Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative to present Jesus in the context he walked in with the unknown disciple that narrates introducing my thoughts and sparking more ideas with his questions. Enjoy.
Later that day, a group of Pharisee students and Jews that work for King Herod came up to Jesus.
“Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”
I looked at the crowd, then at Jesus. It was a trap. Jerusalemites told Pilate that they would rather die than allow the imperial standards bearing Caesar’s image into the city. This coin and the attendant tax had incited a revolt a quarter-century earlier.
Jesus, knowing it was a trap, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
Jesus held up the silver denarius that bore the emperor’s image and the title “Tiberius Caesar, son of the divine Augustus.”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s.”
“What is God’s?” Peter asked.
“The image of God is on us, as the image of Caesar is on that coin,” answered Nathaniel.
When they heard this, they were amazed. We watched the Pharisees and Herodians leave.