INNER CIRCLE: Show Me The Money

INNER CIRCLE: Show Me The Money March 8, 2024

IMAGE: Keith Giles [MJ]
Saying 100

They showed Jesus a gold piece and said to him, “Caesar’s men demand tribute from us.” He said to them, “What belongs to Caesar, give to Caesar; what belongs to God, give to God; and what is mine, give it to me.”

The exchange here mirrors the section in Mark 12 where the teachers of the Law attempt to trap Jesus by asking if it’s lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. But here, his own disciples show him a gold coin – not a denarius – and they challenge him with the implied question about paying taxes to Caesar.

In reply, Jesus urges them to “give to Caesar” what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God, but then adds a surprising phrase that doesn’t appear in the Gospel of Mark: “…and what is mine, give it to me.”

The contrast between Caesar and God are not the only things in view here. Jesus mentions paying tribute to earthly rulers and to heavenly authorities, but then adds a third option that we don’t expect: Jesus himself.

In this scenario, what belongs to Caesar? The coins demanded in taxation, obviously. What belongs to God? Perhaps the tithes and offerings commanded from the Hebrew scriptures are what’s intended.

But what is it that belongs to Jesus? Is it our loyalty? Our attention? Our respect? We’re never told, but we are capable of inferring a few things from the context. Caesar and God apparently desire our money and a percentage of our earnings. Jesus says those things “belong to” both Caesar and to God. But, what belongs to Jesus? Is it us? Our own selves?

The idea that we belong to Jesus should be taken with consideration for everything else we have learned from this Gospel of Thomas. In what sense do we belong to Jesus? Is it not in the reality of our Oneness with Christ that we belong to Jesus, and to one another?

If you and I are one, and if we are one with Christ, and therefore with everyone, everywhere, then we all belong to each other. There is no separation between us and the Divine, or between us and each other. Even as we pay taxes to Caesar, or pay our tithes to God – because these things “belong to” them – then what we owe to one another is our belonging to one another, and to God.

Nothing will ever separate us from the love of God, and that same love means we are not ever separate from one another. Love is what holds us all together and it’s what reminds us that we all belong to Christ and to each other.

We owe it to one another to give ourselves to one another in love. Especially if we truly realize our Divine Unity with Christ and with all humanity.

“Be indebted to no one, except to one another in love” – Romans 13:8


Keith Giles is the best-selling author of the Jesus Un series. He has appeared on CNN, USA Today, BuzzFeed, and John Fugelsang’s “Tell Me Everything.” He hosts the Second Cup with Keith podcast, and co-hosts the Apostates Anonymous podcast, and the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast.

His latest book, Second Cup with Keith is available now on Amazon HERE>

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