What Image do you have? (Mark 12:13-17)
- Mark 12:12 ends by saying the pharisees were mad at Jesus for teaching against them.
Verse 13 The parallel account in Matt adds that the disciples of the Pharisees also came along.
- By having the disciples of the Pharisees come along they are trying to inflate the size of the crowd.
- And by having the Herodians come along they were perhaps trying to disguise themselves.
- The Herodians were a political party of Jews who backed Herod Antipas, who was only a puppet of Rome.
Verse 14 The first thing we have to understand here is that this is not a genuine fact-finding mission.
- This is all a calculated trap to catch Jesus
- because they are afraid of the crowds and Jesus taught against them. Mark 12:12
- we also know their question is rooted in their objection to being under Roman rule and occupation.
Verse 15 They repeat their question in case Jesus didn’t get it. Of course, Jesus sees through their hypocrisy.
- Jesus comes right out and confronts them for trying to trap Him. Why are you trying to trap me?”
- In the Matt account it says, “Jesus knowing their evil intent.”
- Then Jesus poses an interesting return question.
- Since He knows they have set a trap for Him, he lays a trap for them.
- Jesus asks for a denarius coin. In the Matt account it says. “Show me the coin used in paying the tax.”
- This is a trap in several different ways.
Verse 16 Right on cue they produce the coin that Jesus asks for.
- But they really should not have been able to.
- If this was just about money and paying taxes, the story would have ended here.
- But Jesus asks another interesting question. Whose image is this?
Verse 17 (YLT) Now Jesus gets to the real point He wants to make.
- Jesus is okay with paying the tax, that is not the issue.
- Since the coin has the image of Caesar on it, then it belongs to Him give it back to him.
- But Jesus goes on to say, “give the things of God back to God.”
- So, what are the things of God?
- This goes back to the idea of the image.
- By implication of His argument, he is saying give to God what Has God’s image on it.
- The coins have Caesar’s image on them so they belong to Caesar.
- But we have God’s image on us, we are created in His Image.
- So we belong to God, we are to give ourselves back to God.
- You see all of the people here in this crowd have an agenda and an ideology they are promoting.
- But Jesus is saying just like you are going to give that denarius to Caesar and then let Him control it.
- You must give yourselves to God and then let Him control your destiny.
- The main point is: Can we give ourselves to the Lord fully and leave behind our agendas?