At that he said to them,
“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
I think this statement begs the question, “What doesn’t belong to God?” I think I’ve often missed this irony on Jesus’ part.
After all, Jesus certainly wasn’t preaching that we should compartmentalize our lives: every part of our lives belongs to God, and we owe it all back to Him. Every moment of our time, every earthly treasure we may own, all of our talents and gifts, our health and well-being, our very breath … all of this belongs to God. And all of it has been given to us as a great trust.
We are stewards of all that we are and all that we have. We need to get it right, and to live every moment as though we were borrowing these great treasures from our generous and giving God.
The thought occurs to me that these words may seem empty to those who have comparatively little. Those who don’t have great health, or great wealth. The unemployed and those with financial troubles. The aged and lonely. So many have what seems to be great poverty. Yet many of those who might be considered very poor can teach the rest of us how to get it right. So many who have comparatively little give what little they have, knowing it belongs to God.
Because with God it doesn’t matter whether we’re wealthy or not, healthy or sick: what matters is that we use what we have for God’s purposes and that we sing with the Psalmist:
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!