May 26, 2023
Today’s Reading: Luke 20:19-44
Luke 20:25: He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do you think stamping Caesar’s face on a coin makes it not God’s anymore? It isn’t just whether or not this is God’s coin. It’s whether or not this is God’s Caesar. The Pharisees saw Caesar as something ungodly that came about by the will of men, not God. They saw tribute to him as worship to an idol. Maybe to those who saw him as a god, it was, but isn’t that the problem? This isn’t about the coin. It’s about the face. Is this God’s Caesar, or is this Caesar independent of God, and a god himself?
It’s the same today. This guy who you don’t like and doesn’t agree with your beliefs is in charge. He’s still not God. Even if some people worship him. Do you think God doesn’t work there anyway? Do you think that’s not God’s creation raised up to the office of president? If God puts someone in the office, He will work there. Even if it’s messy. Even if the person put there is sinful. Even if the person put there is ungodly.
The thing that is God’s is the authority to establish leaders, and the promise to work through them and their institutions. The tax paid can be called theft. It might not be so far from it. But render unto God the power and will to work good among thieves. He saved you by dying in-between two of them.
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. He has authority given by God. Render unto God what is God’s. He has the will to work good through sinful men and the faithfulness to make His promises worth clinging to.
It makes the questions of church and state easier. If it’s against God’s 10 commandments, call it sinful. If God is risen from the dead, expect Him to work good through sinners. That good won’t be measured in their sins becoming socially acceptable, but in God forgiving sinners by His death on the cross and His day by day working of blessings that should not be able to thrive in a field of so much sin. Yet here we are. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Let us recall that in our midst Dwells Christ, His only Son; As members of His body joined We are in Him made one. (Where Charity and Love Prevail, LSB 845:5)
-Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Jonathan Lackey is an LCMS seminarian.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.