Bearing God’s Image
Matthew 22:17 asks the question, “Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” The Pharisees were coming to trap Jesus in a question regarding taxes and government authority. Still to this day, we read this scripture and think it’s about taxes and government ruling. But, if we continue on, and read verse 21, Jesus said, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.” Then, we realize this scripture has little to do with taxes, but everything to do with ownership. In this context, ownership isn’t just about possession, it’s about being an image bearer.
Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”Matthew 22:17-22
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarious, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesars’s” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
Jesus reminds the Pharisees that Caesar’s image on the coin entitled Caesar to their taxes. But we are to give to God that which bears His image. Genesis 1:26-27 says that all humans are created in God’s image. So, if we are to give God what bears His image, that means we’re to give Him our lives. We are to give God our very self. We’re to give Him all that we are. Not all that we have, but all that we ARE.
If we are made in the image of God how do we give all of ourselves to Him?
Giving God everything we are may seem a little overwhelming. But, considering He made us in His likeness, it’s actually very natural. He created us to connect with Him. So, we need to realize our role and choose to follow it.
What does it look like to be made in the image of God?
Being God’s image bearer, means many things.
- First, it means we must recognize God is our creator, Jesus is our Savior and the Spirit lives within us.
That makes us a pretty powerful reflection of God.
- Second, it means that we learn to accept our exquisite beauty.
God doesn’t make ugly things. He views the beauty of the world and sees that it is good. We represent the creator, the Lord of everything. He isn’t ugly – and we’re created in His likeness.
- Third, we must embrace that we have a unique purpose in this world and God expects us to take that responsibility seriously.
We can’t go through life believing that we have no significance, and that we don’t amount to anything. We need to stand firm, knowing that God is standing with us. We can’t waste our day or our lives with unimportant and frivolous things. We have a purpose and we need to pursue that purpose. Our purpose isn’t to live in the past or look toward the future. It is to do what we’re responsible for now. If what we’re currently responsible for seems irrelevant, then we need to ask God to reveal to us why it’s not pertinent. He’ll either show us that it is relevant for our life or He’ll redirect us to the purpose He wants us to pursue, not the one we’ve been following that we thought was from Him.
Being an image bearer, means God will guide us in how we are to proceed with life.
As image bearers of Christ, God trusts us and is giving us the authority to move His kingdom forward. That’s a big task, one that we must not take lightly. We’d love to hear how you’re bearing God’s image. What has God called you to do that reflects His very nature and love? We’d love to hear about your personal journey as an image bearer of our Lord. Email us your story, message us or #niNeChristianMagazine.