Our passage raises the important issue of the relationship between God and the governments of the earth. This is not just an issue in Jesus day, but an issue that every generation in every society must confront. Jesus is not saying Caesar is control of the political sphere and God is in control of the religious sphere, as if they were counter-weights against each other. To Jesus, the coin with the face of Caesar was just another idol in a long list of idols and Caesar can have it back if he desires it.
Whoever’s face is on the money has the right to ask for it back in terms of taxes. Jesus had no problem with the people giving back to Caesar what was his. But the expectation goes both ways- just as Caesar expected to get back the things that were his, so too God expects to get back the things that are His. If we bear God’s image, as we are told in Genesis 1, then God owns us and we owe Him worship and obedience. The danger is we have grown to love our money. If government owns the money, and we make money our god, then the government owns us.
Join us this Sunday as we look at Jesus answering questions about money and marriage as we look at "Did the Religious Leaders Wear Boxer or Briefs?" as we continue in Mark 12 verses 13 to 27.