Image is everything. Pastors aren’t supposed to say that, but it’s true.
We humans care deeply about our image. The problem is we care about the wrong one; the one we’re trying to project to others in the hope of gaining love and acceptance. Instead we ought to be concerned about the Image of God in us.
Jesus was challenged in Mark 12 about paying taxes. His enemies thought that had him trapped. They were concerned about their projected image, that is, how others saw them. Projected image is about power and control, and Jesus was a threat because he kept knocking that image down.
They thought to trap him by asking about paying taxes, but Jesus had other plans.
Jesus asked for a coin and asked whose image is on it. The answer was “Caesar’s,” as he was the Emperor. So, if Jesus said taxes were bad, he would put himself at odds with the government. If Jesus said taxes are good, he would lose favor with the people. Seemed like a good trap.
The coin belonged to Caesar because it bore his image. So, Jesus answered, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.”
Brilliant, really. But what are we supposed to give to God? What is Jesus talking about?
While we desperately try to project our image, we easily forget that we bear God’s image, and that we were made to represent Him to the watching world.
Thus, the challenge is to give to God what belongs to God, namely yourself, your life, your heart. Put aside the projected image and find love and forgiveness in the One whose image you bear.