Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar

 

They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to Him, “Caesar’s men demand taxes from us.” He said to them, “Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar, give God what belongs to God, and give Me what is Mine.”
– Gospel of Thomas, verse 100, and the New Testament in Matthew 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, Luke 20:20-26.

This famous verse can be taken in a relatively straight-forward way.

Take care of your life in the world as a human being. Live an ordinary life and take care of the obligations that comes with the roles you are playing. Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

And at the same time, know what you really are. Give god what belongs to God.

Don’t neglect one in favor of the other.

And what about the last one, give me what is mine? Here is one way to look at it: Jesus was a teacher, so relate to a teacher in the ways that are most helpful – as one who is pointing the way.

I am sure there are other, and more insightful, ways of looking at this verse, but this is what comes up for me now.

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