The other day I was talking about the trap they tried to spring on Jesus at the temple. They wanted him to make a definitive statement about the Roman Poll Tax. So they asked,
17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
This is a very dangerous question. If he says “yes,” he loses his grass roots popularity. Those people that waved palm fronds and yelled, “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord,” they hated the tax. They wanted Jesus to get rid of it and the Romans. So if he says support the Romans then they might stop supporting him. On the other hand, if he said, “Don’t pay it” then he’s got serious issues with the Romans.
Jesus deflected all of it with sovereign grace and wisdom. “Show me a coin. Who’s inscription? Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and render to God what belongs to God.” Of course he’s talking about the fact that we bear God’s image.
Created in His image. I talked about how we mark what is valuable. God marked you so you must have value. But there’s one more aspect of this I want to deal with before we move on.
Not only do we mark what is valuable we value what is marked.
Sometimes the mark determines the value
My son caught a fly ball at a Rangers game one time. What’s that ball worth? 5 dollars? What if it was marked? What if it was signed by Babe Ruth? Well, then you would have a different story. The mark adds value.
Painters mark their work. And that is what actually gives the work value.
I remember reading about a man who inherited a painting from his parents. His name was Howard Walsh. He lived in Fort Worth. They told their son it was a Rembrandt. Nobody believed it. So he took it to the experts. They X-rayed it. Someone had painted over the Rembrandt. They had painted a fur coat on her and put a layer of gloss over the whole painting. The art experts removed the fur cleaned it up and declared that it was in fact an original Rembrandt. The painting immediately skyrocketed in value to four million dollars. What made the difference? The mark. It was certified authentic Rembrandt. Tied to the master.
We value what has been marked. You are marked. Created in his image. God signed you. You have great value. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.