At the end of today’s gospel passage the Herodians and Pharisees find themselves utterly amazed by the words of Jesus. Yet they continued to try to ensnare him in his speech because they could not see beyond his words. Jesus did not try to be clever in answering them, he merely pointed out the obvious. The kingdoms of the world come and go, but the kingdom of heaven remains forever.
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.
Who will we serve? The wealthy and powerful on earth? Or will we serve the one who brings salvation, the King of Kings?