (Psm. 8:5) These are things of God which must be rendered to God.

We must deny self for earthly, sensual uses, and render unto God. Of what value is the gift without the giver? How may one worship who brings Caesars things, but whos heart is far from God? (Matt. 15: 7-9)

We have plead so long for men to give Caesars things to God (well enough, in the relative sense) we may have ignored giving God His things.