Matthew 22:21b (KJV) Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
Ebere had thought long and hard about this, and she saw no other way out. So, she had decided to go ahead with the wishes of her uncles. She planned to make the move over the weekend which was just two days away. The next day she made a quick dash to the market to get a few groceries in preparation for her trip. While still shopping, she ran into Comfort, her friend from an inter-denominational fellowship.
They talked for a while until she got to the part about why she was traveling, namely to provide some items for the performance of some rites in her hometown, which must be performed for every woman from their kindred who is marrying outside their tribe. Failure to do so, it was said, would come with dire and unpleasant consequences including, difficulty in conception, childbirth complications, and even death of babies, or even in some instances, death of mother and child.
It was difficult to talk Ebere out of it because she knew of some relatives who had defied the practice and had suffered for it, plus, she was anchoring on the principle of giving unto Caesar what was his.
There is such as thing as rightly dividing the word of truth, it includes understanding the context of instructions/statements made, understanding the limits of their applications, and their proper use. For example, when Jesus made the statement of giving to Caesar, what did he mean? How do you think he intended for that to be applied? Did he mean by that that it is okay to do any and everything that some other persons demand under the ‘giving to Caesar’ proviso?
Would it be okay, under ‘Giving to Caesar’ for a young Christian lady to give in to the practice of getting pregnant before getting married if a particular culture demands it? Where do we draw the line for Caesar?
Caesar was then the recognized constituted civil authority, and we have clear and manifold injunctions in scriptures to obey such authority. Within the ambit of that injunction, we can begin to arrogate to Caesar that which is his (and these things that are usually enshrined in the constitution and laws of the land, except they directly oppose the word of God). Not every demand made by every being, person, or institution counts as ‘Caesar’. Note also that not every demand of Caesar is to be met. Caesar indeed demanded worship at some point and a denial of the Christian faith. The apostles vehemently refused for they understood that even in the face of death, that worship was not something they could offer to Caesar.
Giving in to ungodly demands of society, tradition, or popular culture is not the same as giving to Caesar what belongs to him. Go into today knowing that God’s image and inscription are on you and that you belong to God.
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